Tag Archives: evolution

Turkey bans teaching of evolution – but science is more than a belief system

Turkey bans teaching of evolution – but science is more than a belief system

In the US there have been many attempts to expunge evolution from the school curriculm or demand that creationism – the idea that all life was uniquely created by God – is given equal treatment in science textbooks. While all these have failed, the government in Turkey has now banned evolution from its national curriculum. […] … learn more→

What do aliens look like? The clue is in evolution

What do aliens look like? The clue is in evolution

Speculating about what aliens look like has kept children, film producers and scientists amused for decades. If they exist, will extra terrestrials turn out to look similar to us, or might they take a form beyond our wildest imaginings? The answer to this question really depends on how we think evolution works at the deepest […] … learn more→

Evolution vs creation: teachers try to balance faith and their lessons

Evolution vs creation: teachers try to balance faith and their lessons

Some faiths reject the idea of evolution. Their followers adhere instead to creationist views – a god or many gods created the earth and all its creatures. These divergent views have led to conflict in schools around the world and even resulted in a number of court cases. South Africa is home to a number […] … learn more→

Life on Earth still favours evolution over creationism

Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, first published in 1859, offered a bold new explanation for how animals and plants diversified and still serves as the foundation underpinning all medical and biological research today. But the theory remains under attack by creationists in various parts of the world, particularly the US, Turkey, Indonesia and the Middle […] … learn more→

How small birds evolved from giant meat eating dinosaurs

Spectacular transitional fossils, many from northern China, provide overwhelming evidence that dinosaurs evolved into birds and thus didn’t all perish when the deadly meteorite struck at the end of the Cretaceous period. We now know that many bipedal, meat-eating dinosaurs (theropods) – including relatives of T. rex and Velociraptor – were adorned with a variety […] … learn more→

Canine and able: how dogs made us human

What role have dogs played in human evolution? Woof … now there’s a question. Anthropologist Pat Shipman, in a recent issue of American Scientist, suggests dogs gave our human ancestors an advantage over Neanderthals when they arrived in Europe. Dogs, she argues, made a real difference to the success of the hunt. They respond to […] … learn more→

Not a one-way street: Evolution shapes environment

Environmental change is the selective force that preserves adaptive traits in organisms and is a primary driver of evolution. However, it is less well known that evolutionary change in organisms also trigger fundamental changes in the environment. Yale University researchers found a prime example of this evolutionary feedback loop in a few lakes in Connecticut, […] … learn more→

Earlier relatives may have climbed out of family tree

The first study into rarely-documented ground nest-building by wild chimpanzees has offered new clues about the ancient transition of early hominins – our “human-like” ancestors – from sleeping in trees to sleeping on the ground. While most apes build nests in trees, the study, published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, focused on a […] … learn more→

The discovery of fire: initial steps toward anthropogenic climate change

The evidence for a rapid shift in state of the terrestrial atmosphere-ocean system over the last two centuries (see figure 1) requires a deep time perspective, beyond events of the day. Tracing the original blueprints of anthropogenic effects on the terrestrial environments takes us back at least a million years to the time when – […] … learn more→

The answer to the riddle of which came first

Dinosaurs, the animal group that includes birds and their ancestors, laid eggs. This means that the ancestors of birds laid eggs long before chickens came about. Because we know so much about the evolution of life on Earth, this answer now seems obvious. But without fossils, and without understanding how evolution works, we could have […] … learn more→