Were you impressed by National Geographic's Archaeoraptor in their November '99 issue? I think a lot of people were. Did you know it was a fake? Here is an article written in USA Today:
Dinosaur-bird link smashed in fossil flap
By Tim Friend, USA TODAY
The "missing link" dinosaur-bird featured by National Geographic magazine in November is a fake.
Archaeoraptor, the unofficial name of the fossil, is actually two animals pieced together either as an honest mistake made by its discoverers in China or as a breathtaking forgery. The composite, on display at the National Geographic Society in Washington until last week, consists of a birdlike upper torso and the tail and feet of a small raptor. The magazine described it as a "true missing link in the complex chain that connects dinosaurs and birds."
The specimen, smuggled into the USA from China, was found at a gem show last year in Tucson by Stephen Czerkas, owner of the Dinosaur Museum in Monticello, Utah. He purchased it for $80,000 and made a deal with National Geographic to study and publicize it and ultimately return it to China.
How National Geographic finds itself at the center of a scientific embarrassment is a tale as layered as the 120-million-year-old sediment from which the fossil reportedly was unearthed.
"Assuming that all the evidence is in and it is a composite, not since I've been editor has anything happened like this," National Geographic editor Bill Allen told USA TODAY. "At any time prior to publication, if we had been informed of any problem at all, we would have yanked (the article)."
The composite nature of the fossil was not detected by the magazine's team of scientists, and a scientific paper that was submitted to both Science and Nature was never published. As a result, Geographic was on its own with no independent review of the fossil.
Allen says he was notified Dec. 20 by a Chinese doctoral student and member of the Geographic team that the fossil was not authentic. The society modified text on the public display to say questions had been raised about the fossil's origins. National Geographic will publish a correction in its March issue.
But Storrs Olson, curator of birds at the Smithsonian Institution's Natural History Museum and an outspoken skeptic of the bird-dinosaur link, says he warned the magazine in November, when the article was published, that there were serious problems with the fossil. He says he was ignored.
"The problem is, at some point the fossil was known by Geographic to be a fake, and that information was not revealed," Olson says.
RANDY SCHOLFIELD: ID THEORY WASN'T READY FOR PRIME TIME
TOPEKA - Based on its first day, I think it is safe to say that the Kansas State Board of Education's evolution trial will not go down as a seminal event in modern science.
Or a shining moment for the state's image.
But Thursday's hearing lived up to advance billing as a media event.
Outside the hall, a couple of blocks away, a ragged-looking group of Fred Phelps disciples carried signs saying "God Hates Fags" and even "God Hates You."
The small child holding the latter sign didn't seem to mean it too personally, though. I hoped.
The pickets might have been the day's most convincing argument against evolution.
The small auditorium in Memorial Hall was crowded; everywhere I turned I found myself in a kill zone of pointed video cameras and zoom lenses.
About half the seats were taken by national media from around the country (National Public Radio, The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, ABC's "Nightline") and from as far away as England and France.
ID's big moment
John Calvert, a director of the Intelligent Design Network and architect of this event, was thoroughly enjoying the attention. He grinned and guffawed and seemed to sense that this was ID's Big Moment.
But if Thursday is any indication, ID's "expert witnesses" could end up proving criticisms that they are advancing a religious agenda in our schools.
First up was William Harris, a Kansas City ID supporter who expounded on the evolution of his religious faith. He began auspiciously by telling the audience that during his Ph.D. work in college he read the Bible and "my whole world changed."
Um, excuse me, but is this the science standards hearings or "The 700 Club"?
His credentials include being a leading researcher on fish oil supplements. He also, at Calvert's prodding, revealed that he was "part of a small rock and roll band."
Roll over, Darwin.
Calvert hovered over him, beaming like a proud headmaster as his star pupil rattled off answers about the atheistic evils of the Humanist Manifesto III, "philosophical naturalism" and other straw men.
