Evolution

evolgen

Category archives for Evolution

Sex & SMBE in 2009

The University of Iowa is hosting next year’s meeting of the Society of Molecular Biology and Evolution, SMBE 2009. I usually go to the annual SMBE conference, and I was probably going to attend SMBE 2009. Now I’m definitely going. Why? Because John Logsdon just announced that they’ll be hosting a pre-conference meeting on the…

The Evolution & Medicine Review

All good medicine is evidence based — that is, diagnoses and treatments are developed via the scientific method. Oftentimes, evolutionary biology is employed to understand human health and diseases. This is known as evolutionary medicine. Evolutionary medicine is a growing field that takes an interdisciplinary approach toward studying human disease. Tools from population ecology, molecular…

Darwinism is Dead

Olivia Judson says Darwinism is dead. She’s right. Anyone who talks about “Darwinism” or “evolutionists” gets my attention. That’s not to say that any use of those terms is incorrect. But they are often used as framing devices by creationists, and those frames get carried over into the lay discussion of biology. You should read…

A Neutral Theory of Memetics

In his classic book from 1976, The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins introduced the concept of the meme. Basically, a meme can be thought of as a cultural gene — an idea that is transmitted in a population. This being Dawkins, memetics has a certain adaptationist flavor to it. The Selfish Gene introduces evolution from the…

Whad’ya Know About Protists?

My advisor has recently got me listening to Whad’ya Know. My first reaction: It’s like Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! Only not as funny, not as interesting, and not as good. I’ve been downloading the podcasts for the past couple of weeks, and I’m not sure whether I’ll keep subscribing in iTunes. I’m only bringing this…

The Natural Selection of Ideas

It’s funny because some people think both groups are wrong: Originally from Tom the Dancing Bug.

PLoS Biology’s press releases have taken another step toward being dismissed as “crap” by people who know jack shit about evolution, thanks to a new press release published last week. It starts off like so: Evolution has taken another step away from being dismissed as “a theory” in the classroom, thanks to a new paper…

Evidence that Men Think With Their Junk

Us dudes are always accused of thinking with our dicks. Perhaps it’s because the genes expressed in our brains are similar to those expressed in our ‘nads: Among the 17 tissues, the highest similarity in gene expression patterns was between human brain and testis, based on DDD and clustering analysis. Genes contributing to the similarity…

Judson on Junk and Genome Size

Olivia Judson (aka, Dr. Tatiana) has a blog at the NYTimes website. It’s usually a good read, but she has been known to go off the deep end. In this week’s entry, Judson posts on how bones are not the only fossils. What other fossils does Judson write about? Genomes. Judson’s focus is on genome…

Lewontin Reviews Gould

Everyone’s blogging about Stephen J. Gould’s Structure of Evolutionary Theory (Razib, John Lynch, Laelaps). I’m not. The book’s too long, and I’m too busy. But that doesn’t mean I can’t link to them, and to another review of Gould. The other is Richard Lewontin’s review of two Gould books: The Richness of Life: The Essential…