Evolution

Creationist views not welcome at California State U

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An open young earth creationist claims he was fired for religious discrimination after he got legitimate work publishing in a journal. Or, his very anti-science ideas were simply not appropriate for promotion within an academic institution. University sued after firing creationist fossil hunter. In May 2012, Mark Armitage made a discovery that he had dreamed of…

Pope says evolution and Big Bang are A-OK routes when God still drives the bus

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Pope Frank breaks with former Pope Benny in embracing scientific concepts of the origin of the universe and the process of evolution as being not inconsistent with faith. Meh. Nothing new. Catholicism is in desperate need to look relevant in the modern world and to distance themselves from clearly wrong and ridiculous ideas about how…

Spinosaurus appears to have been toothy and semi-aquatic; but don’t call it a crocoduck

Ibrahim (left) and Sereno with Spinosaurus

Previously-known Spinosaurus was a dinosaur that blew my mind. I couldn’t figure out the deal with the sail and the ultra-long snout. Turns out it had more surprises in store. Scientists report first semiaquatic dinosaur, Spinosaurus: Massive predator was more than 9 feet longer than largest T. rex — ScienceDaily. Scientists today unveiled what appears…

Newly described animals do not fit into known phylum

Dried Dendrogramma gen. nov., all 15 paratypes of D. enigmatica and (with *) D. discoides. From doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102976.g001

A new kind of animal, Dendrogramma, looks like a mushroom but does not fit into either the jellyfish or comb jelly family. It resembles fossils of some very ancient fauna. Their discovery could change the way scientists currently think organisms evolved. New Deep-Sea Animal Species Look Like Mushrooms but Defy Classification. The tiny animals, less…

Ohio lawmakers lack science education, want to be sure everyone else does too

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Once again, nonscientists are dictating how to do science. They are mistaken. And they have an agenda. Ohio lawmakers want to limit the teaching of the scientific process. The bill, currently under consideration by the Ohio Assembly, is intended to revoke a previous approval of the Common Core educational standards, which target math and literacy.…

Facepalming article suggests Darwin may fall via epigenetic findings

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One Australian reporter (so far) gets the headline and story WRONG WRONG WRONG. Darwin’s theory of evolution challenged by University of Adelaide genetic memory research, published in journal Science. Adelaide research showing that sperm and eggs appear to carry genetic memories of events well before conception, may force a rethink of the evolutionary theories of…

Backwards evolution busted: People walking on all fours do not have “apelike” gait but have adapted

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A new study shows that a group of humans made famous by a 2006 BBC documentary called The Family That Walks on All Fours are not exhibiting backward evolution to that of our ape ancestors, but have just adapted to this strange means of locomotion due to their brain conditions. The family from remote Turkey,…

Discovered four-winged dinosaur was largest flier of its type at more than quadruple usual weight

Microraptor from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

This is rather exciting news for feathered dinosaur fans (who could probably use a win lately). A new species of feathered dinosaur has been discovered, and it is the largest four-winged flier yet known. Changyuraptor, Large Species of Flying Dinosaur, Is Discovered (New York Times): The new species, Changyuraptor, found in northeastern China, was four feet…

Steven Spielberg, dino hunter

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Wait, WAAAAAAT? A Whole Bunch Of People On Facebook Thought Steven Spielberg Killed A Real Dinosaur. Internet humourist Jay Branscomb posted it on Facebook with the caption: “Disgraceful photo of recreational hunter happily posing next to a triceratops he just slaughtered. Please share so the world can name and shame this despicable man.” Steven Spielberg…

Another anti-evolution museum opens tomorrow in the U.S.

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Really? Because one Creation-based museum losing money is not enough? There must be two insults to science and financial boondoggles? I guess so. Reason does not prevail. The Northwest “Science” museum opens tomorrow in Idaho. Creation Museum | Northwest Science Museum. Their vision is to present a “Natural History” museum from a Biblical point of view. Therefore,…

Cosmos series irritates those who hold anti-science ideas

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The new Cosmos reboot is generating some waves for sure. Creationists have a beef with the exclusion (even derision) of the God concept while teachers are excited to have interesting science content for their classes. Now, climate change deniers might get a little broiled over the latest episode to air. New Video: Neil deGrasse Tyson Destroys…

Now I’m getting suspicious… Another case of COSMOS interruptus

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There was this story about a glitch in the Cosmos broadcast earlier this week. I figured, hey, mistakes happen. Never assume malice when incompetence is more likely. Well… do they happen with other programs? (Yes) The news media and forums are pointing out the Cosmos effect seems to be disproportionate and occurs in distinct cultural…

AP poll has experts lamenting science literacy – It’s more complicated

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Should we be surprised by this? No, I’m not. Disappointed, maybe. But, we should be used to these results by now. Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans. Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they express bigger doubts as concepts that scientists consider to be truths get further from our own…

Evidence-based skepticism in the spotlight thanks to Bill Nye’s debate

Screen capture from the video where Bill Nye talks about evolution

It’s so very exciting to see the reverberation of the Creation-Evolution debate continuing. And I am very happy to see Skeptical Inquirer play a role in it. This current issue of SI has an exclusive piece written by Bill Nye, The Science Guy himself, discussing the behind-the-scenes goings on that took place before and during…

Bryan College’s absurd clarification is causing low morale, staff resignations

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In an update to a story last month, Bryan College is having a bit of an issue with their ridiculously silly “statement of belief”. IT’S A COLLEGE, NOT A *#$*&!@+ CHURCH! Bryan College faculty prepare to leave over evolution controversy Faculty members say that a recent clarification to the school’s statement of belief that embraced…

Hallmarks of a dwindling population

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The last of the mammoth population may have experienced high rates of birth defects due to the dwindling numbers and inbreeding, along with prenatal stress. Last Woolly Mammoths May Have Suffered Birth Defects | LiveScience. Fossils of mammoths found near the North Sea and dating to the late Pleistocene, about 12,000 years ago, frequently sported…

When your name turns up as author of an anti-evolution paper: RETRACTION!

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Never underestimate the audacity of anti-evolutionists. Entomologist surprised to find name on now-retracted paper alleging fossils oppose Darwin’s theory of evolution | Retraction Watch. The Journal of Biology and Life Science, published by the Macrothink Institute, has retracted a paper that claimed “fossil does not provides [sic] the convincing and direct evidences for evolution,” for…

Indiana lawmakers pull the “academic freedom” trope

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What the hell are they doing? Ball State University president, Jo Ann Gora’s decision to scrap a science class,”Boundaries of Science” class taught by Eric Hedin, an assistant professor of physics, was her response to complaints that the class was promoting intelligent design, as opposed to evolution. Obviously, that is NOT a scientific take on nature.…

In Missouri, Brattin proposes parental consent to learn biology

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I’m not joking when I ask, is he brain-dead? How would he think this would get him nothing but scorn and threats of lawsuits? Oh wait, he’s blinded by faith. Unprecedented Attack On Evolution ‘Indoctrination’ Mounted In Missouri. A Missouri lawmaker has proposed what ranks among the most anti-evolution legislation in recent years, which would…

Foerster, Pye and Ketchum collaborate: Paracas elongated skull exposed! (UPDATE)

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NEW (09-Feb-2014): Brien Foerster has contacted me saying that Melba Ketchum is not the geneticist behind the released results. See more details in the update below. On the south coast of Peru in 1928, Peruvian archaeologist, Julio Tello, discovered a collection of remains of individuals with unusually elongated skulls. Cranial deformation is a widely known practice…