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The Battle of the Fruit and Vegetable Soldiers

Darwin's Children Drew All Over the On The Origin of Species Manuscript.
posted by ShooBoo on Mar 18, 2014 - 19 comments

The other discoverer of natural selection

The animated [and largely forgotten] life of A. R. Wallace (single-link NYTimes video)
posted by beagle on Nov 24, 2013 - 2 comments

Google in the Galapagos Islands, and beyond

To mark the 178th anniversary of Darwin’s first exploration of the Galapagos Islands, Google Maps has captured dozens of locations featuring the local biodiversity. It's the newest of Google's ongoing efforts to bring diverse locations to you via your computer.
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 15, 2013 - 9 comments

Marginalia and Annotations online

In literature, there are two key sorts of annotations: marginalia, or the notes jotted down in the margins by the reader, and additional information formally provided in expanded editions of a text, and you can find a bit of both online. Annotated Books Online is an on-line interactive archive of early modern annotated books, where researchers can share digitized documents and collaborate on translations. For insight into a single author's notes, Melville's Marginalia provides just that. For annotations with additional information, The Thoreau Reader provides context for Walden (linked previously), The Maine Woods, and other writings. Then there's the mostly annotated edition Ulysses, analysis of Joseph Conrad's Nostromo, and the thoroughly annotated US constitution (twentieth amendment linked previously). More marginalia and annotations inside. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 14, 2013 - 6 comments

The story of Wallace evolving

The Year Of Wallace (who wasn't Darwin) is pretty well-covered on MeFi. But there's news, history keeps evolving: First, a 17-year-old pupil rediscovered Wallace's butterfly collection at the Oxford University Museum. Second, a new book details how evolution was discovered. [samples here and here | both links link to .pdf files, the second one a biggie] And finally, The Darwin-Wallace mystery solved.
posted by Substrata on Sep 12, 2013 - 6 comments

Five Feet of Books

"During his days as Harvard’s influential president, Dr. Charles W. Eliot made a frequent assertion: If you were to spend just 15 minutes a day reading the right books, a quantity that could fit on a five-foot shelf, you could give yourself a proper liberal education. Publisher P. F. Collier and Son loved the idea and asked Eliot to compile and edit the right collection of works. The result: a 51-volume series of classic works from world literature published in 1909 called Dr. Eliot’s Five Foot Shelf, which would later be called The Harvard Classics." (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 11, 2013 - 89 comments

Early copper coins from an African trading empire found in Australia

The history of people finding Australia goes a little something like this: Aboriginal Australians separated from a migration out of Africa into Asia about 70,000 years, and Australian archaeological sites have proof of humans going back 50,000 years. Jump ahead to 1606, when there were two European voyages that made landfall and charted portions of Australia. First was Willem Janszoon's voyage in late February or early March of that year, and then Luís Vaz de Torres came a few months later. Abel Jansen Tasman was the first European to come across Tasmania, and between 1642 and 1646, his crew charted the Australian coast, more or less (Google auto-translation, original page). Then of course, there was James Cook's 1770 voyage. With all these dates in mind, how did five copper coins from an African sultanate that collapsed in the early 1500s (Google books) end up on an uninhabited island in the Northern Territory of present-day Australia? [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 28, 2013 - 84 comments

The Darwin-Hooker Letters

The Cambridge University Library houses the world's largest collection of Charles Darwin's letters: more than 9,000 of the 15,000 letters he is known to have written and received in his lifetime. They've been posting them online since 2007 (previously on MeFi), in the Darwin Correspondence Project, where we can now read and search the full texts of more than 7,500 letters, and find information on 7,500 more -- all for free. This weekend, they added nearly all of the Darwin-Hooker letters: Over 1400 pieces of correspondence between Darwin and his closest friend, botanist Joseph Hooker. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 31, 2013 - 9 comments

Evolution: Maybe It's Not Just for the Fittest Anymore

Is it time to put natural selection in its place? Jello Biafra once famously wrote that "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve." But while it likely comes as no surprise to specialists working in the field or to those who've been following developments in evolutionary biology closely, there's an emerging view among experts that Darwin's view of natural selection as the primary driver of speciation and evolutionary change may be incorrect or at least drastically overstated. It's long been understood that non-adaptive evolutionary mechanisms like "genetic drift" and random mutation also play non-trivial roles in evolutionary processes, but a recent study (link to abstract with full-text PDF available) casts new doubts on the primary role of natural selection, finding that "Neutral models, in which genetic change arises through random variation without fitness differences have proven remarkably successful in describing observed patterns of biodiversity." [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on Mar 28, 2013 - 51 comments

