General Comments and Questions – January 2010

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14 comments to General Comments and Questions – January 2010

  • Randy Isaac

    The current issue of Science has an intriguing topic. Would one of you paleontologists on this blog be so kind as to put this new work in perspective in plain English for the rest of us? What is the significance?
    Here is the abstract:
    Science 29 January 2010:
    Vol. 327. no. 5965, pp. 571 – 574
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1182143

    A Basal Alvarezsauroid Theropod from the Early Late Jurassic of Xinjiang, China
    Jonah N. Choiniere,1,* Xing Xu,2 James M. Clark,1 Catherine A. Forster,1 Yu Guo,2 Fenglu Han2

    The fossil record of Jurassic theropod dinosaurs closely related to birds remains poor. A new theropod from the earliest Late Jurassic of western China represents the earliest diverging member of the enigmatic theropod group Alvarezsauroidea and confirms that this group is a basal member of Maniraptora, the clade containing birds and their closest theropod relatives. It extends the fossil record of Alvarezsauroidea by 63 million years and provides evidence for maniraptorans earlier in the fossil record than Archaeopteryx. The new taxon confirms extreme morphological convergence between birds and derived alvarezsauroids and illuminates incipient stages of the highly modified alvarezsaurid forelimb.

  • Richard Blinne

    Interesting study on altruism in chimpanzees, this time in the wild. There has been some evidence of true altruism in a previous study but this was in capitivity and the thinking was that they may have picked it up from humans. True altruism is doing good for someone else with no expectation of reward. See the following on the previous study: Warneken F, Hare B, Melis AP, Hanus D, Tomasello M, 2007 Spontaneous Altruism by Chimpanzees and Young Children. PLoS Biol 5(7): e184. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050184

  • Charles Austerberry

    The link below takes you to where Cornelius Hunter seems to claim that prestin gene sequences provide evidence against evolution but (perhaps) for intelligent design. He and I had a short dialogue via the comments.

  • David Wallace

    Has anybody read:
    Dr Jonathan Sarfati is already the author of several influential critiques of evolution—books that wonderfully show the great superiority of a creation world-view. His trademark devastating logic and breadth of scientific knowledge was amply demonstrated in his first book Refuting Evolution—it justifiably became a creationist best-seller. Now Sarfati has released his finest yet—a point-by-point refutation of the very best Dawkin’s has to offer. It’s called The Greatest Hoax on Earth? Refuting Dawkins on Evolution.”
    Sounds way over blown to me.

January 2010
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