We’re Going on a Fossil Hunt to Find a Herpes Virus

virus-blue-background

There is a very recent form of fossil hunting that I have gotten to partake in to some small extent, and I can do it while sitting in front of a computer screen! With some computer skills and some knowledge of animal genomes it isn’t difficult to join this hunt for fossils inside the genome of living organisms.

Testing The Creationist’s Hyper-evolution Orchard: Canines, Felines and Elephants

The YEC biblical evolution model.  Screen capture of a slide from Ham's presentation during the Ham/Nye debate Feb 4 2013.

Last week I pointed out that the Bible provides no support for Ken Ham’s contention that massive numbers of species have formed following their departure from Noah’s ark 4500 years ago (YEC Biblical Evolution: I Have A Book That Says Otherwise).  Now I’m following up with “observational” evidence from DNA sequences to test whether the […]

YEC Biblical Evolution? I Have a Book That Says Otherwise

one of my favorite strange fossil elephants.  Like many fossil species this one had two sets of tusks. One of the upper jaw and one on the lower jaw but in this case the lower jaw is greatly extented and the two lower tusks probably acted like shovels.  Image credit: Wired / Tomasz Jedrzejowski

Last week Ken Ham promoted a biblical evolution model to explain the diversity of life on Earth.   I have a book before me that provides compelling evidence that this model of evolution is wrong. That book is the Bible.  For those that follow the creation literature nothing that Ken Ham said last week in his […]

Canine Transmissible Tumors: Seeking Immortality By Becoming a Parasite

dog-breeds

Cancers are cells that have forgotten who they are supposed to be.  They become independent brats in the body, hogging resources and dividing uncontrollably.  The problem, from the cancers perspective of course, is that being a spoiled brat may bring short-term rewards, like lots of progeny and freedom from having to behave like the cell […]

Invoking Super-Speed Evolution: How to Squeeze 10,000+ Bird Species onto Noah’s Ark

Pictures of most of the living species of penguins. Young earth creationists consider these all to be members of the same "kind" and thus all of these evolved from a common ancestor.  Image credit: Wikipedia.

There are about 10,000 species of birds alive today.  Almost 200 additional species have gone extinct since the year 1500 and there are innumerable fossil species of birds in the geological column. One of the persistent challenges for modern young earth creationists is how to fit the diversity of life on the Noah’s ark.  Answers […]

They Have the Gene but Blood is Not Sweet Nectar to the Vampire Bat

vampire-bat

In my class yesterday I reviewed a paper selected by my students that explored the sweet tasting abilities of bats.  We learned that most, but not all, bats can taste sugar like other mammals.   I did not know much about mammalian taste receptors (that is one problems with letting students pick the topics!) and I […]

In Search of the Equine Common Ancestor – Horse Series Part III

donkey

As we saw in the last installment of this series, When is a Horse a Horse?, horse species today appear to represent divergent genetic units that naturally do not interbreed on a regular basis.  Therefore each of these lineages of horses is acting like a species as defined by the biological species concept.  This raises the […]

When is a Horse a Horse? The Species Definition Problem

horse-rock-art

In my introduction to the origin of horses I suggested that a horse is a horse of course, unless of course it isn’t a horse. But how do we know when we have stretched a horse beyond being a horse?   Although I talked about the definition of horses in the context of creationist’ theory, I […]

A Horse is a Horse, Unless of Course it Isn’t a Horse

horse-eocene-compared

Creationists are becoming more and more likely to view the origin of horse species and other large groups of similar species as the result as descent from a common ancestor albeit via mechanisms and at rates which may not be recognizable to evolutionary biologists. But where does does variation in a kind end and a new kind begin?

Progressive Creationism: A Whale of an Inference

killer-whale

I think it is safe to say that the average person has little appreciation for the diversity (eg. number of species) and the total numbers of whales in the world. What most people hear about whales is that there are some that are hunted to near extinction. This tends to create the impression that whales are rare animals. Yes, there are many rare and endangered species of whales but there there are many that are very abundant.

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