Charles Darwin

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Government Seized Shkreli's Nazi Code Machine

They also auctioned off letters from Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin

(Newser) - Martin Shkreli owes New York hundreds of thousands of dollars, and to get it back the state's tax office has been seizing and selling some of the most prized possessions of the so-called "pharma bro." On Friday, state tax officials told CNBC they had already auctioned off... More »

Animal That Flummoxed Darwin Finds Its Genetic Home

'Long-necked llama' has been source of paleontological confusion for 200 years

(Newser) - An animal whose pedigree stumped even Charles Darwin has at long last found its place in the tree of life. A study released Tuesday in Nature Communications concludes that the Macrauchenia patachonica, or the "long-necked llama," is part of a sister group of the Perissodactyla placental order, which... More »

Charles Darwin's Finches Could Soon Be Extinct

'This is like a really bad horror flick'

(Newser) - Charles Darwin's finches of the Galapagos Islands—renowned as a poster child for speciation (that's "the process by which new species arise," explains Smithsonian )—may not be able to evolve fast enough to stave off extinction, according to a study published last week in the... More »

Here's the 'Most Important Academic Book' Ever Written

Charles Darwin gets the honors

(Newser) - What does it take to be named the most important academic book ever written? Well, it helps if its publication "upended the way human beings think about where they came from, challenged millennia of religious dogma and left people wondering whether there really was a god," in the... More »

Darwin's 'Strange Animals' Puzzle Solved

Protein-sequencing method could lead to other discoveries

(Newser) - A humpless, snouted camel? Check. A rhino with the teeth of a rodent and head of a hippo? No problem, scientists say, after apparently figuring out, finally, where these mystery creatures sit on the mammalian family tree, Nature reports. Charles Darwin discovered fossils of these ancient creatures while visiting South... More »

Did US Experts Just Resolve 'Darwin's Dilemma'?

He was bugged by the speed of evolution

(Newser) - Charles Darwin worried about a possible hole in his theory of evolution, but some American scientists may just have plugged it. For about a billion years after the dawn of life on Earth, organisms didn't evolve all that much. Then about 600 million years ago came the "Cambrian... More »

Frog Named for Darwin Goes Extinct

And more dour animal news

(Newser) - Charles Darwin discovered them in 1834, during a stop in Chile by way of the HMS Beagle, a species unique in that "the males care for their young by incubating them in their vocal sacs for at least part of their development." Now, one of the two species... More »

Darwin Gets 4K Write-Ins vs. Creationist Lawmaker

Georgia congressman Paul Broun gets symbolic opposition

(Newser) - Charles Darwin earned almost 4,000 write-in votes in one Georgia county against a congressman who denounced evolution and other scientific theories as "lies straight from the pit of hell." The symbolic votes in Athens-Clarke County on Tuesday were against Republican Rep. Paul Broun, who was running unopposed.... More »

'Extinct' Galapagos Tortoise Still Alive

DNA shows that species thought wiped out in 1840s is on different island

(Newser) - Scientists have located survivors of a giant Galapagos tortoise species thought to have gone extinct back in the 1840s. Researchers testing the DNA of 1,600 tortoises on Isabela Island in the Galapagos discovered that at least 84 were offspring of a species that originally lived on nearby Floreana Island,... More »

Sleuths Unravel Darwin's Illnesses

One factor: He picked up a bug on his Beagle voyage

(Newser) - Charles Darwin's voyage on the HMS Beagle brought him evolutionary insights, fame, and a nasty parasite that probably contributed to his death. Medical sleuths examining his symptoms say he likely contracted Chagas disease from a bug bite in 1835, reports the Wall Street Journal . The illness can lie dormant... More »

'Darwin Day' Celebrated in Rural US, Quietly

Biologists take the opportunity to show kids science is 'cool'

(Newser) - How to celebrate "Darwin Day" in rural America? Very carefully, the New York Times reports: When evolutionary biologists set out on a road trip this weekend to Virginia, Nebraska, Montana, and Iowa to promote science in honor of Charles Darwin's 202nd birthday, one high school principal made sure to... More »

How Darwin's Island Might Help Colonize Mars

Little-known experiment provides a lesson

(Newser) - When Charles Darwin came to Ascension Island—an insanely remote volcanic rock in the middle of the Atlantic—it was utterly barren and desolate, bedeviled by dry trade winds from southern Africa. So the legendary scientist embarked on one of his most remarkable, and least heralded experiments. With the help... More »

Darwin's 'Survival of the Fittest' Disputed

Living space, not competition, spurs evolution: study

(Newser) - Room for expansion, not survival of the fittest, is the driving force behind evolution, according to a new study. The researchers—who say their findings cast doubt on one of the cornerstones of Charles Darwin's theories—studied evolutionary patterns over 400 million years and determined that biodiversity soared not when... More »

Cross Burned in Boy's Arm Sparks School Religious War

Townies support creationist teacher's 'religious rights'

(Newser) - A cross burned into the arm of an Ohio schoolboy by his creationist science teacher has sparked a three-year battle pitting neighbor against neighbor over the role of religion in public schools. An army of supporters is backing the teacher, who is still fighting his firing from the Mount Vernon... More »

Creation Has Potential, Doesn't Evolve

Critics agree Paul Bettany shines, but premise falls mostly flat

(Newser) - Critics agree that on paper, Creation has a lot going for it. But they don't think the flick delivers the thrill of Charles Darwin's groundbreaking work:
  • "Director Jon Amiel has reduced a crucial moment in science to a Lifetime weepie about a workaholic who needs personal tragedy to wake
... More »

Students School Kirk Cameron on Darwin

Child actor-turned-creationist gets schooled by UCLA students

(Newser) - Kirk Cameron embarked on his Darwin-is-like-Hitler tour, visiting UCLA last week to pass out copies of a "revised" edition of On the Origin of the Species that tries to compare the two historical figures—and video has surfaced of the former Growing Pains actor getting taken down by a... More »

Brits Hunt Stolen Darwin Notes

Missing Galapagos notebook sought

(Newser) - Amid a celebration, a mystery: A fresh appeal has been launched to find a missing notebook that Charles Darwin may have used to write On the Origin of Species, which was published 150 years ago today. The journal records Darwin's observations in the Galapagos Island and Peru. Authorities believe it... More »

Scientists Unearth Fossils of 'Missing Link' Flying Reptiles

Researchers believe Darwinopterus is proof of modular evolution

(Newser) - Scientists have discovered the remains of a flying reptile in China that they believe represents the "missing link" in a controversial theory of evolution. The reptile—named Darwinopterus in honor of Charles Darwin—lived some 160 million years ago and has features from both early, short-tailed pterodactyls and their... More »

Religious America Snubs Darwin Film: Producer

Brits 'can't imagine religion in America': Jeremy Thomas

(Newser) - The producer of a new film about Charles Darwin says he hasn't landed a US distribution deal because Americans can't stand the theory of evolution, the Daily Mail reports. Creation, the story of Darwin's struggle between reason and faith as he wrote The Origin of Species, has opened the Toronto... More »

Image Rehab: Appendix Is Good for Something After All

Long-neglected organ is far from useless, researchers say

(Newser) - The human appendix has been assumed to be useless since Charles Darwin first suggested it was a vestigial organ—an evolutionary remnant from the time when our predecessors ate leaves and other now-indigestible foods. But new research suggests the organ had a much more vital function, LiveScience reports. It stored... More »

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