ChicagoDarwin2009

Pharyngula

Category archives for ChicagoDarwin2009

Man, philosophers sure take a long time to get to the point. OK, his outline: 1) development and differential entrenchment in evolution. 2) application of these principles to culture. 3) what new phenomena this theory can capture. Plunges into “thick, thin, and medium viscosity theories of culture”. I have no idea what he’s talking about:…

Darwin didn’t know the basic mechanisms of evolutionary change. Mechanism of inheritance was a black box. Darwin’s last publication before his death was “on the dispersal of bivalves”. Why are freshwater bivalves so homogeneous in morphology? Describes a beetle with a conch attached to its leg, which provided a mechanism of dispersal. Turns out the…

How can I resist an opportunity to see Ruse gibbering on the stage? I’m curious to see whether he annoys or enlightens. It could go either way. He’s not going to talk about evo-devo! OK, I’m already annoyed. Criticizes the infamous New Scientist cover, “Darwin Was Wrong”; received email from Paul Nelson (boo) claiming the…

Shubin had a tough act to follow, coming after Kingsley’s great talk. I’m sure it will be good, though — last night I got a tour of his lab, saw the original Tiktaalik specimens and some new ones, and some of his work in progress (which I won’t tell you about until it’s published), so…

Photos from the conference!

Jerry Coyne has put up a few photos from the conference, including one of me hunched over my teeny-tiny note-taking laptop doing the exciting live-blogging thing. It doesn’t look as glamorous as it actually is.

This talk should put me back in my comfort zone—developmental biology, evolution, and fish, with the stickleback story, one of the really cool model systems that have emerged to study those subjects. What is the molecular basis of evolutionary change in nature? How many genetic changes are required to produce new traits? Which genes are…

Darwin had problems with the fossil record that he explained as a result of imperfections. Modern paleo has corrected some of that with the discovery of many intermediates. Jablonski is going to talk about the fossil record as a laboratory for testing evolutionary hypotheses. Marine bivalves are model systems with both modern forms and good…

A phylogeny is a statement about the evolutionary history of organisms. Cladograms give branching order only, but phylograms include branch lengths as well. They inform us about diversification of lineages, patterns and rates of trait evolution, and the ages of taxa and timing of radiations. The tree is a model for the history of life…

Lander began by saying he wasn’t an evolutionist — an interestingly narrow definition of the term. He’s a fan of the research, but considers himself a biomedical geneticist, as if that was something different. Having entire genomes of many species available for quantitative analysis is going to lead to a qualitative change in the science…

Earlier today, Jerry mentioned to me that he noticed my earlier blog posts on the meeting, and thought I wasn’t being critical enough. So I think that means I’m supposed to let my inner beast out for this one. (Nah, actually, it’s because I’m in note-taking transcription mode while listening to these talks. I have…