Category Archives: evolution

Are chimps natural-born killers?

If you saw the movie “The Last Picture Show” (one of my top five movies), you’ll remember the scene where an English teacher in a small Texas town, facing a class full of bored students, asks, “What are my chances of interesting you people in a little Keats today?” From their reaction, it was nil. So I […]

Wonderful Life: The birds of paradise

The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology has completed its Birds-of-Paradise Project, a veritable paradise for bird aficionados, nature lovers, and especially professors like me who want to show students the most stunning examples of sexual selection on Earth. (Remember that sexual selection is just a form of natural selection: a subset of that phenomenon that rests on differential mate choice.) You […]

Still Church, but not with evolution

Crazy church signs are a genre unto itself. This one graces (pardon the pun) the Calvary Baptist Temple in Fort Collins, Colorado, whose motto is below: They’re worried! And here are two of their signs posted on the reddit atheism site, with the caption, “At the end of June I was driving by this church and […]

A cute tw**t

Finally, to celebrate England’s new curriculum that starts teaching about evolution when kids are 10 or 11, we have this nice tw**t: Of course Steve Gould and Niles Eldredge would say, “NOW!”

Evolution now officially part of British primary-school curriculum

From the British Humanist Association comes an announcement about the advent of an evolution curriculum in British primary schools, so that evolution education, as of this year, begins at age 10 or 11 instead of age 14-15: Today sees a new national curriculum in English schools come into force, and for the first time this […]

A very early fish

Many readers sent me a note about this paper, but, given my schedule, I simply hadn’t gotten around to reading it. Fortunately, Greg did, and gives us a nice summary of what it means. by Greg Mayer In the latest issue of Nature, Simon Conway Morris and Jean-Bernard Caron provide a detailed description of Metaspriggina […]

Khan Academy’s strange accommodationism between evolution and intelligent design (aka God)

The Khan Academy is a site and an educational method that is widely used in America. Founded by Salman Khan, it’s free, and consists of a number of videos that are supposed to teach you just as well as, or better than, conventional classroom education.  The videos are crude, drawn by hand during the presentation, and […]

Tw**ets from Darwin and the Beagle: the Great Man envies kittens

Darwin had both cats and d*gs, but it’s clear that he loved his d*gs more. I’ll forgive him for that; after all, he wrote the best science book ever, and that outweighs a lot of flaws.  In fact, I don’t think The Origin even mentions cats, though I recall that it has a few words […]

Our letter to the New York Times criticizing Nicholas Wade’s book on race

Sunday’s New York Times Book Review (already up) features a letter signed by 139 population geneticists, including myself. It is, in essence, a group of scientists objecting en masse to Nicholas Wade’s shoddy treatment of race and evolution in his new book A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and Human History.  The book was about the genetics of ethnic […]

Duke again offers free Coursera course: “Introduction to genetics and evolution”

I’m happy to see that my second Ph.D student, Dr. Mohamed Noor (now chair of biology at Duke) is again offering his immensely popular “Introduction to Genetics and Evolution” course online, as a MOOC (I hate that word!). The course will start on January 2 of next year and extend until March 23, and I’ve […]

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