Science news articles supporting biological evolution, including by discoveries of fossils

by Disillusioned JW 10 Replies latest social current

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    "A billion-year-old fossil of an organism, exquisitely preserved in the Scottish Highlands, reveals features of multicellularity nearly 400 million years before the biological trait emerged in the first animals, according to a new report in the journal Current Biology by an international team of researchers, including Boston College paleobotanist Paul K. Strother.." See and for details.

    The first article listed above says the following.

    "The microfossil, discovered at Loch Torridon, contains two distinct cell types and could be the earliest example of complex multicellularity ever recorded, according to the researchers.

    The fossil offers new insight into the transition of single celled organisms to complex, multicellular animals. Modern single-celled holozoa include the most basal living animals and the fossil discovered shows an organism which lies somewhere between single cell and multicellular animals, or metazoa."

    The second article listed above says the following.

    ' “We have found a primitive spherical organism made up of an arrangement of two distinct cell types, the first step towards a complex multicellular structure, something which has never been described before in the fossil record.

    “The discovery of this new fossil suggests to us that the evolution of multicellular animals had occurred at least one billion years ago and that early events prior to the evolution of animals may have occurred in freshwater like lakes rather than the ocean.” '

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    "Scientists in Egypt have identified a new species of four-legged whale that lived around 43 million years ago." See and for details.

    The BBC article provides the following historical background. "The first whales are thought to have first evolved in South Asia around 50 million years ago. In 2011, a team of palaeontologists in Peru discovered a 43-million-year-old whale fossil with four legs, webbed feet and hooves."

    The NPR article says the following.

    "A team led by Egyptian scientists have dug up a 43 million-year-old fossil in the Sahara Desert in Egypt of a now-extinct amphibious four-legged whale.

    That's right, folks — a whale with legs. ...

    "We discovered how fierce and deadly its powerful jaws are capable of tearing a wide range of prey ... this whale was a god of death to most of the animals that lived in its area," Abdullah Gohar, one of the scientists, told Insider.

    The new whale is called Phiomicetus anubis, which the scientists named in part after Anubis, the canine-headed Egyptian god associated with mummification and the afterlife. It was likely a top predator at the time, similar to what a killer whale is today.

    Whales, it turns out, used to be "herbivorous, deer-like terrestrial mammals," the scientists write. Over the span of about 10 million years, whales turned into carnivorous creatures in the ocean. The discovery of the four-legged creature is part of that evolution."

    See also . It says the following.

    'CAIRO, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Scientists said on Wednesday they had discovered the 43 million-year-old fossil of a previously unknown amphibious four-legged whale species in Egypt that helps trace the transition of whales from land to sea.

    The newly discovered whale belongs to the Protocetidae, a group of extinct whales that falls in the middle of that transition, the Egyptian-led team of researchers said in a statement.

    Its fossil was unearthed from middle Eocene rocks in the Fayum Depression in Egypt's Western Desert -- an area once covered by sea that has provided a rich seam of discoveries showing the evolution of whales -- before being studied at Mansoura University Vertebrate Palaeontology Centre (MUVP).

    ... With rocks covering about 12 million years, discoveries in the Fayum Depression "range from semiaquatic crocodile-like whales to giant fully aquatic whales", said Mohamed Sameh of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, a co-author.'

  • Fisherman
    400 million years before the biological trait emerged in the first animals,

    400 trillion years—not million.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Fisherman, are you saying I made a misquote, or are you perhaps making a joke?

    My quote was by copy and paste of the EurekAlert! article, thus I did not make a typo regarding the "400 million" years. Furthermore, Earth is dated to about 4.6 billion (billion in the sense of thousand million) years old and the universe is currently dated to about 13.8 billion year old, thus there is no way the fossil could be 400 trillion years old.

  • mickbobcat

    The whole universe is only 14 billion years old so if you say trillions you don't know what you are talking about.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    For decades (probably even for more than 150 years) non-evolutionary biblical creationists have been saying there is no fossil evidence to show how giraffes got their long necks. I thus searched to see if there is such evidence I found that there is, though it looks like it wasn't recognized as evidence until the year 2015. The following are links to two news articles about the scientific discovery. I provide links to two articles because each article includes information not mentioned in the other article.



