Category Archives: evolution

Simon Conway Morris’s new book on evolutionary convergence. Does it give evidence for God?

The eminent paleobiologist Simon Conway Morris, who did seminal work on the Burgess Shale Fauna, has a new book out. Published on January 19, it’s called The Runes of Evolution: How the Universe Became Self-Aware. And it was published by Templeton Press, which should tell you something about its contents.   Now the subtitle does seem […]

A Lego Beagle (Darwin’s): Vote for it!

I don’t know how long Lego sets have been around, as I didn’t have them as a kid (I made do with Lincoln Logs, Erector Sets, and Tinkertoys). But they’re how a favorite among kids, and I like the idea of multi-use toys that you can make many things with. Legos can also come in specialized […]

“Unchanging bacteria” revisited: dreadful science reporting in The Washington Post

It’s a sad situation that the only newspaper in the U.S. that still has a full science section is the New York Times (it’s on Tuesday), and even much of that is devoted to “health”.  Other papers seem to act as “article aggregators,” with poorly-trained science journalists simply accepting a new finding at face value based […]

Darwin Day 2015 at the Dinosaur Discovery Museum in Kenosha, Wisconsin (and at the University of Southern Mississippi)

by Greg Mayer (and Professor Ceiling Cat): Darwin Day, Feb. 12, is fast approaching, so start making your plans now. The Dinosaur Discovery Museum in Kenosha, Wisconsin will be holding its event this coming Saturday, February 7, from noon to 5 PM. There will be educational displays (including live herps), activities for children, videos about […]

A new paper claims that evolution has stopped in a bacterial species. Is it true?

Several readers called my attention to a new paper by J. William Schopf and colleagues in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (reference below; free download at link), a paper that has also gotten a great deal of attention in the press. Last week a journalist asked me to comment on it, but I was […]

Teacher recommends lying to to get Christians and Muslim students to accept evolution

Reader Diane G. called my attention to a new (and badly misguided) article in The Humanist, the publication of the American Humanist Society. Written by Susan Corbett, who has taught science all over the world, it’s called “How to teach evolution to Christians and Muslims.” Sadly, Corbett’s way of teaching evolution is not only an affront to real […]

Should there be a “Third Way” of evolution? I think not.

Someone just called a fairly new “Evolution-Needs-a-New-Paradigm” website to my attention, and I wish they hadn’t. The site, “The Third Way of Evolution,” has been going for some time and, according to the its notes, was created last May by two biologists, James Shapiro (here at the University of Chicago) and Dennis Noble, a renowed physiologist who was formerly a […]

Chemical mimicry in an aphid

I’ve posted a lot about morphological mimicry in animals: the evolved resemblance of one species’ appearance to that of another, or to the environmental background. This mimicry can serve to protect animals from being spotted by predators, or, if you’re a predator, to hide yourself from your prey. The latter situation, in which animals resemble something else […]

Nicholas Wade writes a shamefully ignorant review of Bill Nye’s new evolution book

For a long time I’ve thought that many of the senior science writers of the New York Times have outlived their usefulness. It might not be a function of age, but simply poor quality journalism. Regardless, the Times could use a serious shake-up in its science section. Happily, one of their senior writers, Nicholas Wade, retired in […]

Readers’ wildlife photo, and an evolutionary lesson: speciation in action!

Reader pyers from the UK sent a photo of a bird at his feeder that brings up a cool evolutionary story. Birders and biologists have known for more than 40 years that this species, the Eurasian blackcap, may be splitting into two species before our eyes, as birds going to their original overwintering ground have now split into two different […]

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