Category Archives: evolution

Nature to launch new ecology and evolution journal

This hasn’t been officially announced yet, but I learned about it last week and it’s not really a secret given that Nature is already advertising for editors (here and here) for a new journal whose description is in the second ad: Nature Ecology and Evolution — the latest member of the Nature family — will […]

Wrongheaded anthropologist claims that humans aren’t apes

It’s time to affirm once and for all that humans are apes, and to educate those who say otherwise. To deny that is to deny a palpable fact of biology and evolution: our close ancestry with other primates. One of those who need education is Jonathan Marks, a cultural anthropologist at the University of North Carolina […]

The “coywolf”: a new species of canid?

At least three readers have pointed me to articles, one in The Economist and the other in Raw Story, arguing that a new species of canid, the “coywolf” (also called a “wolfote”) is emerging before our eyes as wolves (Canis lupus), domestic dogs, and coyotes (Canis latrans) all hybridize to form a distinct entity. Such “hybrid […]

Your essential evolution library

by Greg Mayer I frequently teach evolutionary biology in the spring semester, but for various reasons I will not be teaching it this coming spring. A few days ago, a student who wanted to take the course, but now couldn’t, asked what he could read in lieu of taking it. We discussed some suggestions, and […]

Canadian human biology textbook flirts with creationism

A reader reported to me that this book, which came out in Canada on February 6, contains at least a bit of dicey material about evolution. The material comes uncomfortably close to certain tropes of creationism. The book’s Amazon description is below the cover picture: “The only title written for Canadian pre-health courses, Human Biology, Anatomy, […]

Four laws of evolutionary biology

There are no “laws” in evolutionary biology comparable to those in physics, except perhaps that “all species evolve”. But that’s not very exciting. What we have in my field are not unbreakable “laws,” but patterns or generalizations. When these become sufficiently general and impressive (i.e. 80-90% of species obey them, often across diverse taxa), then we have an […]

An author jumps the shark on evolution

Wikipedia describes Perry Marshall like this: Perry Sink Marshall (born April 10, 1969) is an American online marketing strategist, entrepreneur, and author of several books, most notably the bestsellers Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords and Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising. He speaks at conferences and corporate events and runs seminars about Google AdWords and Pay-per-click […]

Comics and convergent evolution in trees

Here’s a recent xkcd strip called “Magic tree”, which has an evolutionary twist: When you “mouse over” the strip, you see this: In other words, artist Randall Munroe is giving a humorous example of “convergent evolution,” in which those trees that most closely resemble cellphone towers are those that leave their genes. This form of evolution […]

Friday afternoon evolution cartoon

Someone should make a book out of these “fish evolving out of the water” cartoons. There must be hundreds of them by now (add a link to your favorite below). This one is by Dan Piraro from Bizarro!

Matthew Cobb answers questions about evolution and animal sniffers

Manchester Life Sciences has posted a new YouTube video in its “Ask a Scientist” series, and the scientist to ask happens to be our own Matthew Cobb. In this 15-minute video he takes on six questions about evolution and about his own speciality: olfaction. It’s very interesting: click on either screenshot below to go to the video: Our hero! […]


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