The World of Life

The Man Who Wasn't Darwin. 2009 was Darwin's Year. 2013 will be the Year of Alfred Russel Wallace. The title and last link lead to a recent, excellent website, Wallace Online. Read the biography and proceed from there.
posted by Substrata on Sep 27, 2012 - 6 comments

The False Allure of Group Selection

Steven Pinker on the "False Allure of Group Selection", with comments by Daniel Dannett, Stewart Brand, and others. Richard Dawkins's take on group selection. Jerry Coyne's take.
posted by AceRock on Jun 25, 2012 - 55 comments

Darwin's 'lost' fossils found in a gloomy corner of the of British Geological Survey

British scientists have discovered a “treasure trove” of Charles Darwin fossils that have been lost for more than 150-years. | 'I spotted some drawers marked "unregistered fossil plants",' he recalls. 'I can't resist a mystery, so I pulled one open. What I found inside made my jaw drop!' Inside were hundreds of fossil plants, polished into thin translucent sheets known as 'thin sections' and captured in glass slides so they could be studied under a microscope. | The British Geologic Survey has images 33 of the "Lost Fossils" online. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jan 17, 2012 - 15 comments

The Longest Game of Hide and Seek Ever

Extinct Galapagos tortoise may just be hiding [more inside]
posted by quin on Jan 9, 2012 - 32 comments

History on a delayed live feed

RealTimeWWII live tweets hourly events from the Second World War, delayed by 70 years. Charles Darwin writes entries in his diary as he travels the world a century earlier onboard The Beagle. The 1940 Chronicle covers events of the Battle of Britain as they happened day by day. For those more inclined to peripateticism, HistoryPin (previously) overlays historical imagery on modern scenes in Google Street View. If you'd like a perspective on your own activities in much shorter timeframe, TimeHop shows you what you were doing a year ago.
Semi-Related: 100 best blogs for your liberal arts education.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Jan 4, 2012 - 5 comments

Bibliographia

Today Cambridge University offered a complete free digital archive of the personal papers of Sir Isaac Newton, including the Principa Mathematica and his first published research paper. The archives join a number of efforts to open original works of scientific greatness to the world: Newton's original works are handily supplemented by The Newton Project, showing the man's insertions and deletions to his own work.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Dec 12, 2011 - 10 comments

Survivial of the fittest school of economics?

Charles Darwin, Economist
posted by Gyan on Oct 6, 2011 - 121 comments

Digitized Darwin

More than 300 heavily-annotated books from Charles Darwin's personal library have been digitized in a collaboration between Cambridge University, which holds the collection, and the Biodiversity Heritage Library, a project that has so far digitized nearly 50,000 titles from the natural sciences. And if you're looking for what Darwin wrote, rather than what he read, the University of Oklahoma has digitized the first edition of each of his 22 books.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jun 23, 2011 - 17 comments

The life and times of Tom Eisner, father of chemical ecology, photographer, musician and champion of environmental and human rights

Thomas Eisner, a Cornell biologist best known for his extensive work (PDF) with chemical ecology, passed away on Friday, March 25th, 2011. Eisner was more than a "bug guy," he was one of the "original guiding lights" in the study of chemical interactions of organisms, most often focusing on insects. He also was a photographer, pianist and occasional conductor (PDF), and conservation activist. More on his fascinating life inside. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 6, 2011 - 7 comments

Games and resources from museums for children

Show Me is a site collecting games and resources for children from UK museums. [more inside]
posted by paduasoy on Mar 27, 2011 - 6 comments

X day

OS X is X today! Meanwhile, Bertrand Serlet, father of OS X, is leaving apple.
posted by Artw on Mar 24, 2011 - 123 comments

iHero: Mosaics of Steve Jobs

iHero: Mosaics of Steve Jobs - Charis Tsevis is a Greek artist and visual designer who creates interesting collages from objects related to the subject, often for publications like the Wall Street Journal and Time. Other works include Barack Obama, Charles Darwin, Jonathan Ive and much more.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 22, 2011 - 25 comments

This is a subject of but small importance; and I know not whether it will interest any readers, but it has interested me.

