Home > BBC, Evolution, Jerry Coyne > Evidence for Evolution, ctd

Evidence for Evolution, ctd

Here is a BBC report that fulfills an evolutionary prediction. Jerry Coyne (among other biologists) predicted that:

On p. 44 of Why Evolution is True I say this:

“All these nonflying feathered dinosaur fossils date between 135 and 110 million years ago — later than the 145-million-year old Archaeopteryx. That means that they could not beArchaeopteryx’s direct ancestors, but they could have been its cousins. Feathered dinosaurs probably continued to exist after one of their kin gave rise to birds. We should, then, be able to find even older feathered dinosaurs that were the ancestors of Archaeopteryx. The problem is that feathers are preserved only in special sediments — the fine-grained silt of quiet environments like lake beds or lagoons. And these conditions are very rare. But we can make another testable evolutionary prediction: someday we’ll find fossils of feathered dinosaurs that are older than Archaeopteryx.”

Well,

“Drawing the tree of life, it’s fairly obvious that feathers arose before Archaeopteryx appears in the fossil record,” he told BBC News.

“Now these fantastic new discoveries by Professor Xu Xing prove that once and for all.

“These new discoveries are maybe 10 million years older thanArchaeopteryx.”

If its predictions keep coming true, that’s a real test of the veracity of any scientific theory.

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Categories: BBC, Evolution, Jerry Coyne
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