Earth Science News  





. St. Bernard Study Casts Doubt On Creationism

"Creationism is the belief that all living organisms were created according to Genesis in six days by 'intelligent design' and rejects the scientific theories of natural selection and evolution. But this research once again demonstrates how selection - whether natural or, in this case, artificially influenced by man - is the fundamental driving force behind the evolution of life on the planet."
by Staff Writers
Manchester UK (SPX) Oct 24, 2007
The St Bernard dog - named after the 11th century priest Bernard of Menthon - may have ironically challenged the theory of creationism, say scientists. Biologists at The University of Manchester say that changes to the shape of the breed's head over the years can only be explained through evolution and natural selection. The team, led by Dr Chris Klingenberg in the Faculty of Life Sciences, examined the skulls of 47 St Bernards spanning 120 years, from modern examples to those of dogs dating back to the time when the breed standard was first defined.

"We discovered that features stipulated in the breed standard of the St Bernard became more exaggerated over time as breeders selected dogs that had the desired physical attributes," said Dr Klingenberg.

"In effect they have applied selection to move the evolutionary process a considerable way forward, providing a unique opportunity to observe sustained evolutionary change under known selective pressures."

The findings, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences tomorrow (Wednesday), are based on studies of St Bernard skulls donated by Swiss breeders to the Natural History Museum in Berne.

Compared to their ancestors, modern St Bernards have broader skulls, while the angle between the nose and the forehead is steeper in modern dogs and they have also developed a more pronounced ridge above the eyes.

"These changes are exactly in those features described as desirable in the breed standards. They are clearly not due to other factors such as general growth and they provide the animal with no physical advantage, so we can be confident that they have evolved purely through the selective considerations of breeders.

"Creationism is the belief that all living organisms were created according to Genesis in six days by 'intelligent design' and rejects the scientific theories of natural selection and evolution.

"But this research once again demonstrates how selection - whether natural or, in this case, artificially influenced by man - is the fundamental driving force behind the evolution of life on the planet."

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
University of Manchester
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com




Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
Life's Early Vision
Moffet Field CA (SPX) Oct 23, 2007
By peering deep into evolutionary history, scientists have discovered the origins of photosensitivity in animals: vision genes called opsins that first appeared in the aquatic animal species Hydra magnipapillata. The hydras have no eyes or light-receptive organs, but they have the genetic pathways to be able to sense light. The research provides a glimpse into the evolutionary history of life on Earth. The information gathered by the study, as well as the techniques used to obtain it, can help astrobiologists understand the mechanisms behind evolution.

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  



  • White House: Katrina lessons applied to California fires
  • Healing The Wounds Of War: Novel Phytochemical Agent Enhances, Improves Process Of Wound Healing
  • Satellites Help Save Lives
  • Vietnam villagers face hunger amid floods

  • Rise In Atmospheric CO2 Accelerates As Economy Grows, Natural Carbon Sinks Weakening
  • North Atlantic Slows On The Uptake Of CO2
  • Environment ministers to meet in Indonesia
  • Tiny Pacific islands say climate change threatens survival

  • A Roadmap For Calibration And Validation
  • Key Found To Moonlight Romance
  • GeoEye Contract With ITT Begins Phased Procurement Of The GeoEye-2 Satellite
  • ITT Sensors Aboard DigitalGlobe's WorldView-1 Satellite Capture First High-Res Images

  • Lukoil to continue in Iran despite sanctions problems
  • Nuclear Power Worldwide: Status and Outlook
  • Bus Scheduling Algorithm Picks Up the Slack
  • ASU Researchers Improve Memory Devices Using Nanotech

  • AIDS stunting southern Africa's prospects: Malawi president
  • After extinction fears, Botswana learns to live with AIDS
  • West Nile Virus Spread Through Nerve Cells Linked To Serious Complication
  • New Model Predicts More Virulent Microbes

  • St. Bernard Study Casts Doubt On Creationism
  • Life's Early Vision
  • Researchers Studying How Singing Bats Communicate
  • Small-scale fishing threatens sea turtles

  • Pitt Professor Says Harmful Byproducts Of Fossil Fuels Could Be Higher In Urban Areas
  • Space Sensors Shed New Light On Air Quality
  • Analysis: Olympics and Beijing pollution
  • Scientists Estimate Mercury Emissions From US Fires

  • Video Game Shown To Cut Cortisol
  • Researchers Find Earliest Evidence For Modern Human Behavior In South Africa
  • Neandertals And Humans Share Key Changes To Language Gene
  • Genetic Ancestral Testing Cannot Deliver On Its Promise

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement