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Archives for September, 2006

The Scientist (we’re not sure which one) reviews the palm tree sympatric speciation paper from February (doi here). Here’s what Jerry Coyne has to say: “Both these cases are most parsimoniously interpreted as sympatric speciation,” said Jerry Coyne at the University of Chicago. Still, he questioned whether the species are truly sister taxa, and didn’t…

Nerds, Geeks, Dorks, and Dweebs

My previous claims of geekiness were in jest. And if that wasn’t clear to you, do you understand anything? Anyway, I defined nerds as book smart, dweebs as socially awkward, and dorks as nerdy dweebs (or dweeby nerds). Geeks to me are sideshow acts (freaks) that bite the heads off of live chickens. Some people…

Phylogeny Friday – 22 September 2006

We’ve been working our way across through the tree of life in the past few editions of Phylogeny Friday. Last week we took a look at the evolutionary relationships of the animals, and we realized that many of the branching orders are extremely difficult to resolve. Today we’re going to zoom in on one of…

RNA, RNA Everywhere, Does It Do Anything?

Alex has been pondering the nature of non-protein-coding RNAs. So have the boys at Gene Expression (how appropriate). Coffee Mug and JP have pointed out that a large portion of the human genome is transcribed, and much of it has an unknown function. Now JP describes a paper that takes an evolutionary approach towards studying…

Jonathan Wells Fails Introductory Biology

Tara has been given the task of pointing out some of the flaws in Chapter 7 of Jonathan Wells’s The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design. From what I can gather, this is the chapter in which Wells claims that biology does not need evolution because evolution has no applications in medicine or…

More on Sex . . . Chromosomes

If you enjoyed my post on the evolution of sex chromosomes in tetrapods, you should check out Darwin Central for even more. It starts with the story of the vole, and goes into how mammalian sex chromosomes have evolved and what we can expect in the future.

. . . in the light of . . . well?

Over a year and half ago (~1 eon in internet time) I wrote this blog entry in which I turned around the title of Dobzhansky’s famous essay “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution”. I didn’t think I was being all that clever when I came up with the following: NOTHING…

On Somatic Variation of the Genome

I’m slowly working my way1 through my complementary copy of What We Believe but Cannot Prove. I’m almost done — at page 214 out of 252 — and I can say that it is very diverse. The essays range from very thoughtful and interesting to way too specific to a particular discipline . . .…

Things I Found in Lab

So I’m back doing lab work again. That means I’m stumbling across weird stuff that Dylan might get a kick out of. Before I could start isolating any DNA, I had to make sure all my reagents and buffer solutions were ready to go. I was digging through our chemicals cabinet when I found this…

Science, Faith, and Compromise

Scientific American has an online review of four books: God’s Universe by Owen Gingerich, The Language of God by Francis Collins, The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, and The Varieties of Scientific Experience by Carl Sagan. Here’s a choice quote: “In my view,” [evolgen's least favorite NIH director, Francis] Collins goes on to say, “DNA…