Biology

The Primate Diaries

Category archives for Biology

The Blind Leading the Blind

Image: Jesus! vs. Darwin! by The Searcher It’s a tired old routine, yet time and again the same argument is taken off the shelf, dusted, buffed and then presented with a sly smile as if it were something new. Evolution, it’s asserted, is only progressive and builds on earlier adaptations in its march forward through…

Scientia Pro Publica is EPIC

The twice monthly premiere science blog carnival has just been posted at Mauka to Makai. Many of your favorite science bloggers have been included (as well as yours truly). Make sure to stop in and prepare to be amazed.

The Darwin Reclamation Project

(To watch this as a music video click on the volume icon in the top left.) Here you are, all your bright, shining faces with a brand new copy of On the Origin of Species. It’s extremely generous of Ray Comfort and Living Waters Publications to distribute so many free copies of a book with…

Big News for Vancouverites Today!

Carl Zimmer, science writer extraordinaire and blogger at The Loom will be speaking tonight at the University of British Columbia. It’s at 7pm in Room 2 of the Woodward Instructional Resources Centre (map). According to his hosts at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum: This year the world celebrates the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles…

On November 24, 1859 Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species. Then, as now, many people were made uncomfortable to think that human beings could be related to the “lower” animals and this discomfort was regularly represented in popular depictions of Darwin during the 19th century. An excellent study on this was written by…

By now everyone has heard of the high school English honors teacher, Dan DeLong, who was suspended for offering students the Seed magazine article “The Gay Animal Kingdom” by Jonah Lehrer as an optional extra credit assignment. According to the Alton, IL based Telegraph newspaper, DeLong has now been reinstated at Southwestern High School after…

Grand evolutionary dramas about human origins capture our imagination and the stories provide context as to how we view ourselves. They are the scientific version of creation myths. However, unlike Adam and Eve being fashioned in the garden or humanity being vomited up by the giant Mbombo (as the Bakuba people of Congo believed), scientific…

In my earlier post I discussed the “Grandmother Hypothesis” as an explanation for human reproductive senescence, or menopause. A problem arises in understanding why women forgo one-third (and sometimes as much as one-half) of their reproductive lives, a condition unique in the natural world. Could this just be a neutral mutation, an artifact of longer…

Why Do Women Experience Menopause?

Whether they’re referred to as hot flashes, power surges or personal summers, the experience of menopause is not fun. But could it be the result of human evolution? One of the most fascinating areas of research in evolutionary studies is the question of reproductive senescence. Why do women go through menopause? Chimpanzees and bonobos, our…

In the classic film Casablanca, the drama hinges on Ilsa’s choice between two men: her kind and supportive husband or her rugged and passionate ex-lover. In a moment of abandon, Ilsa returns to her lover’s arms only to later change her mind and choose the more stable life she would have with her long-term partner.…