Tuesday, May 15, 2012

8 Humanlike Behaviors of Primates via Live Science

While we lost most of our body hair and bulked up our brains, humans are evolutionarily close to other great apes, with about 97 percent of our genes DNA matching up. Beyond looks, researchers have found a startling number of humanlike behaviors practiced by our ape ancestors.
Go To Article

Did a Copying Mistake Build Man's Brain? via Live Science

A copying error appears to be responsible for critical features of the human brain that distinguish us from our closest primate kin, new research finds.
When tested out in mice, researchers found this "error" caused the rodents' brain cells to move into place faster and enabled more connections between brain cells.
When any cell divides, it first copies its entire genome. During this process, it can make errors. The cell usually fixes errors in the DNA. But when they aren't fixed, they become permanent changes called mutations, which are sometimes hurtful and sometimes helpful, though usually innocuous.
One type of error is duplication, when the DNA-copying machinery accidentally copies a section of the genome twice. The second copy can be changed in future copies — gainingmutations or losing parts.
Go To article

The “Tornado in a Junkyard” Fallacy via Science-Based Life

As a promoter of science literacy and therefore the theory of evolution, I often get some push back from those who are either unaware of the tenets of the theory, or are straight up opposed to it.
One of the most common arguments is to say that evolution is impossible, because evolving something as complex as the human eye, for example, would be “like a tornado going through a junkyard and creating a 747.” This is meant to imply that creating a complex structure is impossible by chance, and therefore that there had to be some “intelligent design” to the process.
Go To Article

Stupid Design via Science Based Life

Does our world seem so perfect to you that it had to be created? Was then there some all-powerful designer that created beauty intertwining with complexity, or are we simply ignoring all of the evidence that shows that the universe is certainly not adapted for us? Getting caught up in our sensory interpretations of elegance blinds us from the cold reality of a hostile existence (not intelligently designed or designed for us). When proponents of so-called “intelligent design” make this complexity and beauty argument, they are hopelessly shortsighted in their view of an anthropocentric universe. What we will look at below are facts about the universe, our planet, and about humans that make “intelligent design” or a universe crafted with humans in mind seem nonsensical.
Go To Article