evolution

Neuron Culture

Tag archives for evolution

In reverse order: 5.  David Sloan Wilson, pissing off the angry atheists. “I piss off atheists more than any other category, and I am an atheist.” This sparked some lively action in the comments. 4. Lively or not, Wilson and Dawkins lost fourth place to snail jokes. A turtle gets mugged by a gang of snails. …

David Sloan Wilson, an atheist himself, has a few things to relate to ‘angry atheists’ like Richard Dawkins. I piss off atheists more than any other category, and I am an atheist. One of the things that infuriates me about the newest crop of angry atheists, such as Richard Dawkins, is their denial of the…

Hits of the week past

Hits of the week: Savage Minds (with a spiffy website redesign) asks Why is there no Anthropology Journalism? Jerry Coyne takes sharp exception to both a paper and a SciAm Mind Matters article by Paul Andrews and Andy Thomson arguing that depression might be an evolutionary adaptation. Dr. Pangloss punches back. (NB: 1. I was…

In my “Atlantic article on the genetic roots of stable-versus-reactive temperaments, I noted that the key gene variants linked to these traits appeared to have developed over only the last 50,000-100,000 years — a short time in evolutionary time. That same idea is developed in Cochran and Harpending’s “The 10,000-year Explosion.” Here Razib at Gene…

The video interview above, with NIH primatologist Stephen Suomi, is embedded within a feature of mine that that appeared today at The Atlantic website — and is in the December 2009 issue now shipping — about a new hypothesis in behavioral genetics. This emerging hypothesis, which draws on substantial data, much of which has gone…

Reef sightings

I was pleased to see my book Reef Madness: Charles Darwin, Alexander Agassiz, and the Meaning of Coral written up in a couple of venues recently. Over at The Primate Diaries, Eric Michael Johnson, who does on history and philosophy of science, looks at the “terrific argument” that the book follows — an argument simultaneously…

Greg Laden, trying to toss a line between the “New Atheists” and ‘Accommodationists” who are currently squabbling about a dust-up featuring PZ Myers v Chris Mooney & Sheril Kirshenbaum (who apparently rough Myers up a bit in their book Unscientific America), writes: Now, I just want to make this point: I learned early on (when…

A ring-tailed lemur, via Afarensis Here’s one that’ll grab you. Via Discover’s 80beats science news blog: A small, lemur-like creature may have been an early ancestor of monkeys, apes, and humans. A magnificently preserved fossil dating from 47 million years ago reveals an animal that had, among other things, opposable thumbs, similar to humans’, and…

On my reading table

The 10,000-year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Evolution, of which I’ve so far read about 1000 words — but I just got it. Appears to be The Beak of the Finch (faster than expected evolutionary changes) in humans, but with this delicious addtion: the idea that culture can drive evolution, so that the line between “nature”…

Evolutionary Novelties ponders placentas: For me one of the most visceral confirmations of the common descent of humans and other mammals came while witnessing the birth of my children. Having grown up on a small farm, I have vivid memories of the birth of kittens, lambs, and goats; and after the births of my children,…