Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Feathered Duck-Sized Dino-Era Bird Found in China

Image courtesy of Dongyu Hu et al., 2018. A bony-crested Jurassic dinosaur with evidence of iridescent plumage highlights complexity in early paravian evolution. Nature Communications 9, 217.





Joel Kontinen

It has asymmetrical feathers like modern birds. It is iridescence and colourful, just like today’s hummingbirds.

And Caihong juji ('rainbow with the big crest'), made public yesterday in a paper in the journal Nature Communications, is assumed to be 161 million years old but as its preservation is “incredible” the age might well be nothing more than wishful thinking.

Modern pigment has previously been reported in a ”150-million-year” old bird fossil, and birds are known to have flown over the heads of dinosaurs.

The authors describe C. juji as a dinosaur, though it probably looked even less like a dino than Archaeopteryx, the “earliest” true bird, which is believed to be or “10 million years” younger.

There is something fishy about its recent past. Discovered by a farmer in China's Hebei Province, the Paleontological Museum of Liaoning bought it in 2014.

In biblical archaeology, objects found by amateurs are almost always dismissed as frauds.

But when it has to do with evolution, the standard is obviously much lower.

C. juji has some mosaic-like features and some unique ones, such as asymmetrical feathers in its tail.

However, these would hardly make it into a dinosaur.

Source:

Geggel, Laura. 2018. Little 'Rainbow' Dinosaur Discovered by Farmer in China. Live Science (15 January).

Monday, 15 January 2018

DNA Repair Mechanism Challenges Darwinian Orthodoxy

New research featuring Arabidopsis thalianachallenges Neo-Darwinism. Image courtesy of Marco Roepers, CC BY-SA 3.0.





Joel Kontinen

A new paper published in the journal Genome Research challenges Darwinian orthodoxy.

Organisms are programmed with a feature called “DNA mismatch repair (MMR). It corrects mutations that arise during the replication of the genome during cell division.

While studying the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, University of Oxford researchers found out that the MMR prefers to repair genes rather than other areas of the genome.

A news release published by Oxford University states:

The study has important implications for human health, and is particularly useful for understanding the changes that occur in cells during the development of the tumors that underlie cancers. MMR-deficiency predisposes cells to become tumorous, presumably because MMR-deficient cells lack the gene protection that reduces the risk of mutation in the genes that normally suppress tumor formation.

Basically, DNA correction mechanisms falsify Neo-Darwinism. There are too many intelligent solutions in cells.

Source:

University of Oxford. 2018. Cells protect genes more than rest of genome. (5 January).

Saturday, 13 January 2018

"Perfectly Preserved" Scales Show the Non-Evolution of Butterflies


Butterflies have resisted evolution for aeons.




Joel Kontinen

Butterflies are amazing creatures. While they tend to be tiny, they have superbly designed features that cause them to be excellent navigators.

What is more, the are a real headache for evolutionists, due to their non-evolution.

Darwinists used to believe that butterflies appeared “130 million years” ago, along with flowering plants but new research pushes back the date by “70 million years.”

Scientists found fossilised butterfly scales the size of a speck of dust inside ancient rock from Germany,” BBC News reports.

They used acid to dissolve ancient rocks, leaving behind small fragments, including ‘perfectly preserved’ scales that covered the wings of early moths and butterflies.”

And there were more surprises for evolutionists:

Intriguingly, they show that some of the moths and butterflies belonged to a group still alive today that have long straw-like tongues for sucking up nectar.”

Source:

Briggs, Helen. 2018. Meet the butterflies from 200 million years ago. BBC News (11 January).


Thursday, 11 January 2018

Soft Eye Tissue Found in "120-Million-Year-Old" Bird

The early bird might have looked like this. Image courtesy of Nobu Tamura, CC BY 3.0.




Joel Kontinen

A sparrow-sized dino-era bird found in the Liaoning Province in China could most probably see in colour.

An analysis of the 120-million-year-old bird revealed that the creature's eye tissues — more specially, its rods and cones — had fossilized in remarkable condition,” an article on Live Science suggests.

The article goes on to say:

These oil droplets are located on the tip of the color-sensing cone cells and act like a color filter on a camera lens. For example, red-colored oil droplets would cover red-sensing cone cells, allowing birds (as well as turtles and possibly dinosaurs) to see the color red.”

