evolution

Gene Expression

Tag archives for evolution

When mammoths roamed

Pleistocene Megafaunal Collapse, Novel Plant Communities, and Enhanced Fire Regimes in North America: Although the North American megafaunal extinctions and the formation of novel plant communities are well-known features of the last deglaciation, the causal relationships between these phenomena are unclear. Using the dung fungus Sporormiella and other paleoecological proxies from Appleman Lake, Indiana, and…

During the first few years of ScienceBlogs there was a lot of talk about religion. Yes, there’s talk about religion now, but it’s toned down in the wake of the ebbing of the publicity around The God Delusion. Naturally in the wake of the New Atheism a raft of conventional apologetics have been published, The…

Materialism leads to inequality

Intergenerational Wealth Transmission and the Dynamics of Inequality in Small-Scale Societies: Small-scale human societies range from foraging bands with a strong egalitarian ethos to more economically stratified agrarian and pastoral societies. We explain this variation in inequality using a dynamic model in which a population’s long-run steady-state level of inequality depends on the extent to…

Reading the papers on Ardipithecus ramidus which just came out in Science one of the take-home points that jumps out at me is that extant apes may be very misleading analogs to extinct hominins. Here is Owen Lovejoy: In retrospect, clues to this vast divide between the evolutionary trajectories of African apes and hominids have…

That’s what Kambiz Kamrani is saying. Significance: Owen Lovejoy is one of the authors of the paper, and he says that the fossil changes the notion that humans and chimps, our closest genetic cousins, both trace their lineage to a creature that was more like today’s chimp and we’ll have to be rewriting our text…

The root of all anti-evolutionism

The Religious Landscape Survey has a lot of data various denominations. Recently I noticed something weird about Mormons; they are very anti-evolution, as well as anti-universalist in their views on salvation, according to this survey. These are notable views because Mormons don’t have well established attitudes on evolution from on high (which is why Mitt…

The origin of the Neandertals

The origin of Neandertals: Western Eurasia yielded a rich Middle (MP) and Late Pleistocene (LP) fossil record documenting the evolution of the Neandertals that can be analyzed in light of recently acquired paleogenetical data, an abundance of archeological evidence, and a well-known environmental context. Their origin likely relates to an episode of recolonization of Western…

Olivia Judson on Creation

She seems to have liked it, with caveats and reservations. It’s a narrative film, not a scientific biography, so appropriate shifts in emphases are to be expected.

Chimps, humans, and allopatry

Thomas Mailmund is going ape over chimps & humans again, Patterns of autosomal divergence between the human and chimpanzee genomes support an allopatric model of speciation. A review of a paper of the same name.

The dog as rat

Speaking of Richard Dawkins, he’s back to science, in this case an excerpt from his new book, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution: The evolution of the dog, then, if Coppinger is right, was not just a matter of artificial selection, but a complicated mixture of natural selection (which predominated in the…