Biology news

third way

Robert Farrar has sent in a link to www.thethirdwayofevolution.com ... which he came across as a link from another web site he was looking at. The name of the web site comes from an article written by microbiologist James Shapiro (University of Chicago) in which he proposed an approach to evolutionary science that was neither neo-Darwinist or Creationist, suggesting the mechanism is better at explaining evolution from natural selection. On that basis this site should appeal to members of SIS.

fickle genes

Some interesting stuff on genetics at www.q-mag.org/we-contain-multitudes-1.html and www.q-mag.org/we-contain-multitudes-2.html which seem to suggest genetics is a bit more complicated than Joe Public has been led to believe. The first link concerns a paper published in PNAS. This is that horizontal gene transfer as opposed to vertical (from mother and father and immediate ancestors) is part of the genetic make-up. Apparently all sorts of things can affect our DNA - bacteria, plants, fungi etc.

ultimate uniformitarianism

This link was sent in by Gary. Apparently, some scientists have discovered a huge fossil forest buried in deep sediments and preserved intact that goes back to the Devonian period (400 million years ago) when they dug a hole for the Global Seed Vault on Svalbad (Spitzbergen), a secure underground frozen seed bank in which plants are preserved in case of a future loss of diversity. This was supposed to be part of the Eden Project in Cornwall but that has developed into a giant tourist fly trap.

Triassic mammals

A few weeks ago we had a post on mammals in the Jurassic, contemporary with the dinosaurs. Now they are talking about mammals in the earlier Triassic era - go to http://phys.org/print366876776.html and published in PNAS Nov 16th (2015) www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1519387112

However they are being described as proto mammals (or nearly mammals), or even an ancestral branch of the mammal tree. Well, it seemed the branch fell off the tree during the late Triassic event (mass extinctions) as mammals became proper mammals in the Jurassic.

mice in the ...

The Times (of London), last week, had a post by Oliver Moody on a mammal that lived contemporary with the dinosaurs, a mouse like creature (or perhaps a giant shrew). Its remains were found in a limestone quarry in Spain and it went from there to the University of Chicago where the research was done. Like mice it had a long tail, and long nose, and was covered in hair (fur).

ostrich dinosaurs

 

dinosaurs with feathers and dinosaurs that look like ostriches - see http://phys.org/print365249627.html ... the point of interest ffor Catastrophists here is that the tail feathers and some soft tissuye was preserved. The plumage has been compared with that of an ostrich - and the artist's impression below is extremely ostrich like.

plague

At http://phys.org/print364704390.html ... new research seems to indicate bubonic plague has bedevilled human populations for much longer than consensus has allowed, even as early as the 4th and 3rd millenniums BC (and possibly even earlier when they get to research back further). The migration of people during the Bronze ages has been fingered as one of the culprits.

good co2

The Swiss are innovative. At https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/co2-capture-plant-to-enhance-... ... the Swiss intend to capture co2 from the atmosphere which will then be used as a greenhouse gas - in real greenhouses. The idea came about as co2 increases the rate of vegetable growth, and market gardening is the ideal place to get rid of the co2 that is captured out of the  air.

fixations

Some people never give up. The idea that huge Pleistocene animals were wiped out by human hunters, small in number and armed with sharp stones attached to wooden spear shafts, refuses to be laid to rest. It has become a many headed hydra. The persistence of the idea speaks volumes - anything but face up to the facts of Catastrophism. At http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/fall-2015/article/shift-in-weaning-... ... but no it does not. It just shows that some mammoth populations were under stress - for any kind of reason.