Evolution

Stranger Fruit

Category archives for Evolution

Ctenophores and early branching

A few days back I took on Denyse O’Leary’s "science journalism by press release" modus operandi. Now, T. Ryan Gregory has taken on the same press release while dispelling the "early branching equals primitive" fallacy that underlies O’Leary’s claims. Wander on over and have a read.

Predictably, Denyse O’Leary is getting all excited about a paper in this week’s Nature that finds Ctenophora (comb jellies) to be the first multicellular branch off the Tree of Life, a divergence that precedes that of the relatively simpler sponges. Apparently only accessing a LiveScience article, O’Leary breathlessly declares: All this shock and awe comes…

John Wilkins and I have been at the Edges and Boundaries of Biological Objects workshop here in Salt Lake City for the past few days. John live-blogged some of the talks, so you may want to check his posts out. Lots of interesting stuff was discussed about populations (here and here), the fossil record (here),…

Yesterday I took John Wilkins to the Feathered Dinosaurs and the Origin of Flight exhibit at the Arizona Natural History Museum. It was a wonderful opportunity to see 30+ fossils from China along with assorted models and recreations, particularly of Deinonychus (above, particularly cool), Therizinosaurus, Microraptor, Cryptovolans, Confuciusornis, Caudipteryx, and Shenzhouraptor. Some of the exhibit…

A SET update

Unlike Razib, my reading of Gould’s The Structure of Evolutionary Theory isn’t progressing. This is for a number of reasons but primary among them is a busy week service-wise coupled with other reading that must take priority if I’m going to be coherent in class. Looking at the beast in question, I’m guessing weekends will…

Designing Darwin

DESIGNING DARWIN – Prize competition Organized by the British Society for the History of Science Outreach & Education Committee The year 2009 sees both the bicentenary of Charles Darwin’s birth (on 12th February) and the 150th birthday of his most famous work, On the Origin of Species. In anticipation of the celebrations, the BSHS Outreach…

SETting off on a long journey

Razib is reading Stephen Jay Gould’s monumental The Structure of Evolutionary Theory. I have to admit that I bought it when it appeared nearly six years ago and, as yet, have not managed to get beyond the first ninety-odd pages. What I liked about Gould when I was an undergraduate over twenty years ago now…

By way of GrrlScientist, I notice that Fieldiana (the journal of the Field Museum is now freely available online. This means that DD Davis’ classic study “The giant panda: a morphological study of evolutionary mechanisms” of 1964 can now be enjoyed by one and all. Over three hundred pages, detailing everything you’d want to know…

Evolution is …

Today sees the formal start of the North Carolina Science Blogging Conference, an event which I unfortunately cannot attend. Instead of spending my Friday with Bora and other science bloggers, I was giving a public talk titled "Evolution Is …" at Phoenix Country Day School in Paradise Valley. Basic content was to delineate some of…

Evidence and Evolution

Elliot Sober has a new book coming out this year, Evidence and Evolution; The Logic Behind the Science. The book is divided into four sections: The Concept of Evidence, Intelligent Design, Natural Selection, and Common Ancestry. Below are the contents of the section on ID: Darwin and intelligent design Design arguments and the birth of…