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Keyword: spontaneouslifers

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  • Fossil is 'earliest tree-dweller' [ Suminia getmanovi ]

    08/04/2009 1:40:23 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies · 565+ views
    BBC ^ | Wednesday, July 29, 2009 | Victoria Gill
    A 260-million-year-old fossil is the oldest known tree-dwelling creature, according to researchers. Scientists described the finding as the earliest evidence in the fossil record of an "opposable thumb"... they described how the animal's elongated hands and fingers would have helped it to grip and climb... The fossilised creature, named Suminia getmanovi, has been dated to late Permian period, 100 million years earlier than the first known tree-dwelling mammal. It was first discovered in Russia in 1994. But for lead author Jorg Frobisch, from the Field Museum in Chicago, US, said this study was the first opportunity to examine its whole...
  • Defenders of the Faith: Scientists who blast religion are hurting their own cause

    07/21/2009 2:09:21 AM PDT · by Ethan Clive Osgoode · 12 replies · 755+ views
    Newsweek ^ | Jul 14, 2009 | Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum
    As soon as Francis Collins, an evangelical Christian geneticist who headed up the pioneering Human Genome Project during the 1990s, was floated as the possible new director of the National Institutes of Health—he was officially named to the post on Wednesday—the criticisms began flying. Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago, for one, said Collins is too public with his faith. Collins wrote a book called The Language of God, frequently talks about his religious conversion during medical school, and recently launched the BioLogos Foundation, which declares, "We believe that faith and science both lead to truth about...
  • Creationism piece no way to honor Darwin's birthday (Letter to the editor of the Boston Globe)

    07/20/2009 8:07:23 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 23 replies · 1,363+ views
    Boston Globe ^ | 7/20/2009 | Steven Pinker
    SHAME ON you for publishing two creationist op-eds in two years from the Discovery Institute, a well-funded propaganda factory that aims to sow confusion about evolution. Virtually no scientist takes “intelligent design’’ seriously, and in the famous Dover, Pa., trial in 2005, a federal court ruled that it is religion in disguise. The judge referred to the theory’s “breathtaking inanity,’’ which is a fine description of Stephen Meyer’s July 15 op-ed “Jefferson’s support for intelligent design.’’ Well, yes, Thomas Jefferson died 33 years before Darwin published “The Origin of Species.’’ And Meyer’s idea that the DNA code implies a code...
  • 'Early bird' project really gets the worm

    07/15/2009 1:22:35 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 25 replies · 534+ views
    PhysOrg ^ | June 26th, 2008 | Louisiana State University
    For example, we now know that: Birds adapted to the diverse environments several distinct times because many birds that now live on water (such as flamingos, tropicbirds and grebes) did not evolve from a different waterbird group, and many birds that now live on land (such as turacos, doves, sandgrouse and cuckoos) did not evolve from a different landbird group.Similarly, distinctive lifestyles (such as nocturnal, raptorial and pelagic, i.e., living on the ocean or open seas) evolved several times. For example, contrary to conventional thinking, colorful, daytime hummingbirds evolved from drab nocturnal nightjars; falcons are not closely related to hawks...
  • Breaking the Cease-Fire Between Science and Religion

    07/09/2009 6:45:37 AM PDT · by Zionist Conspirator · 50 replies · 1,448+ views
    The Jewish Daily Forward ^ | 7/8/'09 | David Klinghoffer
    What is portrayed as the debate between religion and science feels increasingly like watching the very bitter dissolution of a doomed marriage. The relationship started out all roses and kisses, proceeded to doubts and regrets, then fights and silences, a mutually agreed separation, and finally to curses and maledictions: “I wish you were dead!” In a recent Wall Street Journal opinion article, cosmologist Lawrence Krauss declared “the inconsistency of belief in an activist god with modern science.” Krauss’s essay was the latest eruption of a vituperative argument going on in the scientific community over “accommodationism.” Accommodationists hold that even atheists...
  • Was Universe 1.0 Destroyed by Dark Matter?

