Gene Expression

Archives for May, 2006

I talk about religion a lot on this weblog….but to some extent, I think I talk past many of the readers here. Many of my ideas over the past few years in regards to religion have been shaped by the naturalistic program in evolutionary cultural anthropology. The key workers in this area are Dan Sperber,…

A map of the mind….

Reader Mengu Gulmen emailed me about our exchange in regards to how we view the development of the mind: Mengu: Every decision we make, everything we do and say, is based on the previous experiences we’ve had [all we did, all we have learned from our schools and our families and friends and internet and…

David’s greatest hits

3 years ago I invited David B to post on Gene Expression (classic), and over the years he’s produced some meaty entries which deal with important scientific and cultural issues. Below are 10 posts which I’d like to introduce to Science Blogs readers…. Biological versus cultural evolution Is culture useful? Celts and Anglo-Saxons Once more…

There are reports coming out that Angelina Jolie is going into labor. This is improtant, because last year Armand Leroi spoke about the possible relationship between beauty and low mutational load.

A new paper in The American Naturalist should interest some in these parts, Placental Invasiveness Mediates the Evolution of Hybrid Inviability in Mammals: …Here, we show that the maximum genetic distance at which interspecific mammalian pregnancies yield viable neonates is significantly greater in clades with invasive (hemochorial) placentation than in clades with noninvasive (epitheliochorial or…

Rik asks: Off topic… what’s the best argument you’ve read, contra Dawkins and Dennett, that Christianity is compatible with the scientific worldview? I had to mull this over because I didn’t have a “pat” response. The short of it is that I like have my cake and eat it when it comes to science vs.…

Dr. Pangloss and the Creationists

In the comments below Jason Malloy took issue with John Hawks’ contention that Creationists “will now cite Eric Lander in support of the idea that hominid fossils are not transitional between apes and humans, but instead are hybrids of apes and humans.” I don’t know. Here is a short passage from Scott Atran’s In Gods…

Twins: blood, milk and society

Well…the title is a little creepy, but sums up the melange in this report, Study finds that a woman’s chances of having twins can be modified by diet. But there is more than diet, researchers have long known that genetics plays a role in twinning rates, it is heritable in that some proportion of the…

List-mania

My attempt to solicit a narrow and eminent list of evolutionary biologists for my planned attempt at rolling my own quizilla at some point in the future really got out of control. On the one hand, the discipline was too broadly construed. Biases creep in. On the other hand, the category was too narrow in…