Evolution and Math

The November 30th edition of the London Review of Books has a review by John Whitfield of Burt & Trivers' Genes in Conflict: The Biology of Selfish Genetic Elements (which has been on my shelf unread for awhile now). Here's a nice quote:

[R]eading [the book] did help me work out why evolutionary biology is so compelling. It's because it is to biology what maths is to physics: a set of beautiful and powerful intellectual tools that unify and make sense of the facts, revealing both life's strangeness and its logic.

Tags

More like this

Below I mentioned the doyen of living population geneticists, James Crow, yeah, Jim Crow. Collaborater with Motoo Kimura of Neutral Theory fame, Crow is still an active member of the biological community. Recently he reviewed Genes in Conflict : The Biology of Selfish Genetic Elements by Bob…
The conventional Mendelian model for diploid organisms assumes that the expression of an autosomal allele within an individual should be invariant of its sex of origin, that is, whether it is inherited from the father or the mother.  This model is incorrect for a subset of alleles across many taxa…
The Dark Side of DNA is a review of Genes in Conflict, Austin Burt and Robert Triver's magisterial survey of the extant literature of 'selfish genetic elements.' Do you know what the killer 't-haplotype' is? You should, it is pretty bizarre.
Today's falsehood is the idea that individual animals act for the benefit of their own species. Let me give you an example. When I was a kid, I watched a nature show about cougars. The show 'documented' a single female cougar going about doing cougar-things and being generally cougar-like. At…