He presented the DNA code as evidence of design. Who was this designer? Harris coyly refused to speak for science on this point, although he allowed that, "I believe it to be the God of the Bible."
Surprise. Scratch an ID expert, find a creationist.
"You did a great job!" enthused board member and creationist Connie Morris.
Pedro Irigonegaray, the lawyer who volunteered to represent the majority opinion (no mainstream scientist in the world agreed to appear), did not partake in the prevailing chumminess.
He relentlessly pressed each witness to explain what their objections to Darwin had to do with the Kansas science standards.
As it turned out, nothing.
Does anything in the standards talk about secular humanism? he asked.
Well, no, Harris admitted.
Where in the standards was there anything about atheism?
"I see it between the lines," Harris offered.
Between the lines?
Next came Charles Thaxton, who had published a book on life's origins back in the 1980s, but admitted that it received mostly negative reviews at the time. He talked mostly about the flaws in the idea (not really Darwin's) of primordial soup.
Morris gushed that she was "in awe" of the intelligence displayed before her.
But when pressed by Irigonegaray, he, too, had to admit that nothing in the standards prevented any teacher or student from discussing criticisms of evolution, or even intelligent design.
Most scientists disagree
Jonathan Wells, the afternoon's star ID witness, is (scratch, scratch) a Moonie who once wrote that it was partly the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's religious dogma that prompted him to pursue a science Ph.D. and set out to "devote my life to destroying Darwinism."
But he echoed the other witnesses in admitting that intelligent design was a "young theory" that wasn't ready for classrooms.
"Most scientists disagree with me," he said flatly of his evolution criticisms.
So why is Kansas listening to him for advice on the state science standards?
Under questioning, ID looked less and less like a theory that was ready for prime time.
Nitpicking---The Creationiist way
Now can you present a falsifiable test of ID/Creationism?
Wait a minute, you think if there is a mutation an entirely new creature will arrive??! A beatle from a fruit fly? Is that how you think it happens or do you think that's what evolutionary science believes?
Mutation, adaptation and survival occur over thousands of generations influenced by an equally large numbers of conditions. Subjecting fruit flies to heat and combining the mutants just gives you mutant fruit flies. Is that supposed to be a surprise?
Joe(How simple do you think science is?)Nation
Scientists 'see new species born'
By Dr David Whitehouse
BBC News Online science editor
Scientists at the University of Arizona may have witnessed the birth of a new species.
Biologists Laura Reed and Prof Therese Markow made the discovery by observing breeding patterns of fruit flies that live on rotting cacti in deserts.
The work could help scientists identify the genetic changes that lead one species to evolve into two species.
The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
One becomes two
Whether the two closely related fruit fly populations the scientists studied - Drosophila mojavensis and Drosophila arizonae - represent one species or two is still debated by biologists.
However, the University of Arizona researchers believe the insects are in the early stages of diverging into separate species.
The emergence of a new species - speciation - occurs when distinct populations of a species stop reproducing with one another.
When the two groups can no longer interbreed, they cease exchanging genes and eventually go their own evolutionary ways becoming separate species.
Though speciation is a crucial element of understanding how evolution works, biologists have not been able to discover the factors that initiate the process.
In fruit flies there are several examples of mutant genes that prevent different species from breeding but scientists do not know if they are the cause or just a consequence of speciation.
In the wild, Drosophila mojavensis and Drosophila arizonae rarely, if ever, interbreed - even though their geographical ranges overlap.
In the lab, researchers can coax successful breeding but there are complications.
Drosophila mojavensi s mothers typically produce healthy offspring after mating with Drosophila arizonae males, but when Drosophila arizonae females mate with Drosphila mojavensis males, the resulting males are sterile.
Laura Reed maintains that such limited capacity for interbreeding indicates that the two groups are on the verge of becoming completely separate species.
Another finding that adds support to that idea is that in a strain of Drosophila mojavensis from southern California's Catalina Island, mothers always produce sterile males when mated with Drosophila arizonae males.
