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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 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

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

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

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

Life goes non-linear

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

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

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

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

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

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

"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

New peer-reviewed Creationist Research Journal

Answers Research Journal is a new "professional peer-reviewed technical journal for the publication of interdisciplinary scientific and other relevant research from the perspective of the recent Creation and the global Flood within a biblical framework." Current Volume. Call for Papers.
posted by Rumple on Feb 2, 2008 - 32 comments

Why are evolutionary biologists bringing back extinct deadly viruses?

Darwin's Surprise. "There may be no biological process more complicated than the relationships that viruses have with their hosts. Could it be that their persistence made it possible for humans to thrive?" [Via Disinformation.]
posted by homunculus on Nov 27, 2007 - 63 comments

Ben Stein's Expelled

Ben Stein, actor, game show host, economist and White House speechwriter has embarked upon a heroic and, at times, shocking journey in the new documentary Expelled to confront the world’s top scientists, educators and philosophers, regarding their 'persecution' of the academics who support the non-science that is Intelligent Design. Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers amongst others claim they were duped into appearing in the film believing it to be a film that was to be titled Crossroads (no not that Crossroads, nor this one) that would be a debate about creationism versus Darwinism. No wonder Ferris took a day off from school with this guy as his teacher (NSFW).
posted by electricinca on Sep 28, 2007 - 155 comments

No Darwin, No Hitler

Darwin's Deadly Legacy illustrates how Charles Darwin caused the Holocaust. This documentary, from the late Dr. James Kennedy and his Coral Ridge Ministries, features not only rare, Bigfoot-esque glimpses of the notoriously camera-shy Ann Coulter, but also Francis Collins, the head of the Human Genome Project. Of course, Dr. Collins hates everything about the documentary and claims that his footage was simply spliced in under false pretenses, and even Michael Behe distances himself from the entire production, disagreeing as he does with its central tenets. Oh, and the ADL is pissed, but when aren't they? Anyway, not even arch-conservative websites with "We Need Alan Keyes For President" interstitial ads think the documentary is worth very much. And it seems that Hitler himself had a grand old time pimping out Christianity and denying that we came from apes. (More, more.) So watch the fucking trailer and learn yourself some history.
posted by Sticherbeast on Sep 10, 2007 - 69 comments

The Darwin Correspondence Project

Darwin wrote to 2000 people during his life; 14,500 of these letters still survive. The Darwin Correspondence Project is putting annotated transcriptions of these online, and they've covered about 5,000 so far, including a letter written when he was 12 after he had got into trouble with his sister for not washing regularly while at school. There's an intro here. See also Darwin Online, discussed here. And the prolific network theorist Albert-Laszlo Barabasi has co-authored a paper on statistical similarities between Darwin's and Einstein's correspondence (#51 on the list).
posted by carter on May 16, 2007 - 11 comments

Oh my God

Darwin's God. "A scientific exploration of how we have come to believe in God." This article tracks the possibility that belief in a higher power is the product of evolution.
posted by inconsequentialist on Mar 3, 2007 - 50 comments

Giraffes, bonobos, and manatees oh my!

450 Species of homosexual animals and counting ... Fascinating Seed article concerning the existence of homosexual animals and Darwin's conception of heterosexuality.
posted by AllesKlar on Jun 21, 2006 - 236 comments

Evolution: A Web Companion

Evolution: A Web Companion. 'The expanding universe is both awesome and humbling. When looking closely at nature—whether through a telescope, microscope, or computer visualization of collected data—one cannot help being struck by the intricacies and complexities observed. The magnitude of the cosmos, the power of natural forces, and the extent of deep time, however, alert us to how small and transient we are...'
Related :- The Writings of Charles Darwin (previous thread); Talk Origins; Understanding Evolution.
posted by plep on Apr 19, 2006 - 10 comments

The Darwin symbol has a new name.

There have been many knock offs of the Ichthys symbol. None of these symbols have caused as much controversy as the Darwin fish. Recently some scientists in Northern Canada have made a discovery that may eliminate some of that controversy, it’s called the Tiktaalik roseae.
posted by Mr_Zero on Apr 5, 2006 - 43 comments

Some people can't bear clarity

Before the class, Crocker had told me that she was going to teach "the strengths and weaknesses of evolution." Afterward, I asked her whether she was going to discuss the evidence for evolution in another class. She said no.
A "Biology 101" class turns into a gripe session for creationists at a state school, the Northern Virginia Community College. The lecturer then whines about being discriminated against when she fails to teach the subject she's hired to teach.
posted by orthogonality on Feb 5, 2006 - 80 comments

The consequences of Charles Darwin's "one long argument"

Intelligent Evolution...Today we live in a less barbaric age,[than the age of Copernicus and Bruno] but an otherwise comparable disjunction between science and religion, the one born of Darwinism, still roils the public mind. Why does such intense and pervasive resistance to evolution continue 150 years after the publication of The Origin of Species, and in the teeth of the overwhelming accumulated evidence favoring it? The answer is simply that the Darwinian revolution, even more than the Copernican revolution, challenges the prehistoric and still-regnant self-image of humanity. Evolution by natural selection, to be as concise as possible, has changed everything...
posted by Postroad on Nov 12, 2005 - 75 comments

$250,000 award

$250,000 award - if you can prove Darwin's theory of evolution.
posted by snark9 on Oct 18, 2005 - 119 comments

Kitzmiller v. DASD

Intelligent Design on trial! The ACLU of PA is blogging the current trial in Dover, PA between the parents of students and the local school board which wants to teach students Intelligent Design. Over at The Panda's Thumb, they're also keeping track of the goings on. The main ACLU website has statements from most of the plaintiff's experts in the case, including this long, well-supported pdf from philsopher Barbara Forrest, whose testimony is being used to dismantle the canard that ID is not Creationism. Over at the Legal Affairs Debate Club Beckwith and Laylock argued, last week, about whether teaching ID is legal. For background: this 2002 special report from Natural History Magazine on Intelligent Design Creationism.
posted by OmieWise on Oct 6, 2005 - 81 comments

God's Darwin or Chance's Drawin'?