    The CBS News article says in part the following.

    'For years, there has been scant fossil evidence showing how the giraffe evolved to have such an admirably long neck. But now, the remains of a 7-million-year-old creature with a shorter neck provides proof that the giraffe's iconic feature evolved in stages, lengthening over time, a new study finds.

    The researchers are calling the remains of this ancient beast true "transitional" fossils, not only closing an evolutionary gap in the rise of Earth's tallest animals, but also providing concrete evidence of how one creature evolved into another.

    "We actually have an animal whose neck is intermediate [in length] -- it's a real missing link," said Nikos Solounias, a professor of anatomy at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) College of Osteopathic Medicine and the lead researcher on the study.

    The creature in question -- Samotherium major --lived during the Late Miocene in the forested areas of Eurasia, ranging from Italy to China, Solounias said.'

    The National Geographic article says in part the following.

    "Truly long-necked giraffes didn’t evolve until about 7.5 million years ago. Samotherium, Palaeotragus, Bohlinia, the extinct Giraffa sivalensis and the living Giraffa camelopardalis preserve enough transitional features to let Danowitz and colleagues reconstruct how this stretching occurred. It wasn’t simply a matter of drawing out their vertebrae as if they were in some sort of anatomical taffy pull. The front half of the neck vertebrae became elongated in Samotherium and Palaeotragus, generating forms intermediate between today’s Giraffa and their foreshortened predecessors. Then, within the last two millions years or so, the lineage leading up to the modern Giraffa elongated the back half of their neck vertebrae, giving them even more reach and making them literally at the top of their class."

    See also . It says something very important, namely the following. "The team’s analyses of bones from all three animals bolster that notion—and not just because the neck bones are of a length between the giraffe’s and the okapi’s. For example, ridges and other features that are prominent on the okapi’s neck bones and missing entirely on the giraffe’s are typically present but smaller on Samotherium’s, the researchers report online today in Royal Society Open Science."

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Is there fossil evidence (of transitional features) in support of the evolution of frogs from non-frogs? Yes!

    See . In part it says the following.

    "In 2008, Gerobatrachus hottoni, a temnospondyl with many frog- and salamander-like characteristics, was discovered in Texas. It dated back 290 million years and was hailed as a missing link, a stem batrachian close to the common ancestor of frogs and salamanders, consistent with the widely accepted hypothesis that frogs and salamanders are more closely related to each other (forming a clade called Batrachia) than they are to caecilians.[25][26] However, others have suggested that Gerobatrachus hottoni was only a dissorophoid temnospondyl unrelated to extant amphibians.[27]

    ... The earliest known amphibians that were more closely related to frogs than to salamanders are Triadobatrachus massinoti, from the early Triassic period of Madagascar (about 250 million years ago), and Czatkobatrachus polonicus, from the Early Triassic of Poland (about the same age as Triadobatrachus).[28] The skull of Triadobatrachus is frog-like, being broad with large eye sockets, but the fossil has features diverging from modern frogs. These include a longer body with more vertebrae. The tail has separate vertebrae unlike the fused urostyle or coccyx in modern frogs. The tibia and fibula bones are also separate, making it probable that Triadobatrachus was not an efficient leaper.[28]

    Be sure to visit the above mentioned web page of . See also . The latter says in part the following.

    "Triadobatrachus was 10 cm (3.9 in) long, and still retained many primitive characteristics, such as possessing at least 26 vertebrae, where modern frogs have only four to nine." It also says "It lived during the Early Triassic about 250 million years ago, in what is now Madagascar." It also says "It was first discovered in the 1930s ...."

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    "Australopithecus sediba Comfortably Walked on Two Legs, But Could Climb Like Ape" - see . The article says in the part the following.

    "The discovery also shows that like humans, Australopithecus sediba had only five lumbar vertebrae."

