A new paper claims that evolution has stopped in a bacterial species. Is it true?

Really interesting take on evolutionary theories….

Why Evolution Is True

Several readers called my attention to a new paper by J. William Schopf and colleagues in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (reference below; free download at link), a paper that has also gotten a great deal of attention in the press. Last week a journalist asked me to comment on it, but I was too busy then to read it. Now that I have, I’m not all that impressed. It’s a decent paper, and doesn’t fail the first test of a science paper—does it tell us something new?—but I don’t think it makes the case that’s gotten the press all excited.

What is that case? The authors claim that their finding—an example of extremely slow evolution (in fact, no perceptible evolution) in a sulfur-producing bacterium—constitutes a test of Darwin’s “null hypothesis of evolution.” That hypothesis, as stated by the authors, is this:

. . . if there is no change in the…

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Santosh Namby

A lover of Nature who loves photography and works as a Civil Servant, Santosh Namby Chandran has been a photographer for several years. Starting with a point and shoot 35mm film camera from canon to progressing to a film SLR and then a DSLR, his photographic journey has been a long one, filled with immense learning. Trained as an Ecologist and a Civil Servant, he merges his worlds and moves seamlessly though the corridors of power as well as overgrown jungles. An avid trekker and hiker, he has a penchant for shooting butterflies and birds...

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