Evolution news

Plant mutations

www.physorg.com January 4th ... the speed of mutations in plants has been monitored for the first time and findings shed light on the evolutionary process. It happens much quicker than imagined and therefore this raises some questions about the uniformitarian model - does it require such a long time to produce the evolutionary changes observed. If plants and animals can mutate quickly this means that punctuated evolution is a real possibility - long periods with no change interrupted by short bursts of mutation.

Big Heads

http://discovermagazine.com December 28th 2009 ... the cranial capacity of Boskop skulls found in South Africa in the early 20th century are the subject of this article (see archives). The brains of these people was apparently more than a quarter the size of modern brains. In addition, it was found Boskop people had small childlike faces - somewhat like ET (and the popular image of aliens). This is known as pedomorphosis, the retention of juvenile features into adulthood, a phenomenon usually associated with rapid evolutionary change.

Evolutionary Enigmas

Rancho La Brea tar pits ... these are found in the heart of Los Angeles and are a rich source of fossils - over 565 species were caught in the tar (asphalt) over tens of thousands of years and fossilised. However, the uniformitarian explanation is not accepted by everyone - and why should it be? The official attitude is a bit like damage limitation - we know it is hard to believe but we simply will not accept this was a sudden and rapid event and fossilisation took place in a geological blink of an eye.