Mind and Cosmos
Why am I conscious of my purpose?
The "Cambrian explosion" is a term used to describe the abrupt appearance in the fossil record of major animal phyla, without intermediate forms in lower layers. This pattern of abrupt appearance can be observed for many groups of organisms, including crinoids (sea lilies).
Fossilized crane fly eyes discovered to be calcified and have melanin
Ancient Near Eastern views should be considered part of the history of the idea of evolution. The biblical Creation account, in describing the divine actions through which God actually brought the cosmos into existence, was likely deconstructing the alternative theories or speculations of origins available in the Ancient Near East. Consequently, the biblical narrative can be used as well to deconstruct contemporary cosmogonies and evolution. This article was originally published on Perspective Digest, v.24/3.
Is a recent fossil found in Peru evidence for transitional forms in an evolutionary sequence?
The abrupt appearance of trilobites in Cambrian strata and their absence in Precambrian sediments is a real feature of the rock record and not due to failure of preservation in Precambrian rocks.
A newly described Cambrian locality in China has added more than 50 new species to our knowledge.
Confirmation that fathers may sometimes pass mitochondrial DNA to their children violates the assumptions used to calculate the age of the most recent female common ancestor of all living humans. Published in Origins v. 21, n. 2.
A fossil bird recovered from Cretaceous lake deposits in China shows preservation of some soft tissues, including a pair of lungs that appear to have functioned in a way similar to those of living birds.
The Yellowstone "fossil forest" has many layers of volcanic ash. Trace element analysis of these layers reveals they derive from about four volcanic sources, and the layers from different sources are interlaced, implying contemporaneous eruptions of the different sources. Published in Origins n. 65.
An appeal, by Dr. Leonard Brand, for more original research, publications, and review papers to present a coherent model for the interpretation of the Yellowstone fossil forests that would bring it to the attention of the geological community. Published in Origins n. 65.
This post complements an article that was written in 2014. Since then, there have been some interesting developments in the area of Triassic pterosaurs that are worth mentioning, the most important being the recent description by Britt et al. (2018) of a Triassic pterosaur from the Nugget Sandstone of Utah.
During one of my frequent visits to the office of my high school headmaster, his individual tutelage yielded a life lesson that I’ve never forgotten. His exact words were, “You think you’re right!” Of course I thought I was right, wouldn’t anyone who thought they were wrong change their mind and then immediately think they are right? Now that I’m an adult biologist, I still think that I’m right. Inevitably…
Archaeopteryx is arguably the most famous fossil ever discovered. It has a mixture of bird-like and reptile-like traits, and was first reported only two years after Charles Darwin published his book, The Origin of Species. Since then, another eleven Archaeopteryx specimens have been recovered from the limestones near Solnhofen, Germany.
“You are dust, and to dust you shall return.” This verse from Genesis 3 captures very well the fate of beautifully designed organisms after the entrance of sin into the world. But how long does it take for the organic molecules we are made of to break down after death? In general, the longer the time from death, the larger the amount of decay that should be observed. This is particularly true for soft…