    'The authors concluded that Australopithecus sediba is a transitional form of ancient human relative and its spine is clearly intermediate in shape between those of modern humans (and Neanderthals) and great apes.

    “Issa walked somewhat like a human, but could climb like an ape,” Professor Berger said.'

    See also . The scientist who is the lead author of the science journal article article (at ) about the new fossil find for the species says the following.

    "To approach A. sediba’s evolutionary relationship to other hominins, character-based analyses of the whole body are needed, and we’re getting more and more of A. sediba every year. Given what this and other research has shown, I think it’s a candidate for a close relative of the genus Homo. Hopefully Issa’s skull was not destroyed by miners: recovering that and other body parts from both her and Karabo will go a long way in resolving the debate."

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    News article: "A study by the University of Haifa researchers claims not all genetic mutations of human genes are randomized, challenging neo-Darwinism" (see ). It in part says the following amazing thing.

    "For the past century, an assumption central to Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory is that mutations are random and accidental and that natural selection favors such accidents. In an article published in the scientific peer-reviewed journal Genome Research, researchers have found the first evidence of non-random mutations in human genes.

    Using a new and innovative method, the researchers - led by the University of Haifa's Prof. Adi Livnat - have managed to prove that the rate of generation of the human hemoglobin S (HbS) mutation which protects one from malaria is higher in people from Africa in contrast to people from Europe. In other words, the mutation is not random but rather exists preferentially within the population of Africa where it is more needed."

    ... ' "Contrary to the widely accepted expectations, the results supported the nonrandom pattern," the University of Haifa announced. "The HbS mutation originated de novo not only much faster than expected from random mutation but also much faster in the population (in sub-Saharan Africans as opposed to Europeans) and in the gene (in the beta-globin as opposed to the control delta-globin gene) where it is of adaptive significance."

    These results effectively contradicted the commonly-held random mutation belief held by Darwinists.

    “The results suggest that complex information that is accumulated in the genome through the generations impacts mutation, and therefore mutation-specific origination rates can respond in the long-term to specific environmental pressures,” said Prof. Livnat, whose study was funded by a grant given by the John Templeton Foundation. “Mutations may be generated nonrandomly in evolution after all, but not in the way previously conceived. We must study the internal information and how it affects mutation, as it opens the door to evolution being a far bigger process than previously conceived.” '

    This is extraordinary. Two weeks ago I really doing research in a large branch of local library about what are possibly the main causes of macroevolution and if it can happen rapidly. I was researching articles from the early 1980s (some of which I read from microfilm and others from digital online archives). In two of the articles a scientist (Peter Williamson) had meticulously examined numerous fossil layers and discovers numerous step by step transitional fossils, showing speciation taking place rapidly (compared to length of geologic times) and the environmentally stressful conditions which triggered it. I was reminded of it when I read the above article. The articles were from 1981.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    Besides the above article about a discovery by researchers at the University of Haifa there is an article about an earlier published study involving plant evolution. That earlier article is called "Study Challenges Evolutionary Theory That DNA Mutations Are Random: Findings Could Lead to Advances in Plant Breeding, Human Genetics" (see ). It says in part the following.

    ' “We always thought of mutation as basically random across the genome,” said Grey Monroe, an assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences who is lead author on the paper. “It turns out that mutation is very non-random and it’s non-random in a way that benefits the plant. It’s a totally new way of thinking about mutation.”

    ... Sequencing of those hundreds of Arabidopsis thaliana plants revealed more than 1 million mutations. Within those mutations a nonrandom pattern was revealed, counter to what was expected.

    ... Instead of randomness they found patches of the genome with low mutation rates. In those patches, they were surprised to discover an over-representation of essential genes, such as those involved in cell growth and gene expression.

    ... The scientists found that the way DNA was wrapped around different types of proteins was a good predictor of whether a gene would mutate or not. “It means we can predict which genes are more likely to mutate than others and it gives us a good idea of what’s going on,” Weigel said.'

    These findings are amazing!

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