Thursday, December 28, 2017

Photos, Stories and Breakthroughs of the Year by the Editors of AAAS

Art and Environment
Environmental and Science Education
Edward Hessler
Image result for orangutan

Three from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the largest scientific organization in the world.

Science Photos of the Year.

Top stories of 2017, each summarized for convenience and easy reading.

The Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2017.

There is a claim that some evolutionary biologists are dubious about, namely a new ape. Jerry Coyne is emeritus professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Chicago and doubts this claim.

He wrote (see Coyne's full entry here and here,the latter on the Beeb (BBC)),
But is (this organutan) a new species?
I say no: it’s just an isolated population that’s somewhat different, with individuals being diagnosable. If you use the Biological Species Concept of evolutionists, which deems populations to be different species if they could not produce fertile hybrids when encountering each other in the wild, I’d say that the evidence of interbreeding until physical separation was complete only 20,000 years ago suggests that the Tapnuli and Sumatran orangs are a single species, which also means that the Sumatran and Bornean orangs are a single species as well. My guess would be that the new species would produce fertile hybrids with both of the other “species” in captivity.
I'm not an expert, something I didn't need to say since it is well known but I stand with Professor Coyne's assessment for many reasons.
Coyne is the author of one of the better books on evolution, Why Evolution is True. It is for readers of all stripes, interested reader to expert reader.

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