2005 ended with a court decision that reaffirmed the Scopes trial ruling, that Creationism and its offspring ID, were no match for the scientific theory of evolution. As the year ended it wouldn't be a court ruling that really nailed ID into the box labeled crackpot, it would be actual science. Revenge is sweet.
Stephen Jay Gould, so hated by the forces on the right and by Creationists and ID apologists, thesis of the Panda's Thumb had found further evidence in the discovery of a missing thumb like appendage on fossil remains of a Red Panda.
In The Panda's Thumb, a book of essays, Gould explained that the so-called thumb that allows the panda to strip the leaves off bamboo is really part of the wrist (the sesamoid bone) and evolved for this use because the panda lacks an opposable digit. He noted that "odd arrangements and funny solutions are the proof of evolution - paths that a sensible God would never tread but that a natural process. . . follows perforce." Evidence published on Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that the thumb of a second kind of panda, the raccoon-like red panda, provides what researchers claim is "an even more striking example of how evolution works opportunistically". A Spanish team has uncovered the earliest evidence of a "false thumb" in the panda fossil record, a finding that also clarifies the evolution of, and relationship between, the distantly related red and giant pandas. Both pandas share the unique false thumb. But the thumbs are structurally different and it is likely that they evolved independently.
In the Centennial year of Einsteins Unified Field Theory, it was found to be the explanation for all creatures great and small, having a common evolutionary basis for movement.
The findings, published in the January 2006 issue of "The Journal of Experimental Biology," challenge the notion that fundamental differences between apparently unrelated forms of locomotion exist. The findings also offer an explanation for remarkable universal similarities in animal design that had long puzzled scientists, the researchers said.And all was right with the world without the mention of the word G*D.
"The similarities among animals that are on the surface very different are no coincidence," said Adrian Bejan, J. A. Jones Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Duke's Pratt School. "In fact, animal locomotion is no different than other flows, animate and inanimate: they all develop in space and in time such that they optimize the flow of material." In the case of animal locomotion, this means that animals move such that they travel the greatest distance while expending the least amount of energy, he said.
"From simple physics, based only on gravity, density and mass, you can explain within an order of magnitude many features of flying, swimming and running," added James Marden, professor of biology at Penn State. "It doesn't matter whether the animal has eight legs, four legs, two, even if it swims with no legs."
First conceived by Bejan and published in 1996, the constructal law arises from the basic principle that flow systems evolve so as to minimize imperfections -- energy wasted to friction or other forms of resistance -- such that the least amount of useful energy is lost.
Stephen Jay Gould