Last week, I was lucky enough to attend the Genetics Society of AustralAsia 2012 conference as an undergraduate volunteer. One of the fascinating presentations I had the pleasure of sitting in on was given by mammalian geneticist Jenny Graves, on the evolution of genetic sex determination in vertebrates – and, like many a talk at GSA2012, I livetweeted it. Somehow, that got back to the fine folk at COSMOS, a well-respected Australian science magazine, and I was asked if I would like to write a news piece [...]
» Continue reading “My first professional piece of science writing – sex determination genetics and evolution for COSMOS!”
As my patience for the Discovery Institute is at an all-time low, it’s heartening to see someone completely eviscerate their arguments. I mean, it happens all the time, but it’s particularly satisfying right now.
Carl Zimmer, well-known science writer, has been battling with DI fellow David Klinghoffer over the past few days over the evidence for a chromosome fusion event sometime in the evolutionary history of Homo sapiens that resulted in our chromosome 2, internal telomeres, double centromeric sequences and all. I say battling, but it’s been more [...]
» Continue reading “An epic end to the Zimmer/Klinghoffer chromosome fusion saga”
Sometimes I get sidetracked from what I think are more important topics of discussion to things that are arguably less consequential. This is one of those times. So, instead of writing about convergent evolution, or intelligent design in Prometheus, today I’ll be touching on the “bioessentialist” views of James Barham, an atheistic, yet anti-naturalistic, blogger over at TheBestSchools.org.
Normally I wouldn’t bother engaging with a person so confused, but he’s now regularly mentioned by Evolution News & Views and Uncommon Descent, the two most popular pro-intelligent design blogs, so they at [...]
» Continue reading “Evolution, emergence, reductionism and James Barham’s bioessentialism”
Case must be that one generation then should be as many living as now. To do this & to have many species in same genus (as is) requires extinction. Thus between A & B immense gap of relation. C & B the finest gradation, B & D rather greater distinction. Thus genera would be formed. — bearing relation[...]
This is page 36 of Charles Darwin’s Notebook B: Transmutation of species (1837-1838), and of all of his publications, manuscripts and miscellaneous writings, this single page is, in [...]
» Continue reading ““I think””
The Carnival of Evolution for January is up at The EEB & Flow, a group blog about ecology and evolutionary biology. Some of the topics covered in this month’s posts are:
The Cambrian “explosion”! Was it as rapid as is claimed by some? Dinosaurs! Human evolution! Bat echolocation divergence! A potential new history of HIV’s relationship with human populations! And, of course, much, much more!
The next CoE, for February, will be hosted by… someone, I’m sure. Make sure you submit your evolution-themed blog posts [...]
» Continue reading “Carnival of Evolution No. 43 out now at The EEB & Flow!”
The Carnival of Evolution for December is up at my good friend Psi’s blog The Ocelloid on the Scientific American blog network! As usual, it’s composed of a wondrous slew of posts on evolutionary biology and its many facets (including a post by yours truly). Some of the topics covered are:
The difference between population size and effective population size Gut microbiota influencing mating behaviour in flies Neutral networks Biological and ecological species concepts Symbiogenesis and the legacy of Lynn Margulis Quote-mining Charles Darwin Human evolution And, [...]
» Continue reading “Carnival of Evolution No. 42 out now at The Ocelloid!”
Sadly, it seems to be a pervasive trend in many countries to deemphasise the proper teaching of evolutionary biology. There are probably a few causes of this, ranging from anti-evolutionary pressure from religious traditions who dislike children being taught something that they feel denigrates their belief system, to unenthusiastic school boards and curriculum committees that, for whatever reason, come to the conclusion that evolution is not an important enough subject to teach students in detail. There are also numerous anti-evolution-education voices in the media (primarily in the US) that go [...]
» Continue reading ““Let’s Talk About Evolution” – Promoting the worth of evolution education through video”
The Carnival of Evolution for October is up at EvoEcoLab on the Scientific American blog network! There’s heaps of great stuff over there this month, including book reviews, limb evolution, jawless fish, creationism, hitchhiking genes, crocodile fossils, and co-evolution. You know you love it – go check it out.
The next CoE, for November, will be hosted by The Mermaid’s Tale - submit your evolution-themed blog posts here.
The Carnival of Evolution for July is up at The Lessons of Evolution! The author, Will, is a 13 year-old budding evolutionary biologist: just what I like to see! So, make sure you head over and check out the great selection of blog posts he’s got over there, including posts on fly ejaculate, deadly E. coli, evolutionary trees, digital organisms and more!
The next CoE, for August, will be hosted by Larry Moran over at Sandwalk - submit your evolution-themed blog posts to l(dot)moran(at)utoronto(dot)ca.
» Continue reading “Carnival of Evolution No. 37 out now at The Lessons of Evolution!”
Everyone does eventually, and when they do, the International Society for the Study of Origins of Life will be there for them – with 214 pages of abstracts (PDF) from their 2008 symposium.
It’s a fascinating read for those interested in current abiogenesis hypotheses and models, but be warned: you’ll need to search for keywords of interest (like “ribozyme” or “hydrothermal”) if you want to move around the document quickly, there’s just too much in there!
Hat-tip to Cassandra’s Tears for forcing me to happily [...]
» Continue reading “Want to be slowly crushed to death by the abstracts of abiogenesis papers?”