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I have begun an ambitious effort to inventory and assess the concepts I want my students to master. Check out my Conceptual Teaching Assessment Project!
Recent Major Posts
- There’s No Such Thing as Qualitative Sustainability
- New glacial maximum on Mount ARC provides definitive evidence that Pratt’s sustainability efforts are working
- I receive funding to initiate the Wallace Darwin Project
- Scientific American “Tiny Plants” article provides a primer on the inter-relationship between ecological and evolutionary change
- Taking risks for the data
- Barash the gene accountant on that little economic driver called “reproduction”
- An amazing indictment of the academic publishing industry (in which most of us participate)
- For the next eight months, the future of my career is (mostly) out of my hands
- My review of “Origins of Altruism and Cooperation” is published in QRB
- US EPA’s EnviroAtlas project promises to give researchers, students new insights into the geography of ecosystem services
Recent Minor Posts
- Donald Trump saves CitiBike, proving that selfishness and cooperation are no longer opposed
- Pledge, Petition, Protect! All at Green Week 2014!
- Cognitive Ethology and Cat Companionship
- Interesting numbers on the sustainability (or lack thereof) of the aviation industry
- If sloths endure costs to maintain closed-loop agricultural systems, why can’t we?
- Do we need to delete to keep the web sustainable?
- TurnUp seeks to turn excess art materials into treasure, not trash
- String Theory: should we care?
- Okay, I admit it: I am a bit of a Neanderthal
- Model evidence that third party punishment only makes sense in tight-knit groups
Category Archives: Human Evolution
On Being “Reimagining the Cosmos” I always find myself stuck on the fence when it comes to the confrontation between physics and philosophy (and by extension religion). This episode effectively captures my ambivalence. On the one hand, I like that … Continue reading
The Economist “The genetic contribution Neanderthal man made to modern humanity is clearer” Although this article makes a bigger deal than it should about the “human construct” of the species concept (evolutionists are already well aware of the gradations of isolation … Continue reading
On Being “Teilhard de Chardin on The “Planetary Mind” and Our Spiritual Evolution” We often give credit to Richard Dawkins — who is undeniably the inventor of the term “memetics” — for introducing an evolutionary approach to cultural change. But as … Continue reading
The cover story of November’s National Geographic is about the death of storm chaser Tim Samaras, who was killed along with two of his collaborators (including one of his sons) during a monster tornado outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Samaras is … Continue reading
The New York Times “Skull Fossil Suggests Simpler Human Lineage” It is interesting how terrible fossils are: generally, they represent only a part of one individual who was part of one population in one place at one point in time. Not … Continue reading
The Chronicle of Higher Education “Bringing up brainchildren” This is such a fun and insightful essay on the relationship between our pursuits that yield — alternatively — genetic and memetic fitness. It effectively captures the wish of the intellectual producer … Continue reading
The Chronicle of Higher Education “Sex on the Mind” Ugh. How do I decompose this enough? I have always had a fear that David Barash is more pundit than academic, but this column is really scary. There is complete agreement among … Continue reading
WMAC Northeast Public Radio “Academic Minute: Dr. Alicia Melis, University of Warwick – Cooperation and Chimpanzees” Chimps’ ability to take the perspective of others has been questioned, but this set of experiments seems to show that chimps can mentally put … Continue reading
NPR Shots “Gut Bacteria We Pick Up As Kids Stick With Us For Decades” NPR Shots “Staying Healthy May Mean Learning To Love Our Microbiomes” NPR Shots “Diverse Gut Microbes, A Trim Waistline And Health Go Together” NPR Shots “How … Continue reading
NPR Morning Edition “From Birth, Our Microbes Become As Personal As A Fingerprint” It’s a bit corny, but this is a great tour of our diverse microbiome. It is critical that people start to recognize how potentially-damaging overuse of antibiotics … Continue reading
National Public Radio Morning Edition “For Some Mammals It’s One Love, But Reasons Still Unclear” Although brief, I appreciate how this article lays out the three hypotheses for monogamy: Monogamous co-parenting increases the survival rate of offspring as compared to parenting … Continue reading
The Quarterly Review of Biology “Homosexuality as a Consequence of Epigenetically Canalized Sexual Development” What makes this theory so compelling is how it addresses the “heritable but not at all clearly genetic” problem of explaining the very high prevalence of homosexuality … Continue reading
Wired “Humanity’s Recent Evolution” Of course increased genetic diversity just makes evolution more possible… but there still still needs to be some viable selective force to do something with all this variation. One could argue that the amount of variation … Continue reading
WNYC “NYC’s Top Dogs: Mapping Names & Breeds in the City” WNYC “Dogs of NYC” Data sets like these, even flawed by their incompleteness (only 20% of dogs in New York City are registered) are fascinating. The human relationship with dogs has … Continue reading
In a recent short opinion piece (Scientific American “Creation, Evolution and Indisputable Facts“), Jacob Tanenbaum argues that selectively rejecting evolutionary biology is dangerous to the scientific culture of America. He rightly points out that our populace does not reject science … Continue reading
The New York Times “Exercise and the Ever-Smarter Human Brain” While I think that the finding that brain size and capacity for endurance are linked is interesting and important, I am a bit baffled by this article’s take on the … Continue reading