Because the hybrid male's sterility depends on the mother's genes, the researchers say the genetic change must be recent.
Reed has also discovered that only about half the females in the Catalina Island population had the gene (or genes) that confer sterility in the hybrid male offspring.
However, when she looked at the Drosophila mojavensi s females from other geographic regions, she found that a small fraction of those populations also exhibited the hybrid male sterility.
The newly begun Drosophila mojavensis genome sequencing project, which will provide a complete roadmap of every gene in the species, will help scientists pin down which genes are involved in speciation.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/06/09 12:34:02 GMT
© BBC MMV
Microevolution is an adoption of ID, that was invented by a Soviet Lamarkist. Evolutionary Biology and Evolutionary Genetics doesn't differentiate between micro and macroevolution---there is only evolution.
The microevolution argument is another strawman of convenance. But then I've said this to you before.
What is macroevolution?
n science, macro at the beginning of a word just means "big", and micro at the beginning of a word just means "small" (both from the Greek words). For example, a macrophage means a bigger than normal cell, but it is only a few times bigger than other cells, and not an order of magnitude bigger.
In evolutionary biology today, macroevolution is used to refer to any evolutionary change at or above the level of species. It means the splitting of a species into two (speciation, or cladogenesis, from the Greek meaning "the origin of a branch") or the change of a species over time into another (anagenesis, not nowadays generally used). Any changes that occur at higher levels, such as the evolution of new families, phyla or genera, is also therefore macroevolution, but the term is not restricted to the origin of those higher taxa.
Microevolution refers to any evolutionary change below the level of species, and refers to changes in the frequency within a population or a species of its alleles (alternative genes) and their effects on the form, or phenotype, of organisms that make up that population or species.
Another way to state the difference is that macroevolution is between-species evolution of genes and microevolution is within-species evolution of genes.
There are various kinds of dynamics of macroevolution. Punctuated equilibrium theory proposes that once species have originated, and adapted to the new ecological niches in which they find themselves, they tend to stay pretty much as they are for the rest of their existence. Phyletic gradualism suggests that species continue to adapt to new challenges over the course of their history. Species selection and species sorting theories claim that there are macroevolutionary processes going on that make it more or less likely that certain species will exist for very long before becoming extinct, in a kind of parallel to what happens to genes in microevolution.
The history of the concept of macroevolution
In the "modern synthesis" of neo-Darwinism, which developed in the period from 1930 to 1950 with the reconciliation of evolution by natural selection and modern genetics, macroevolution is thought to be the combined effects of microevolutionary processes. In theories proposing "orthogenetic evolution" (literally, straight line evolution), macroevolution is thought to be of a different calibre and process than microevolution. Nobody has been able to make a good case for orthogenesis since the 1950s, especially since the uncovering of molecular genetics between 1952 and the late 1960s.
Antievolutionists argue that there has been no proof of macroevolutionary processes. However, synthesists claim that the same processes that cause within-species changes of the frequencies of alleles can be extrapolated to between species changes, so this argument fails unless some mechanism for preventing microevolution causing macroevolution is discovered. Since every step of the process has been demonstrated in genetics and the rest of biology, the argument against macroevolution fails.
Non-Darwinian evolutionists think that the processes that cause speciation are of a different kind to those that occur within species. That is, they admit that macroevolution occurs, but think that normal genetic change is restricted by such proposed mechanisms as developmental constraints. This view is associated with the names of Schmalhausen and Waddington, who were often characterised as being non-Darwinians by the modern synthesis theorists.
The terms macroevolution and microevolution were first coined in 1927 by the Russian entomologist Iurii Filipchenko (or Philipchenko, depending on the transliteration), in his German-language work Variabilität und Variation, which was the first attempt to reconcile Mendelian genetics and evolution. Filipchenko was an evolutionist, but as he wrote during the period when Mendelism seemed to have made Darwinism redundant, the so-called "eclipse of Darwinism" (Bowler 1983), he was not a Darwinian, but an orthogeneticist. Moreover Russian biologists of the period had a history of rejecting Darwin's Malthusian mechanism of evolution by competition.
