Fossil Friday: Fossil Sea Cows and the Abrupt Origin of Sirenia and Desmostylia

Afrotheria, Calvert Marine Museum, common descent, Darwinism, Desmostylia, dugongids, dugongs, elephants, Embrithopoda, Eocene, Evolution, Fossil Friday, fossil record, Ishatherium subathuensis, Jamaica, Lincoln Creek Formation, mammals, manatees, Paleocene, PaleoDB, paleontology, Pezosiren, Proboscidea, protosirenids, science, sea cows, Sirenia, sirenians, Steller’s sea cow, synapomorphies, Tethytheria, Washington State, whales
So, is every thing OK with Darwinism after all? No so fast. Actually, there are some problems that do not square well with a Darwinian scenario. Source
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Intelligent Design in Animal Self-Location and Navigation

algorithms, Animal Algorithms, bats, behavior, biology, circuits, electronic circuit, Engineering, fish, grid cells, head-direction cells, hindbrain, hippocampus, homeostasis, information, Intelligent Design, Life Sciences, mammals, navigation, neural network, neurons, optical flow, place cells, proximate neurons, Research, science, self, zebrafish
A question is whether such mechanisms exist in more ancient brain regions of other animals. A new study has identified a self-location mechanism in zebrafish. Source
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How Octopuses Got So Smart? “Junk DNA”

biology, birds, brain, California octopus, clams, common octopus, genome, intelligence, Intelligent Design, invertebrates, jumping genes, Junk DNA, Long Interspersed Nuclear Elements, mammals, marine invertebrates, Neuroscience & Mind, octopuses, oysters, transposons, unguided evolution
Jumping genes used to be dismissed as junk DNA which in turn was held to be slam-dunk evidence for unguided evolutionary processes. Source
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Yes, Ants Think — Like Computers

Agouti, agriculture, algorithm, ant colony, antennae, anternet, ants, Bert Hölldobler, biology, brains, capybara, castes, cities, computer, computer programmers, consensus-building, Deborah M. Gordon, division of labor, E. O. Wilson, eggs, evolutionary biologists, foraging, humans, Intelligent Design, language, larvae, leafcutter ants, mammals, neurons, neuroscience, Neuroscience & Mind, pheromones, pupae, slavery, Stanford University, superorganism, territorial wars, The Superorganism
Computer programmers have adapted some ant problem-solving methods to software programs (but without the need for complex chemical scents). Source
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Redwoods, Grasshoppers: New Designs in Well-Studied Species

Alana Chin, axial leaf, biology, Christopher Stockey, coastal redwoods, Darwinism, design reasoning, Evolution, grasshoppers, Intelligent Design, Joel, leaf types, Life Sciences, lions, mammals, Methods in Ecology and Evolution, narrative gloss, Northern California, Old Testament, Orthoptera, peripheral leaf, photosynthesis, Sequoia sempervirens, teeth, trees, UC Davis
If redwoods are a byword for great stature, grasshoppers represent the opposite. And what insect could be more common or familiar? Source
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The Remarkable Things We’re Learning About Bird Intelligence

African grey parrot, Alex (parrot), apes, birds, chimpanzees, cockatoo, cutlery, Goffin’s cockatoo, golf, intelligence, Intelligent Design, invertebrates, knife, mammals, Neuroscience & Mind, New Caledonian crows, New Zealand, octopus, Smithsonian Magazine, spoon, token, University of Birmingham, utensils, vertebrates, walnut
These findings are only among birds that have actually been studied; most birds have not been studied for intelligence. Source
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Navigation Ability Crosses Phylum Lines — And That’s a Problem for Evolution

algorithms, Angular Head Velocity, Animal Algorithms, ants, backtracking, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, calculus, Cambrian phyla, casting, Darwinian theory, Eric Cassell, goldfish, hardware, Intelligent Design, Irreducible Complexity, Life Sciences, mammals, Nature (journal), Nature Communications Biology, navigation, Neuron (journal), neurons, olfaction, phyla, PNAS, Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, sea turtles, software, University of Toronto
Yes, that is kind of adorable. It took only a few days for the fish to learn to drive. Source
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Phylogenetic Conflict Is Common and the “Hierarchy” Is Far from “Perfect”

angiosperms, Biological Reviews, Cambrian Explosion, Darwin's Doubt, Evolution, evolutionary tree, FORA.tv, Genome Research, hierarchy, Intelligent Design, mammals, Metazoa, New Scientist, phylogenetic data, phylogenomic conflict, Precambrian, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Richard Dawkins, Sean B. Carroll, Stephen Meyer, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, U.C. Davis, universal common ancestry, University of Wisconsin-Madison
It’s simply false for Dawkins to claim that when you compare genes of different animals, they “fall on a perfectly hierarchy — a perfect family tree.” Source
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