    07/07/2009 1:06:35 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 51 replies · 1,851+ views
    Daily Galaxy ^ | 7/07/09
    Did dark matter destroy the universe? You might be looking around at the way things "exist" and thinking "No", but we're talking about ancient history. Three hundred million years after the start of the universe, things had finally cooled down enough to form hydrogen atoms out of all the protons and electrons that were zipping around - only to have them all ripped up again around the one billion year mark. Why? Most believe that the first quasars, active galaxies whose central black holes are the cosmic-ray equivalent of a firehose, provided the breakup energy, but some Fermilab scientists have...
  • Talking about Geckos

    07/06/2009 8:13:56 PM PDT · by JoeProBono · 24 replies · 1,056+ views
    delcotimes ^ | Laura Wiseley,
    Forget that little guy selling insurance. Geckos are a lot more than that. Need proof? Just visit the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia from now through Sept. 7 and check out “Geckos: Tails to Toepads,” an interactive exhibit featuring dozens of the small, agile – and surprisingly noisy – creatures. “Geckos are among the most diverse and interesting of all reptiles,” said Dr. Aaron Bauer, a Villanova University professor and an Academy research associate who is a world expert on geckos. “This exhibit will give people a good look at their unique specializations and an appreciation for why they...
  • Ancient Volcanic Eruptions Caused Global Mass Extinction

    07/01/2009 9:28:15 PM PDT · by george76 · 12 replies · 710+ views
    ScienceDaily ^ | May 30, 2009
    A previously unknown giant volcanic eruption that led to global mass extinction 260 million years ago has been uncovered by scientists at the University of Leeds. The eruption in the Emeishan province of south-west China unleashed around half a million cubic kilometres of lava, covering an area 5 times the size of Wales, and wiping out marine life around the world. Unusually, scientists were able to pinpoint the exact timing of the eruption and directly link it to a mass extinction event in the study published in Science. This is because the eruptions occurred in a shallow sea – meaning...
  • Miniature carnivore dinosaurs roamed North America (the size of a small chicken)

    03/17/2009 2:16:07 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 30 replies · 1,585+ views
    AFP on Yahoo ^ | 3/17/09 | Jean-Louis Santini
    WASHINGTON (AFP) – Meat-eating dinosaurs the size of a small chicken roamed areas of North America 75 million years ago, according to research by Canadian paleontologists. The mini-dinosaur, similar in appearance to the Velociraptor, is named Hesperonychus elizabethae and is the smallest carnivorous dinosaur known to have lived in North America. "Hesperonychus is currently the smallest dinosaur known from North America," said University of Calgary paleontologist Nick Longrich. "Its discovery just emphasizes how little we actually know, and it raises the possibility that there are even smaller ones out there." Longrich, together with University of Alberta paleontologist Philip Currie, are...
  • Burmese Fossil Indicates Apes Arose in Asia, Not Africa

    07/01/2009 2:03:25 PM PDT · by james500 · 20 replies · 830+ views
    AP ^ | 7/1/2009
    Fossils recently discovered in Burma could prove that the common ancestors of humans, monkeys and apes evolved from primates in Asia, rather than Africa, researchers contend in a study released Wednesday. ... The pieces of 38 million-year-old jawbones and teeth found near Bagan in central Burma in 2005 show typical characteristics of primates, said Dr. Chris Beard, a paleontologist at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh and a member of the team that found the fossils. "When we found it, we knew we had a new type of primate and basically what kind of primate it was," Beard...
  • Ads for Atheism Appear on Manhattan Buses

    06/26/2009 7:52:05 AM PDT · by tlb · 36 replies · 1,040+ views
    New York Times ^ | June 25, 2009, | Daniel E. Slotnik
    An Atheist Bus Campaign has arrived in New York. The ads, which say “You don’t have to believe in God to be a moral and ethical person,” underscored by the URL for the New York City Atheists Inc. Web site, will appear on about 20 city buses. Ken Bronstein, the president of New York City Atheists, a New York affiliate of American Atheists, planned the commercials. He said the posters will only run on Manhattan bus lines, and some members of his organization had already noticed them. The ads will remain on buses for about a month and will be...
  • Extinct giant elephant skeleton discovered in Indonesia

    06/25/2009 3:29:09 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies · 1,412+ views
    Times Online ^ | Tuesday, June 9, 2009 | Sophie Tedmanson
    The accidental death of an elephant which had become bogged in mud 200,000 years ago led to the perfect preservation of its skeleton -- and a remarkable scientific discovery... the skeleton of the prehistoric ancestor to the modern Asian elephant which was fossilised in an abandoned sand quarry in East Java, Indonesia. The ancient bones were discovered after land collapsed at the sand quarry on the Indonesian island, adjacent to the Solo River, which killed two men in April. Researchers from the University of Wollongong in Australia and the Geological Survey Institute spent four weeks excavating the bones of the...
  • Humans Weren't Always 'So Special,' Expert Says

    06/25/2009 10:48:53 AM PDT · by decimon · 15 replies · 579+ views ^ | Jun 25, 2009 | Unknown
    THURSDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- A 54-million-year-old skull has yielded the first detailed images of a primitive primate brain. The 1.5-inch-long skull was from an animal species called Ignacius graybullianus, part of a group of primates known as plesiadapiforms. They evolved in the 10 million years after dinosaurs disappeared from the Earth.
  • Rabbit-Size Elephant Ancestor Found -- Oldest Known

