Category Archives: evolution

A four-legged snake

by Greg Mayer It has long been known that some snakes are two-legged, because many modern species have two legs– externally visible hind limbs– a fact we’ve noticed here at WEIT before. These small external legs, capped by keratinous claws, are supported internally by vestigial femurs and a vestigial pelvis. They are larger in males, […]

A d*g denies evolution

This was sent by Dan Dennett, who said that although it’s not great, it has its moments. And it does.

WEIT turned into videos

The MassComrehension site has begun making videos of WEIT, which I think is a distillation of my words from the book.  There are two videos put up so far at the WEIT Videobook site.  The makers are eager for feeback, so if you’ve watched either or both of these, please put your comments below. Part I: […]

Inbreeding depression in man

by Greg Mayer In a paper soon to appear in Nature, Peter K. Joshi and a cast of thousands show that inbreeding can make you shorter, ‘dumber’, and less likely to succeed in school, but not a blowhard. In a study of hundreds of thousands of people from dozens of populations from all over the […]

Cameroon lake cichlids probably did not speciate sympatrically: Part 2

Yesterday I gave the background necessary for understanding a new paper in Evolution by Christopher H. Martin et al. (reference and link below). Today I’ll briefly describe the paper’s findings—findings that cast doubt on one of our premier examples of sympatric speciation. That example was the existence of assemblages of cichlid fish in small volcanic crater […]

Cameroon lake cichlids probably did not speciate sympatrically: Part 1

I will break up my discussion of the paper below into two parts that will appear today and tomorrow. This is because I want to avoid a single long post that may put off readers. I give references to all the papers mentioned at the bottom of the post. All evolutionists agree, and the data show, that […]

Evolution: 550 myr in 1 minute

Here’s a video of the progress of evolution beginning with microbes and leading to humans, and then in reverse (note that it sees evolution as a progression towards H. sapiens, which is an anthropocentric way to see it; you could, for example, show the same animation culminating in a squirrel, or better yet a cat). Nevertheless, […]

How many species of tropical trees are there?

I’m not going to get into the long-debated issue of why the tropics are so much richer in species than the temperate zones (theories include physical disturbance, coevolutionary pressures, higher temperature that accelerates evolution, and so on). There is no consensus, but let me just present some data showing the huge difference, data collected in […]

Cooperative hunting in groupers and moray eels

Here’s a short video from Nature that isn’t based on a single research paper, but on the continuing work of Redouan Bshary, a biologist in Switzerland who studies interspecific communication and behavior in fish.  The article itself, a summary of Bshary’s work written by Alison Abbott, is called “Animal behaviour: Inside the cunning, caring and greedy minds […]

Putative amphibian fossil shows “broken” bone; said to be first indication of terrestriality

Now this paper is way above my pay grade, as it involves all kinds of complicated scanning, computer, and mathematical analysis of a “fishapod” fossil. The conclusion, from a new paper in PLoS ONE by Peter Bishop et al., is that the fossil, Ossinodus sp., shows a callus on its radius (one of the two lower […]

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