Scientists again see natural selection in real time

In WEIT, I describe several studies showing that natural selection can change species over periods shorter than a human lifetime.  These studies have been important in convincing skeptics (although not creationists, who will never be convinced) that natural selection is more than just a speculation, but a force that can really mold animal behaviors, appearances, […]

More on Dick Lewontin and WEIT: what’s the deal with natural selection?

Several days ago I called attention to Richard Lewontin’s review of WEIT and several other books in The New York Review of Books.  In it, Dick (excuse the informality, but he was my Ph.D advisor) praises the book but takes me to task for implying that the evidence for natural selection is as strong as […]

Dick Lewontin reviews Brown, Gibson, Darwin, and Coyne in the NYRB

Richard Lewontin (who, I confess, was my Ph.D. advisor at Harvard) reviewed WEIT and three other books in the latest New York Review of Books (Janet Browne’s Darwin’s Origin of Species: A Biography, James Costa’s The Annotated Origin,  Greg Gibson’s  It Takes a Genome: How a Clash between Our Genes and Modern Life is Making […]

Recent natural selection in human populations

A bunch of high-powered genomics people have just come out with a paper in Genome Research surveying the human genome for recent signs of natural selection (which you can assess by looking at the patterns of DNA variation around various genes).  You can get the original paper (reference and abstract below) here as a pdf […]

Coat color in wolves

by Greg Mayer An alert reader has directed my attention to an interesting paper on coat color in wolves (abstract only without subscription) in today’s issue of Science by Tovi Anderson of Stanford and 14 colleagues from the US, Canada, Italy, and Sweden. Coat color in wolves is a polygenic trait affected by age, but […]

Genes for surviving after reproduction

An alert reader has written me about a statement I made in WEIT: You write that “a gene that knocks you off after reproductive age incurs no evolutionary disadvantage.” And you go on to say that selection would not favour genes that helped survival after reproduction has finished. “One example would be a gene that helps […]

More evidence of selection in action

I’m going to try to post fairly frequent updates about new observations and experiments in evolutionary biology that are relevant to my book.  Here’s the first. Two weeks ago, in an article in The New York Times, Cornelia Dean summarized a recent article in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences about how inadvertant […]