"This is a subject of but small importance; and I know not whether it will interest any readers, but it has interested me."-C. D. Quick... what was Darwin's most popular book? If you answered The Origin of Species, you were wrong. It was his last book, published the year before he died, The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms With Observation of Their Habits (illustrations [first presented 1 Nov. 1837, as noted in the record of the Royal Geological Society]). Darwin noted when he was beginning his career that worms churned up soil, causing heavier objects to sink slowly in the soil. He noted that all soil had passed through the alimentary duct of worms. It started off a fashion of cultivating worms by gardeners that continues to the present day. -We recently learned that we owe an element of our unique cerebral cortex, or pallium to our marine worm ancestors. (In amphibians, the cerebrum includes archipallium, paleopallium and some of the basal nuclei. Reptiles first developed a neopallium, which continued to develop in the brains of more recent species to become the neocortex of mammals." [&, ultimately, you and you and we]) [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Dec 30, 2010 - 11 comments

Life goes non-linear

The chaos theory of evolution
posted by Artw on Oct 18, 2010 - 33 comments

Giant Web, Snack-Size Fare

Photos: World's Biggest, Strongest Spider Webs Found: "Unlike most spiders, Darwin's bark spiders will sometimes wrap several insect corpses into a single cocoon, creating a snack pack for later consumption."
posted by bwg on Sep 18, 2010 - 57 comments

So this rocky outcrop in the Atlantic, it vibrates?

Charles Darwin, famous for his work On The Origin of Species, was also a secret terraformer.

More here.
posted by Biru on Sep 2, 2010 - 26 comments

Darwin Fest Videos

"Darwin Fest" videos of talks given at the 50th anniversary of the Darwin Conference at the University of Chicago in 2009. [more inside]
posted by AceRock on Aug 15, 2010 - 16 comments

Misunderstanding Darwin

Misunderstanding Darwin: Natural selection’s secular critics get it wrong. Ned Block and Philip Kitcher review Jerry Fodor's (previously) and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini's book What Darwin Got Wrong. Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini respond: “Misunderstanding Darwin”: An Exchange.
posted by homunculus on Mar 20, 2010 - 62 comments

Been down so long it looks like up to me

Depression's upside. Could depression be an evolutionary gift? Could kindness? Charles Darwin himself had a history of ailments that may help to illustrate the idea.
posted by stinkycheese on Mar 17, 2010 - 41 comments

A Darwin electro-opera

The Knife (previously) have released a studio recording of 'Tomorrow, In A Year,' an "electro-opera"{video} based upon Darwin's 'Origin of Species.' Listen to the whole thing here.
posted by ennui.bz on Jan 30, 2010 - 18 comments

Book of the Month

Book of the Month is a feature that the University of Glasgow Library has been running for over a decade now. The format is simple, a single book is selected from their collections, written up and accompanied by pictures, maps and photographs scanned from the books. With over a 100 books to select from, it's hard to know where to start, but anywhere is good because they're all lovely. Still, here are a few, Charles Darwin's The Expression of the emotions in man and animals, a beautiful 15th century illuminated copy of Livy's Roman history, Treatises on Engines and Weapons, Valentines and Dabbities, The Birds of Australia, Facts and Observations on the Sanitary State of Glasgow, Ibn Jazla's The arrangement of bodies for treatment and finally, The Curious Case of Mary Toft, MetaFilter superstar.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 18, 2009 - 6 comments

Me Go Too Far! Me Am Play Gods!

Caveman Science Fiction. Me Go Too Far! Me Am Play Gods! [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Oct 5, 2009 - 25 comments

College makes you an atheist!

Former child actor Kirk Cameron and his friend Ray (The Banana Guy) Comfort [previously] seek to distribute the "correct" (aka altered) version of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species to 50,000 students at the nation's top 50 universities as the book is soon to celebrate its 150th anniversary. Their version includes a 50-page introduction which "...gives the history of evolution, a timeline of Darwin's life, Adolph Hitler's undeniable connection with the theory, Darwin's racism, his disdain for women, and Darwin's thoughts on the existence of God..." Cameron's promotional video for the project: 'Origin Into Schools.' A video response: "Origin of Stupidity." [more inside]
posted by ericb on Sep 24, 2009 - 281 comments

Since when does Hollywood shy away from controversy?

The Producer Cites Religious Controversy. The Director points to a recessionary trend against "serious" movies. A new film about Charles Darwin's life ("Creation") is reportedly having difficulty finding a US distributor. ( Creation: IMDB / Official Site / Trailer / Spoiler-laden review from Roger Ebert / LA Times review // Darwin: Previously on MeFi).
posted by zarq on Sep 13, 2009 - 70 comments

Darwin's Evolving Thoughts

The Preservation of Favoured Traces: a visualization of Charles Darwin's edits and additions to On the Origin of Species over the course of six editions. (via) [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Sep 5, 2009 - 6 comments

Orchids

How do you spread your genes around when you're stuck in one place? By tricking animals, including us, into falling in love. Orchids — Love and Lies [more inside]
posted by netbros on Aug 30, 2009 - 15 comments

You sure don't see a lot of sidecars nowadays.

