Evolution

Stranger Fruit

Category archives for Evolution

Who needs males?

Apparently Mycocepurus smithii doesn’t. It has become the first ant species to dispense completely with males. More details here. (The picture above – from the Daily Mail story – is actually by Alex Wild but is unattributed)

The Superorganism

I’m currently reading Hoelldobler & Wilson?s The Superorganism and just ran across this post by Alex Wild which claims that the whole section of The Superorganism devoted to the evolutionary history of ants is muddy, incoherent, and entirely at odds with the increasingly clear picture emerging from modern studies of ant relationships. Alex is inaugurating…

Guaranteed to enrage Michael Egnor

Most readers probably have heard of Michael Egnor, the DI’s pet neurosurgeon. Egnor has been harping on about what he perceives as the lack of utility of evolution – which he, of course, equates with “Darwinism” – in medicine since 2007, and various folks here have commented on what has been termed his “egnorance“. This…

Descended From Darwin

Joe Cain and Michael Ruse have edited a volume, Descended from Darwin: Insights into American Evolutionary Studies 1925-1950, that has been published by the American Philosophical Society. Thanks to a grant from the APS, the complete volume is available for free at Cain’s website. Some really interesting papers from a bunch of folks I know…

This being the bicentenary of Darwin?s birth – and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his masterwork – many folks seem to have the goal of reading Origin for the first time. Generally speaking the first edition of 1859 (or the second of 1860) is taken as the best edition to begin with –…

February brings travel and talks

February is going to be a busy month for me. Sunday I leave for Oklahoma where I will be giving the lead-off public lecture for their Darwin 2009 Celebration. I will be speaking on the 12th at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History on the topic of ?Was There A Darwinian Revolution?? Any…

Mike Majerus

Nick Matzke over at PT has just made me aware that Mike Majerus had passed away after a sudden illness. Those of us who have followed the ID issue will know Majerus from the studies he did of melanism in peppered moths Biston betularia and the empirical work he did to refute the nonsense spouted…

I?m quoted in a press release regarding a teacher training workshop (the ?Evolution Challenges Workshop?) we?re giving at ASU to help middle and high school teachers teach evolution. Money quotes: Studies have shown that ?16 percent of high school biology teachers are essentially young earth creationists who deny human evolution, with only 28 percent accepting…

Natural Selection and History

An interesting looking paper has just appeared online by John Beatty and Eric Cyr Desjardins that looks at the importance of history in determining form. The abstract reads: In ?Spandrels,? Gould and Lewontin criticized what they took to be an all-too-common conviction, namely, that adaptation to current environments determines organic form. They stressed instead the…

Quick. What’s pink and has stripes?

Ed reports on a putative new species of iguana that has been found on the Galapagos archipelago. Darwin saw two species (one marine and one land). We now have two additional land species, the Barrington land iguana Conolophus pallidus and this new one which is found only Volcan Wolf, the northernmost volcano of Isabela Island.…