What is more, the “oil droplets were similar in size to those seen in living birds,” i.e. no evolution has occurred in “120 million years,” prompting Baochun Zhou, an associate professor of paleontology at the Shanghai Natural History Museum, to say the discovery "indicates that the complex optical system of cone cells had already been achieved by 120 million years ago."

There are serious problems with radiometric dating, so it might be wise not to be too dogmatic about dates that go into millions of years.

Some dino-age birds looked like today’s birds, and previous research has shown that an early bird preened its feathers, just like modern ones.


Source:

Geggel, Laura. 2018. This Bird 'Eyeball' Survived 120 Million Years. Live Science (11 January).

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Ice Age People Walked as Well as We Do

Homo ergaster plays a major role in a recent paper on human locomotion. Image courtesy of Luna04, CC BY 2.5.





Joel Kontinen

New research published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology by scientists at the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH) discloses that ice age (“Pleistocene”) people walked as effectively as we do.

True to their Darwinian underpinnings, the researchers chose to call the study subjects Pleistocene hominins.

The paper falsified a key evolutionary assumption, i.e. with the passing of millions of years, purported human ancestors would gradually evolve to become more efficient walkers.

However, as an article in Science Daily puts it, “the walk of Pleistocene hominins was no less efficient energetically than that of current humans.”

Marco Vidal Cordasco, the lead author of the paper, elaborates: “The changes observed in the width of the pelvis and the length of the lower limbs did not reduce the cost of walking sufficiently to offset the rise in energy cost caused by the increased body mass.”

Previous research has shown that human size has not increased in “1.5 million years” and the recent discovery of “5.7 million year” old footprints on Crete basically falsifies the entire Darwinian scenario and draws suspicion on radiometric dating.

The fate of our purported ancestors is a big disappointment for Darwinians: Nutcracker man lived in a tree, Lucy dropped from a tree and has a baboon’s bone, Taung Child fails as an ancestor and H. naledi is too young.


Source:

CENIEH. 2017. The locomotion of hominins in the Pleistocene was just as efficient as that of current humans. Science Daily. (15 December).

Monday, 8 January 2018

California’s Frozen Lizards Are Designed to Withstand Icy Weather

Image courtesy of The Photographer, Public domain.




Joel Kontinen

Frozen iguanas have been falling from trees in Florida during the recent cold spell. While these lizards might look as though they’re dead, most of them probably aren’t and they will revive once it gets warmer.

Like many other ectotherms or cold-blooded animals, iguanas conserve energy by slowing down their metabolism.

This is a designed feature that allows them to cope in harsh climates.

Most birds can walk on ice and snow without getting cold feet due to their ingenious design, and penguins make their own anti-freeze.

Source:

Specktor, Brandon. 2018. Watch for Falling Iguanas! Bomb Cyclone Drops Frozen Lizards. Live Science (5 January).


Sunday, 7 January 2018

Treeshrew Breaks Evolution’s Rules

Tupaia glis. Image courtesy of Stavenn, CC BY 2.5.




Joel Kontinen

Evolution is supposed to be blind, but for some reasons it is assumed to have rules that determine the size and distribution of animals.

The island rule asserts that small mammals living on islands will on average be bigger than those on the mainland.

Bergmann's rule states that animals living in colder climates will in general be bigger than those living in warmer climates.

The problem with these rules is that not all animals follow it. A paper published in the journal Ecology and Evolution shows that the common treeshrew (Tupaia glis) breaks both rules.

An article posted on Phys.org states:

In order to determine treeshrew body size from populations on the Malay Peninsula and 13 offshore islands, the researchers measured 260 specimens collected over the past 122 years and housed in six natural history museums in Europe and North America. They tested multiple variables, analyzing how island size, distance from the mainland, maximum sea depth between the mainland and the islands, and latitude relate to body size in the treeshrew populations. They found that the island rule and Bergmann's rule, which are rarely tested together, do not apply to common treeshrews.

For Darwinists, the results were much worse:

“The study revealed no size difference between mainland and island populations. It also revealed that treeshrews invert Bergmann's rule: individuals from lower latitudes [i.e., in warmer climates] tended to be larger than those located at higher latitudes [i.e., in colder climates].”

Many other animals, for instance, snow voles, ticks, star-nosed moles, deep sea toads and a singing fish, also defy Darwinian expectations.

Source:

Cummings, Mike. 2018. Study shows treeshrews break evolutionary 'rules'. Phys.org (5 January).