15 Classic PC Design Mistakes, along with explanations as to what exactly they were thinking at the time.
posted by Afroblanco on Jun 15, 2009 - 70 comments

Happy Birthday, Mr Darwin

Dawkins on Darwin | A Peek into the Life of Darwin with Jon Amiel, Director of Creation | Six scientific hot spots for modern Darwins | 'Why Evolution Is True,' by Jerry A. Coyne
posted by chuckdarwin on Feb 12, 2009 - 15 comments

Be Entertained

So you'll be ready the next time MeFi goes away for awhile, Keep Busy. This is a site with thousands of games and that'll leave a mark type videos for the kid in you.
posted by netbros on Feb 11, 2009 - 8 comments

Devolve Me.

See yourself as you would have looked as an early human. [more inside]
posted by gman on Feb 11, 2009 - 37 comments

Evolution and Emancipation

Darwin the abolitionist. "The theory of evolution is regarded as a triumph of disinterested scientific reason. Yet, on the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species, new research reveals that Darwin was driven to the idea of common descent by a great moral cause." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Feb 8, 2009 - 24 comments

(Un)blinding them with science!

In a breathless, passionate, yet level-headed 15 part series, YouTube user, paleontologist, ex-Christian, and potential Space Coyote impersonator AronRa presents an uncommonly well-written and presented argument against what he identifies as the 14 "Fundamental Falsehoods of Creationism." [more inside]
posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism on Jan 13, 2009 - 57 comments

Darwin, extended

The "blind watchmaker" may not be as blind as we thought. A team of scientists at Princeton University discovers that organisms are not only evolving, they're evolving to evolve better, using a set of proteins to "steer the process of evolution toward improved fitness" by making tiny course corrections.
posted by digaman on Nov 11, 2008 - 66 comments

Now you must know and understand, O Best Beloved, that till that very week, and day, and hour, and minute, this 'satiable Elephant's Child had never seen a Crocodile

Thrill-seekers swim with crocodiles in Australia Tourists who want to get cozy with a crocodile climb into a clear acrylic cage, dubbed "the cage of death," which is about 145 mm (5.7 inches) thick and 2.8 meters (9.2 feet) high, wearing just a pair of swimming goggles and a swimsuit. [Pictures] [YouTubery] "I can understand how this might be attractive to tourists but has anyone considered the welfare of the crocodile?" [More about saltwater crocodiles] [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Nov 10, 2008 - 25 comments

Charles Darwin to receive apology from the Church of England

"Charles Darwin: 200 years from your birth, the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still." The comments are included on a Church of England website promoting the views of Charles Darwin to be launched on Monday.
posted by finite on Sep 14, 2008 - 41 comments

Fifty knot winds with occasional furries.

They said that Hurricane Ike could bring unimaginable disaster in its wake...
but no one could've predicted the full extent of the horror. (YouTube, 31 sec. or still photo) This unexpected furriness brought to you by this guy. Prankster(NSFW)? Jackass? Potential Darwin Awards recipient?!
posted by markkraft on Sep 13, 2008 - 23 comments

Challenging the Evolution Industry

Rethinking Evolution with Stuart Newman, The New Master Of Evolution? Video Interview: Evolution Politics. A reformulation of the theory of evolution. Susan Mazur presents most of the players in her latest e-book: Will the Real Theory of Evolution Please Stand Up? [more inside]
posted by hortense on Sep 1, 2008 - 54 comments

The Wandering Eye (Pleuronectiformes, We Hardly Knew You)

A University of Chicago doctoral candidate has shown that the evolution of the flatfish was much more gradual than previously thought.
posted by chuckdarwin on Jul 10, 2008 - 21 comments

Galapagos kitties exterminated

What would have evolved in 10,000 years? Feral cats have long-established colonies on the islands of the Galapagos chain.
posted by longsleeves on Jun 11, 2008 - 73 comments

What if yellow and red started breeding?

Survival of the fittest
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 20, 2008 - 23 comments

"The great man's brain may need some downtime."

Dinner With Darwin. Scientists from various disciplines weigh in on what kind of dinner conversation they envision themselves having with Charles Darwin. Via.
posted by amyms on Mar 26, 2008 - 15 comments

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