30 Days of Evolution Blogging - The Finish Line

Show Me The Science Month Day 30 Installment 30

To show that evolution is alive and well, back in January I decided to engage in a little stunt blogging - I planned to blog about one evolution research paper per day for 30 days, using only material published in January or February 2009. The point was that, over the course of 59 days (January + February), scientists would publish at least 30 good papers about some aspect of evolution.

Why? Because evolution is a vibrant, active, experimental science, unlike intelligent design, which is a PR movement. Evolution is not only testable, it is being tested, and in any given month, you can find dozens of papers describing the latest research on evolution.

So, nearly 60 days later, here I am declaring victory - I wrote 25 pieces, Hank and a few others pitched in a couple more, and, thanks to a suggestion by the Rugbyologist, I've decided to transform my time scale (using a proprietary, unpublished data transformation technique) and call this Day 30 of 30 Days of Evolution Blogging. (If you click on the icon at the top of this post, you can get to the master list of posts, which I will finish updating shortly.)

OK, so my stunt failed, because I was a fool to think that I could write daily articles and complete a major grant proposal at the same time. Here's my advice to all of you aspiring scientists (the rest of you, you grizzled veterans, try not to laugh too hard): grant writing takes much, much longer than you think it will, and the ergonomic hazards involved, not to mention the side effects of chronic caffeine overdosing, will most likely leave you physically incapacitated for weeks afterwards.

While I may have failed, evolutionary biology has rapidly rolled on. In the first two months of this year, scientists have reported major new whale fossils,, examined the evolution of fruit preference in fruit flies, used fossils, genetics, and cell biology to understand how single-celled organisms evolved into multi-cellular ones, studied fossils of primitive feathers on dinosaurs, looked at the evolution of black wolves, examined fossils of ancient hominid species to learn about their dietary habits, and much, much more.

For this final installment of 30 Days of Evolution Blogging, to emphasize how successful evolution is as a science (and to illustrate what intelligent design has to compete with if it is ever to be taken seriously - and I confidently predict it never will come close to being scientifically competitive), here are 10 more great evolution research articles published in the first 59 days of 2009. Creationists may personally disbelieve all of this research, but the point is this: they haven't mounted anything close to a scientific attack on evolution. They don't have anything even close to a viable real scientific alternative - there is no such thing as intelligent design research, and the adherents of intelligent design aren't even making a serious attempt to change that fact.

So here you go - 10 more great evolution papers:

A stone age cheetah fossil sheds light on the evolution of cheetahs.

What a pink iguana tells us about the evolution of Galapagos iguanas.

Human disease genes and natural selection.

An analysis of recent research on genetics and natural selection.

Looking at genes that promote the evolution of butterfly wing patterns.

Complex genetic tool kits in a primitive 'living fossil' that resembles one of the earliest ancestors of a major group of animals.

The Sorghum genome and the evolution of grasses.

Looking for general patterns in protein evolution.

Fossil footprints reveal how human ancestors walked 1.5 million years ago.

Genetic details of the evolution of new Zebra Finch species.

Evolutionary biology is alive and well.