In Theodosius Dobzhansky's Genetics and the Origin of Species, he began by saying that "we are compelled at the present level of knowledge reluctantly to put a sign of equality between the mechanisms of macro- and microevolution" (1937, page 12), thereby introducing the terms into the English-speaking biological community (Alexandrov 1994). Dobzhansky had been Filipchenko's student and regarded him as his mentor. In science, it is difficult to deny a major tenet of one's teachers due to filial loyalty, and Dobzhansky, who effectively started the modern Darwinian synthesis with this book, found it disagreeable to have to deny his teacher's views (Burian 1994).
The term fell into limited disfavour when it was taken over by such writers as the geneticist Richard Goldschmidt (1940) and the paleontologist Otto Schindewolf to describe their orthogenetic theories. As a result, apart from Dobzhansky, Bernhardt Rensch and Ernst Mayr, very few neo-Darwinian writers used the term, preferring instead to talk of evolution as changes in allele frequencies without mention of the level of the changes (above species level or below). Those who do are generally working within the continental European traditions (as Dobzhansky, Mayr, Rensch, Goldschmidt, and Schindewolf are) and those who don't are generally working within the Anglo-American tradition (such as John Maynard Smith and Richard Dawkins). Hence, the term is sometimes wrongly used as a litmus test of whether the writer is "properly" neo-Darwinian or not (Eldredge 1995: 126-127).
The term has been revived by a number of authors such as Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge, the authors of punctuated equilibrium theory (see Eldredge's 1992 Macroevolutionary Dynamics ), but there is a tendency in these authors to revert to the orthogenetic view that something other than within-species processes are causing macroevolution, although they disavow the orthogenetic view that evolution is progressing anywhere.
There is no difference between micro- and macroevolution except that genes between species usually diverge, while genes within species usually combine. The same processes that cause within-species evolution are responsible for above-species evolution, except that the processes that cause speciation include things that cannot happen to lesser groups, such as the evolution of different sexual apparatus (because, by definition, once organisms cannot interbreed, they are different species).
The idea that the origin of higher taxa, such as genera (canines versus felines, for example), requires something special is based on the misunderstanding of the way in which new phyla (lineages) arise. The two species that are the origin of canines and felines probably differed very little from their common ancestral species and each other. But once they were reproductively isolated from each other, they evolved more and more differences that they shared but the other lineages didn't. This is true of all lineages back to the first eukaryotic (nuclear) cell. Even the changes in the Cambrian explosion are of this kind, although some (eg, Gould 1989) think that the genomes (gene structures) of these early animals were not as tightly regulated as modern animals, and therefore had more freedom to change.
Alexandrov, DA: 1994. Filipchenko and Dobzhansky: Issues in Evolutionary Genetics in the 1920s. In The Evolution of Theodosius Dobzhansky, ed. MB Adams, Princeton University Press.
Bowler, PJ: 1983. The Eclipse of Darwinism, Johns Hopkins University Press
Burian, RM: 1994. Dobzhansky on Evolutionary Dynamics: Some Questions about His Russian Background. In The Evolution of Theodosius Dobzhansky, ed. MB Adams, Princeton University Press.
Dobzhansky, Th: 1937. Genetics and the Origin of Species, Columbia University Press
Eldredge, N: 1992. Macroevolutionary Dynamics: Species, Niches and Adaptive Peaks, McGraw-Hill
Eldredge, N: 1995. Reinventing Darwin: The Great Evolutionary Debate, Weidenfeld and Nicholson
Goldschmidt, R: 1940. The Material Basis of Evolution, Yale University Press
Gould, SJ: 1989. Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History, Norton