    06/25/2009 10:10:39 AM PDT · by JoeProBono · 53 replies · 2,395+ views
    nationalgeographic ^ | June 23, 2009 | Mark Anderson
    After the dinosaurs perished, life on Earth didn't take long to bounce back, a new study suggests. A newfound 60-million-year-old creature called Eritherium azzouzorum—the oldest known elephant ancestor—bolsters the case that whole new orders of mammals were already around less than 6 million years after global catastrophe ended the age of reptiles some 65.5 million years ago. Paleontologist Emmanuel Gheerbrant discovered the rabbit-size proto-elephant's skull fragments in a basin 60 miles (100 kilometers) east of Casablanca, Morocco. Elephant ancestors, he said, now join the likes of rodents and early primates as some of the first known mammals to walk the...
  • The World's Largest Fossil Wilderness (Coal mine)

    06/23/2009 5:28:07 AM PDT · by decimon · 45 replies · 1,329+ views
    Smithsonian ^ | July 2009 | Guy Gugliotta
    Finding a fossil in a coal mine is no big deal. Coal deposits, after all, are petrified peat swamps, and peat is made from decaying plants, which leave their imprints in mud and clay as it hardens into shale stone. But it was a different thing entirely when John Nelson and Scott Elrick, geologists with the Illinois State Geological Survey, examined the Riola and Vermilion Grove coal mines in eastern Illinois. Etched into ceilings of the mine shafts is the largest intact fossil forest ever seen—at least four square miles of tropical wilderness preserved 307 million years ago. That's when an...
  • Indonesian elephant fossil opens window to past

    06/22/2009 6:36:37 PM PDT · by Jet Jaguar · 3 replies · 380+ views
    AP via Breitbart ^ | June 22, 2009 | NINIEK KARMINI
    BANDUNG, Indonesia (AP) - Indonesian scientists are reconstructing the largest, most complete skeleton of a prehistoric giant elephant ever found in the tropics, a finding that may offer new clues into the largely mysterious origins of its modern Asian cousin. The prehistoric elephant is believed to have been submerged in quicksand shortly after dying on a riverbed in Java around 200,000 years ago. Its bones—almost perfectly preserved—were discovered by chance in March. The animal stood four meters (13-feet) tall, was five meters (16-feet) long and weighed more than 10 tons. It was considerably larger than the great Asian mammals now...
  • Atheism, for Good Reason, Fears Questions (Temple of Darwin atheists at war with theistic evos?)

    06/20/2009 6:18:21 PM PDT · by GodGunsGuts · 143 replies · 2,633+ views
    Discovery Institute ^ | June 19, 2009 | Dr. Michael Egnor
    Atheism, for Good Reason, Fears Questions --snip-- That theists and open-minded agnostics and atheists on the pro-Darwinist side of this debate are finally engaging the same fundamentalist atheist dogma that intelligent design proponents have engaged for several decades is a good sign. Fundamentalist atheists are of course fighting back ferociously, because they understand, as perhaps the accomodationists don’t, the profound implications of an understanding of the natural world that is not causally closed. Teleology is obvious in nature. Atheists and materialists intrinsically deny the reality of teleology-- Aristotelian final causation-- in nature, yet nothing in the natural world can be...
  • The 'Birds Come First' hypothesis of dinosaur evolution

    06/15/2009 6:27:50 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies · 718+ views
    Tetrapod Zoology ^ | June 8, 2009 | Darren Naish
    Here, we look at a rather different proposal: the decidedly non-standard, non-mainstream Birds Come First (or BCF) hypothesis proposed by George Olshevsky. Rightly or wrongly, BCF has never been discussed in the technical literature (I have at least alluded to it in historiographical articles (Naish 2000a, b)), and all of George's articles on it have been in the 'grey' or popular literature (Olshevsky 1991, 1994, 2001a, b). Thanks, predominantly, to his activity on the dinosaur mailing list (a popular discussion list for dinosaur aficionados and researchers), George's BCF hypothesis was once well known and much discussed, and perhaps considered seriously...
  • Discovering a more precise age of the universe

    06/13/2009 12:04:51 PM PDT · by OldNavyVet · 37 replies · 1,069+ views
    Los Angeles Times ^ | June 13, 2009 | John Johnson Jr.
    Wendy Freedman, director of the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, and two colleagues were named this month as recipients of the $500,000 Gruber Prize, one of the world's top awards in the field of cosmology. The Freedman team's work helped scientists to arrive at the currently accepted age of the universe: 13.7 billion years.