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Posts Tagged ‘Biology

Olivia Judson is the most interesting biologist I know

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Francis Galton laid the foundations of behavio...
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Who else tells us stories about Francis Galton, a British polymath and cousin of Charles Darwin.

Now that we are told about the availability of personal genome analysis, she reminds us that we are not only our genes but also the nurturing those genes are subjected to as we grow in families and out.

We evolve subject to our genetic makeup and the effect of the nurturing we get from parents, family and other environments we live, learn and work in. Here’s the link!

Francis Galton was the first scientist to propose theories of heredity for all animal species. At least, that’s the message I got here!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/06/09 at 04:05

Genomes, humans and Neanderthals

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The Wikispecies logo created by Zephram Stark ...
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Are you still wondering about the evolution of the human species?

Olivia Judson writes about the latest DNA analysis of Neanderthal bones and explains how that evidence tells us about the human/Neanderthal nexus.

In here usual way of teasing us about our human realities she writes thus to end her article in the NY Times:

Here, lots of ideas have been put forward — a sure sign that no one knows. Perhaps they died of mad Neanderthal disease, owing to a habit of feasting on one another’s brains. (This has been put forward as a serious hypothesis.) Perhaps they were victims of a changing climate. Perhaps they were “inferior” beings, unable to match our capacity for innovation in the face of adversity. Perhaps their populations became too small, and too sparse, for them to find mates. Or — and this is the most haunting possibility — perhaps they were eventually murdered by their puny cousins. That is, us.

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2010/05/12 at 15:24

American culture is dumb and dumber

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Charles Darwin.
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Today there is going to be a mad stampede in most large cities as American nitwits apparently want to get a copy of Dan Brown‘s latest trash lit, The Last Symbol.

But apparently no US distributor is interested in distribution rights to “Creation” a film biography of Charles Darwin. American cultural sensibilities, which deal with guns in public and covert and overt racism toward their President, can’t deal with the story of Charles Darwin. The crassness of this makes me want to puke literally. I wonder does that mean that I won’t get to see that film?

Dan Brown’s trash lit along with JK Rowling‘s is fine, but real people and an authentic story about a renowned scientist are just too “controversial”. Sometimes I lose all hope about a better and freer tomorrow when a key part of Western civilization is dominated by childish fantasy. For F..ks sake get over it. Evolution is approved by the Vatican and 99% of the cardinals and bishops. But Dan Brown’s trash lit is not~

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/09/14 at 07:40

An ominous sounding headline for me

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Daintree Rainforest. Photo taken June 2005. Up...

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Here in Vancouver BC, we’ve been having what I consider a nice fall, sunny days, not too much frost yet, and few wind storms. So I have been spending more time biking in leafy environs and enjoying the trees. Now this headline:

Asian Beetle Spells Death for Maples So Dear

Of course we have our own fir tree beetle infestation that is turning our rain forest into a pine needle wasteland. So the idea that beautiful maples are being chopped down because of another beetle leaves me with the dreadful idea that “our trees seem to be disappearing”. Not a nice thought for me! I wonder where I can find information about the bigger picture of the health of our large forests on Earth.

I am silly enough about trees that the other day I thought I was hearing a renaissance of birds in a small forested park in South East Vancouver. The sound seemed so nice. It’s not as if I could see and hear the numbers of birds like we used to have 50 years ago, but I felt that there were more of them than last year, for instance.

Trees and birds are one of the reasons I moved from Ontario to BC 9 years ago. So this is not a trivial situation for me!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/11/28 at 04:33

Oh how I love the all “the news fit to print”ness of NY Times!

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Tree of life.

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And here is another evolutionary biology piece by Olivia Judson. First the exquisite image in the article which is below:

All Hail the Apple Maggot! - Olivia Judson Blog - NYTimes.com.jpg

And here is the link!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/11/19 at 06:56

Putting a rational end to Darwinism

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Geographical isolation of finches on the Galáp...Image via Wikipedia

but not to evolutionary biology seems to be the reasonable thesis of Olivia Judson in the latest of her NYT essays in this 150th anniversary of Darwin.

And here is a chime-in by other scientists!

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2008/07/16 at 09:09