Does Observing Flight Explain Its Evolution?

first_imgIn various research labs, evolutionists are studying the origin of flight.  Recent articles, though, only show them observing animals or fossils that already fly or flew.  Does this provide any insight into how flight might have originated by a purposeless material process?Birds:  With a quote from Charles Darwin decorating the heading, PhysOrg announced a book by Gareth Dyke and Gary Kaiser (Wiley, May 2011).  Darwin speculated on a straightforward evolutionary path from dinosaurs to birds via Archaeopteryx, a new fossil discovered in his day.  “Yet in the centuries [sic] following this discovery the rise of modern birds remains greatly debated,” the article began, with rise signifying an evolutionary rise.    So what do Dyke and Kaiser offer to win the debate?  The article said they “set out to unite ornithologists and paleontologists to form a modern understanding of the evolution of birds at the beginning of the 21st century.”  They don’t believe birds evolved beginning in Y2K, of course; they just wanted to get the debating wingless humans to join hands.    But first, they had to sweep away the simplistic march of progress imagined by Darwin and Huxley.  “After slumbering for more than a century avian paleontology has been awakened by startling new discoveries on almost every continent,” co-author Gary Kaiser said, undoubtedly thinking of discarded ideas that Archaeopteryx represented a transitional form.  “Old controversies have been swept away and replaced by new and more difficult questions, such as how did birds learn to fly and how did they survive the great extinction that ended the Mesozoic Era?”    This replacement of old controversies with newer, more difficult ones indicates that not much progress has been made in the last 150 years of Darwinian theory.  The authors are still trying to figure out the most basic question: how did birds learn to fly?  Any answers are in future tense: “Answers to these questions may help us understand how the different kinds of living birds are related to one another and how they evolved into their current niches,”  PhysOrg just reproduced this press release verbatim from Wiley publishers.Flies:  What about insect flight?  PhysOrg in a separate article announced cheerfully, “History of flies takes flight.”  The headline suggested that an explanation of the origin of flight in flies would be forthcoming.  Unfortunately, again, a team of 25 international scientists led by Simon Fraser University only had flying flies to exhibit.  They used “genomic sequencing and morphological information to plug gaps in the 250-million-year history of Diptera” (true flies).    By definition, though diptera (two wings) already had wings, and presumably already flew.  Did the article provide information on the origin of fly flight?  A look at the body of the article finds discussion of fly radiation, fly survival and fly extinction, but nothing about how the first non-flying insects evolved wings, muscles, and brains that allow these tiny acrobats to dazzle Caltech engineers (12/08/2003, 11/20/2006).    The work was all “part of a large-scale effort to place all living organisms into a comprehensive tree of life,” the article said.  Strange that they left out the most important limb of all: the one leading to flight.Have wings, may fly:  Scientists at the University of Illinois discovered the oldest known flying insect.  In PNAS,1 they announced the following.  Look for any explanation of how flight evolved:Insects were the first animals to evolve powered flight and did so perhaps 90 million years before the first flight among vertebrates.  However, the earliest fossil record of flying insect lineages (Pterygota) is poor, with scant indirect evidence from the Devonian and a nearly complete dearth of material from the Early Carboniferous.  By the Late Carboniferous a diversity of flying lineages is known, mostly from isolated wings but without true insights into the paleoethology of these taxa.  Here, we report evidence of a full-body impression of a flying insect from the Late Carboniferous Wamsutta Formation of Massachusetts, representing the oldest trace fossil of Pterygota.  Through ethological and morphological analysis, the trace fossil provides evidence that its maker was a flying insect and probably was representative of a stem-group lineage of mayflies….But mayflies not only may fly, they do fly.  Where did their ancestors learn how to get from desire to accomplishment?  National Geographic News posted a photo of the fossil imprint.Each of these articles spoke confidently about the evolution of flight, but as evidence, only showcased flying things.  Wouldn’t arguing that flight evolved require showing a sequence of animals progressing from flightless to flying? 1.  Knecht, Engel, and Benner, “Late Carboniferous paleoichnology reveals the oldest full-body impression of a flying insect,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online before print April 4, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1015948108 PNAS April 4, 2011.What a scam artist this Darwin was.  His science doesn’t fly.  Don’t invest in his company’s promissory notes; they’re already 150 years old and not backed by any collateral.  But oh, did Charlie know how to hire fast-talking hot air salesmen.  Put your stock in biomimetics.  Those are the guys who know design when they see it (03/15/2011, 02/20/2011).(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Ohio Ag Weather and Forecast November 1, 2018

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Rain continues over the state today, and as low pressure moves up the front out of the mid-Mississippi valley, we will see moisture work northward. That means today will feature the heaviest and longest lasting rains in the southern half  and eastern third of the state, but the north and NW will not be completely immune, with rain pushing in this afternoon. We are putting rain totals today at .25”-.75” over the northwest quadrant of Ohio, and .5”-2” over the rest of the state. There can be some areas that end up with more closer to 3, if the variables all line up just right.The significant rains are off to the east and south by midday tomorrow, and may leave sooner. But, even if its done sooner, we still expect a pretty good batch of wrap around moisture with this circulation. Most of that will manifest as clouds, but we won’t rule out a spit or sprinkle over the state. Coverage will be pretty minor, but enough that we can’t wave the all clear flag just yet.This weekend goes dry!! Well, at least Saturday through Sunday morning. We should see good south winds over the weekend, taking temps well above normal in all areas. Clouds will start to increase Sunday by midday, and by evening/overnight, we see a minor trough working through. That will trigger light rains, a few hundredths to no more than .3” but we are increasing coverage to near 80% and it won’t take much to nudge that closer to 100%…but time will tell.We don’t see much of anything but clouds through the day Monday, but Monday night through Tuesday a strong system and cold front sweep through. Rain totals will be from .5”-1.5” with coverage at 100% of the state. This will be another good, soaking rain in all areas, and will add to harvest delays.A little good news as we end the 10-day window: we are dry from next Wednesday all the way through Saturday and even next Sunday should say precipitation free, although we expect clouds to develop there. Temps will be cooler than the first part of next week, as there is strong north winds and a Canadian high-pressure dome that will move in behind the big rains Tuesday. Still, though, we expect good evaporation rates and stronger west and northwest winds to aid in drying.For the extended period, we have rain coming back for the 12th, bringing .25”-1” over 75% of the state. Then we are dry again for Tuesday the 13th through that following Friday.So, drier windows do exist in our forecast, but it takes til the second half of next week to get to them…and there is a lot of moisture headed toward us between now and then (the map below shows rain totals now through next Wednesday morning).last_img read more

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