15 Evolutionary Gems

Here is a resource from Nature for those wishing to spread awareness of evidence for evolution by natural selection.

 

Most biologists take for granted the idea that all life evolved by natural selection over billions of years. They get on with researching and teaching in disciplines that rest squarely on that foundation, secure in the knowledge that natural selection is a fact, in the same way that the Earth orbits the Sun is a fact.

 

Given that the concepts and realities of Darwinian evolution are still challenged, albeit rarely by biologists, a succinct briefing on why evolution by natural selection is an empirically validated principle is useful for people to have to hand. Offered here are 15 examples published by Nature in recent years to illustrate the breadth, depth and power of evolutionary thinking. They are happy to offer this resource freely and encourage its free dissemination

 

15 Evolutionary Gems Free PDF

Pacific Islanders Appear To Be Carrying The DNA Of An Unknown Human Species

(sciencealert.com)

 

Hints of an unidentified, extinct human species have been found in the DNA of modern Melanesians – those living in a region of the South Pacific, northeast of Australia.

 

According to new genetic modelling, the species is unlikely to be Neanderthal or Denisovan – two ancient species that are represented in the fossil record – but could represent a third, unknown human relative that has so far eluded archaeologists.

 

How Income Varies Among U.S. Religious Groups

(pewresearch.org)

 

While there is a strong and proven correlation between education and income, it’s harder to know whether there also is a link between religion and wealth. What we can say is that members of some religious groups – not to mention atheists and agnostics – on average have a higher household income than others and those in the richest religious groups also tend, on average, to be better educated than most Americans.

religious_income

Labeling Something A Conspiracy Theory Does Not Reduce Belief In It, Study Finds

Labeling something a conspiracy theory does not reduce belief in it, according to a recent study published this August in Political Psychology. The findings are in contrast to previous research showing that people actively counter-argue the label of conspiracy-theory label when others apply it to their beliefs.

 

The Bermuda Triangle

triangleFrom Wikipedia:

Popular culture has attributed various disappearances [in the Bermuda Triangle] to the paranormal or activity by extraterrestrial beings. Documented evidence indicates that a significant percentage of the incidents were spurious, inaccurately reported, or embellished by later authors.

Can you name a topic you were passionate about exploring until someone crushed your dreams with the unrelenting heartless introduction of skepticism? For me it happens to be the Bermuda Triangle. I was fascinated with this subject. I wanted to learn everything I could about it. In the 5th grade my friends and I even did a multimedia book report presentation on one of the more famous BT stories. Then reality came a’knockin’ and extinguished that passion. It hurt, but it was a lesson I still think about today when exposed to nonsense.

Yesterday I noticed a trending topic on Facebook for the Bermuda Triangle and I became frustrated. Why are people still talking about this? I assumed it was due to some paranormal story still trying to keep the legend alive. I complained about it and was shocked to learn that some people still entertain this myth! I even encountered some attitude from a guy who attended my middle school.

It’s Official: Injection of Fracking Wastewater Caused Kansas’ Biggest Earthquake

The largest earthquake ever recorded in Kansas—a 4.9 magnitude temblor that struck northeast of Milan on Nov. 12, 2014—has been officially linked to wastewater injection into deep underground wells, according to new research from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

 

The epicenter of that extremely rare earthquake struck near a known fracking operation.