Category Archives: science education

Human Phylogeography: The lessons learned, 1

by Greg Mayer UPDATE. A couple of readers have drawn attention to the website, gcbias, of Graham Coop, a population geneticist at UC Davis. He has excellent discussions, with nice graphics, of issues in genetic genealogy, including calculation of the number of “genetic units” in particular generations. As an example, 7 generations back you have […]

National Review: Conservatives should accept evolution

Both the Left and Right have their issues with evolution. On the Right, many are evangelical Christians and reject evolution on religious grounds. Even Orthodox Jews like Ben Shapiro have found themselves flirting with Intelligent Design, and when I saw Shapiro implicitly attacking modern evolutionary biology I gave up all hope for him. The voting […]

Teaching Evolution: Sewall Wright: Evolution in space

by Greg Mayer Our next installment of Teaching Evolution for this spring concerns Sewall Wright. His contributions were wide-ranging, but he is most noted for his integration of population structure (population size, migration) and selection into what he called the “shifting balance” theory. In this theory, genetic drift, migration, and selection interact to produce what […]

Five Books: Adam Hart-Davis’s choice of the best books on popular science

Adam Hart-Davis is an English writer, photographer, and broadcaster, known for being the presenter of several popular BBC series. In a Five Books piece (click on screenshot below), Hart-Davis lists and discusses what he sees as the five best popular-science books. According to the site, “Adam Hart-Davis says clear simple writing is the key to […]

Teaching Evolution: Theodosius Dobzhansky: Genetics of natural populations

by Greg Mayer Readers may recall that last spring I began what Jerry called a “mini-MOOC” on evolutionary biology. Because I began making posts fairly late in the semester, I got to only seven installments before the semester ended. I’m teaching the same course, BIOS 314 Evolutionary Biology, this spring, and so I’d like to […]

Human Phylogeography

by Greg Mayer For the spring semester, my colleague Dave Rogers and I are teaching a seminar class entitled “Human Phylogeography.” Phylogeography is the study of the history of the genetic variation, and of genetic lineages, within a species (or closely related group of species), and in the seminar we are looking at the phylogeography […]

Americans’ acceptance of evolution: does it depend on how you ask them?

One thing you learn from looking at surveys of American acceptance of evolution: the statistics vary dramatically depending on which organization asks the question. And it also depends on how the question is asked. About a week ago, a Pew Survey tested this by assessing acceptance of human evolution in two ways. Read their summary—and […]

My anti-accommodationism article at The Conversation

A while back I posted a critique on this site of an article by Tom McLeish at The Conversation, “Religion isn’t the enemy of science: it’s been inspiring scientists for centuries.” In that critique I wrote, “I think it’s time I contributed an article to The Conversation showing why science and religion are incompatible, as that site […]

Princeton’s course on how marginalized scientists can produce “different ways of knowing”

The class below, found on the Princeton University course website, asks two questions: 1.) Is science gendered, racialized, ableist, and classist? and 2.) Does the presence or absence of women (and other marginalized individuals) lead to the production of different kinds of scientific knowledge?   Do any of you doubt for a moment that the […]

Evolutionist coopts the field for social justice

Holly Dunsworth is a biological anthropologist at the University of Rhode Island, and appears to be somewhat of a biological ideologue—at least as far as male-female differences are concerned. For instance, she’s questioned my claim, supported by substantial evidence, that sexual selection (probably involving male-male competition) was likely responsible for human sex differences in size and […]