Did the discovery of evolution lead to Darwin's agnosticism, as claimed? Carl Zimmer wonders. More importantly, can evolution be reconciled with Christianity?
posted by daksya on Aug 11, 2005 - 90 comments

Bibliture

Reason #48713 for teaching the Bible in schools: "The classics of British and American literature are filled with biblical allusions that would be lost on a reader without basic knowledge of the Bible"
posted by afx114 on Jun 22, 2005 - 200 comments

Christian fundamentalists and radical Islam: Two great tastes that go together over creationism!

"Set your irony meters on maximum." All this week, a three-member subcommittee of the Kansas State Board of Education is holding hearings on how to teach science. [background] Creationists, er, advocates of "intelligent design," are using it to bootstrap their claim that evolution through natural selection and creationism are two sides of a story. While many scientists are boycotting what one newspaper is calling "Barnum on steroids," IDers have brought out the big guns -- including one Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish, Muslim, newspaper columnist with a Masters in history and a close associaton with a group that presents evolution "as a conspiracy of the Jewish and American imperialists to promote new world order and fascist motives." Get your official scorecard to the Scopes Trial II here!
posted by docgonzo on May 10, 2005 - 125 comments

Just a Ruse?

Are evolution's advocates giving fire to creationists? So says Michael Ruse, "philosopher of biology (especially Darwinism)", who claims that outspoken evolutionists (e.g. Richard Dawkins) should do more to make evolution compatible with religion, rather than touting it as a worldview of its own.

Tell that to Nosson Slifkin (NYTimes, login required), an Orthodox rabbi whose books were banned by a number of eminent rabbis for "seek[ing] to reconcile, rather than to contrast, sacred texts with modern knowledge of the natural world."

That said, will those like Slifkin and Rev. Dr. Arthur Peacocke be able to make a difference, or will they be ignored and scorned?
posted by greatgefilte on May 3, 2005 - 82 comments

Once upon a time

Evolution - a fairytale for grownups! "Clearly" proving that such amazing inventions must have been designed. Silly Darwin.
posted by Mwongozi on Apr 8, 2005 - 51 comments

Charles Darwin stickers and bookmarks

Charles Darwin has a posse.
posted by sudama on Mar 21, 2005 - 33 comments

Teach Evolution: Leave No Child Behind

Teach Evolution: Leave No Child Behind. Teaching the age and history of our planet takes us back about 4.6 billion years; it is included in only 55% of our 50 State’s science education standards. Human evolution is included in only 8% of the state science standards, and is therefore not required in almost all American elementary, middle or high school science courses. (Don't forget Darwin Day is tomorrow, kids!)
posted by travis vocino on Feb 11, 2005 - 10 comments

Talkin' about creationism...

Evolution is so last two billion years... I just love this guy's beautiful mind.
posted by Finder on Feb 3, 2005 - 40 comments

Richard Dawkins on Nilsson/Pelger

Creationists argue that the complexity of the human eye could not have arrisen by random Darwinian natural selection, since it "must be perfect to work at all". The Nilsson and Pelger computer experiment refutes this with a method of awesome beauty, showing that a human-quality eye is not just possible under Darwinian evolution, but nigh-inevitable. This is from Do Good By Stealth, chapter 3 of River Out of Eden, which is maybe the greatest thing I've ever read.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Dec 10, 2004 - 67 comments

Challenging Darwin: Is sex really all about the genes?

Author challenges Darwin's theory of "sexual selection." To Darwin, mutations that don't enhance survival, like peacocks' tails, must be aids to attracting mates to pass on genes. Homosexuality, therefore, is to Darwin and the Christian-right both an unnatural aberration. But with ever growing evidence of homsexual behavior in animals, from bonobos to penguins, isn't it time that Darwin's theory get replaced?
posted by dnash on Apr 15, 2004 - 55 comments

Darwin Day

Happy Darwin Day! Darwin Day is February 12th, the date of birth of Charles Darwin in the year 1809, at Shrewsbury, England. On this date, and throughout the month, people from all over the world are honoring the life, work and influence of Charles Darwin with events and activities which celebrate humanity and the science in our lives. While you're celebrating you may want to see who has won awards in his name or perhaps buy a sticker or see if there's a darwinday event near you
posted by bitdamaged on Feb 12, 2003 - 15 comments

Louisiana legislation decides that Darwin was "racist."

Louisiana legislation decides that Darwin was "racist." It's not just the fundamentalist right... now it's Democrats pushing for the demonization of evolution. The full text of the resolution (in PDF format) can be found here. This is a Salon article about it. And this is the full text of "Darwin's Descent of Man", so that someone can point to me where exactly is Darwin suggesting that some races are "more evolved" than others... I mean don't they read the books before they start putting stickers on them?
posted by talos on May 21, 2001 - 10 comments

Kansas Evolves

Kansas Evolves Yet some school board members still have doubts about the science behind Darwin's theory of evolution. Can't we do an emergency air drop of Cosmos for these folks?
posted by ritualdevice on Feb 14, 2001 - 32 comments

Birds are not descended from Dinosaurs.

Birds are not descended from Dinosaurs. The latest in the ongoing debate about the origin of birds and whether they evolved from dinosaurs or from a earlier common ancestor. Chinese scientists report the discovery of a 120 million year old bird fossil that had feathers and could clearly fly.
posted by lagado on Dec 10, 2000 - 3 comments

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