evolution

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Pope Francis: Sorry, Creationists, God Has No 'Magic Wand'

God isn't a 'magician,' and the Big Bang makes sense, he says

(Newser) - Pope Francis has some bad news for creationists and those who believe in the theory of intelligent design: He thinks both camps are wrong. In remarks to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Francis embraced the concepts of evolution and the Big Bang theory in straightforward language, reports the Independent .
  • God
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Whales Got So Big After Super-Sized Shark Died Out

Megalodon died out 2.6M years ago, scientists estimate

(Newser) - Great white sharks have nothing on the ancient megalodon, which grew up to 50 feet in length and sported teeth as long as 7 inches. And now scientists have their firmest timeframe yet for when the creature went extinct. Scientists at the University of Florida in Gainesville report this week... More »

Macho Men Have So-So Sperm

Tradeoff between looks and virility might be at play, says study

(Newser) - Macho guys may attract more women, but the quality of their sperm might not be of he-man standards, a new study suggests. Oddly, the sperm of good-looking guys—but not necessarily macho ones with square jaws and distinct cheekbones—is just fine, reports Medical Daily . The link was found when... More »

'Hallucigenia' Fossil Mystery Cracked

Surreal Cambrian creature has modern relatives

(Newser) - After four decades of confusion, scientists have finally figured out how to classify a creature so surreal it was given the name Hallucigenia. The tiny creature, found in fossils from the "Cambrian Explosion" of diverse life 500 million years ago, has 14 to 16 legs and large spikes on... More »

Why 5 Siblings Walk on All Fours and Can't Stand Up

Scientists call into question a 'reverse evolution' theory about the Turkish family

(Newser) - Some people walk on all fours for fun, or for sport, but not for long stretches and certainly not for ease of mobility. Yet five siblings in a family of 19 in Hatay, Turkey, walk not just primarily but only on all fours, and lack the balance to do otherwise.... More »

Triceratops Horns Were 1M Years in Making

Large nasal horn they are so famous for wasn't always so big

(Newser) - The rhino-like Triceratops, Greek for "three-horned face," didn't always embody its name in way we picture it doing. By comparing 50 skulls collected over a 15-year period from the Hell Creek Formation in Montana, paleontologists have learned that it took between 1 million and 2 million years... More »

Scientists Unravel Mystery of Electric Fish's Jolt

6-foot electric eel is 6-inch fish attached to a 5.5-foot cattle prod

(Newser) - For the first time, scientists have assembled the complete genome of an electric fish—the potent South American electric eel—and in doing so have identified something much larger: Exactly how this fish, along with electric fish from other families, evolved to create their jolt-delivering organ. The findings, out of... More »

Skulls From 'Pit of Bones' May Hold Evolution Clues

Neanderthals may have developed their distinctive jaws before their brains got big

(Newser) - Since 1984, scientists have been carefully removing, assembling, and analyzing thousands of bone fragments from the aptly-named "Pit of Bones" cave in Spain, home to the largest collection of ancient human fossils ever found. Now, they say their analysis of 17 skulls thought to be some 430,000 years... More »

5 Terms Scientists Wish You'd Stop Screwing Up

There are times when scientists are speaking a different language than the rest of us

(Newser) - Ah, science. It's ever-present in our pop-culture, and its words and phrases have become part of our everyday vernacular. There's just one problem: Scientists mostly can't stand it, because we mostly get everything wrong. Io9 asked some scientists which misuses drive them the most crazy. Here are... More »

Male Face Evolved to Take Punches

Facial bones grew stronger after first fists evolved

(Newser) - The faces of today's men would be different if our ancestors hadn't spent countless thousands of years slugging it out with their newly evolved fists, scientists say. Researchers studying australopiths, human predecessors who lived 4 million to 5 million years ago, found that male faces evolved to become... More »

Dinosaurs Survived by Shrinking

10K dinosaur species live on 'in form of birds,' says study author

(Newser) - How many dinosaur species roam the Earth today? "About 10,000 ... in the form of birds," says Oxford paleontologist Robert Benson, one of the authors of a study published in Plos Biology that clarifies dinosaurs' evolutionary path. As Astrobiology explains (and as you may be thinking), the belief... More »

Majority of Americans Doubt the Big Bang

Poll shows 51% Americans unsure

(Newser) - Americans aren't really sold on scientific consensus. A new AP-Gfk poll finds that while the public generally believes scientists on issues of personal health—just 4%, for example, doubt that smoking causes cancer—there's widespread doubt on bigger picture subjects. A slim majority (51%) said they doubted the... More »

Ancestor of All Animals: the Sponge?

They made deep sea oxygen-rich, researchers say

(Newser) - Sea sponges don't get much respect—or even much use as sponges any more—but humans and every other complex animal on the planet may owe our existence to them, according to new research. Scientists believe primitive versions of the filter-feeders, which can survive in water with very low... More »

Ants Sacrifice Their Young During Floods

But other species, like bees and tamarins, will do the same

(Newser) - Guided by evolution, most species protect their young and let older ones die off in a crisis—right? Not in the case of ants, according to a study in PLoS One . When water washes out an ants' nest, the vulnerable larvae and pupae become life rafts, and queens are allowed... More »

Creationist: Bill Nye Gave Us Funding 'Miracle'

Their debate aroused interest in Noah's Ark theme park

(Newser) - Bill Nye must be rolling his eyes about now. His debate with Creation Museum founder Ken Ham aroused so much attention last month that the museum's proposed Noah's Ark theme park got much-needed funding at the last minute, NPR reports. "It was a challenging time, one that... More »

Christians Can Do Better Than Ken Ham

Brad Kramer reacts to last night's debate

(Newser) - After watching last night's Bill Nye-Ken Ham creationism-versus-evolution debate , Brad Kramer has a message for the world: "I’m a Christian, and Ken Ham doesn’t speak for me." Yes, Kramer believes "God created the world" and that "the Bible is all the word of... More »

'Science Guy' Bill Nye, Creationist Square Off

Bill Nye makes the case for evolution

(Newser) - In a showdown watched around the world Ken Ham believes is 6,000 years old, "Science Guy" Bill Nye traveled to Ham's home turf for a long anticipated debate on creationism vs. evolution. Some highlights from the slideshow-packed debate at Kentucky's Creation Museum, as per Time , USA ... More »

Fish Fossil Challenges Standard View on Evolution

Ancient creature suggests animals developed legs before moving to land

(Newser) - Conventional wisdom has it that the first creatures to emerge from the water eons ago did so without hind limbs. Conventional wisdom, meet Tiktaalik roseae. As the Boston Globe explains, Tiktaalik is a 375-million-year-old fish that swam in what is now the Canadian Arctic. Researchers already knew that the fish... More »

A Third of Americans Don't Believe in Evolution

Among Republicans, it's more than half: Pew survey

(Newser) - Sorry, science: Fewer than half of Republicans and white evangelical Protestants in the US believe that humans and other living things have evolved over time, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. Overall, a third of Americans say living things are unchanged "since the beginning of time,... More »

Texas Relaunches Evolution Debate

Pearson biology textbook under fire

(Newser) - The long-simmering battle over teaching evolution in Texas has boiled over again. At issue this time are proposed textbooks that could be used statewide starting next school year. With midnight looming last night, some state education board members singled out a biology textbook by Pearson Education, one of America's... More »

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