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Tag Archives: genetics
Imagine an island off the coast of a continent. Two birds from the continent–a male and a female–get swept up by a storm and find themselves stranded on this island. They go on to mate and a new species of … Continue reading
Breeding for Intelligence? A Google Employee Asks the Question to Researcher Stephen Hsu of the Beijing Genomics Institute
In the below Google Tech Talk, Stephen Hsu talks to Google employees about the search for the genes behind intelligence (and seeks to recruit them into an ongoing study being conducted at the Beijing Genomics Institute). I shit you not. … Continue reading
Here’s our basic human story based on genetics. 60,000 years ago there was drought in Africa brought on by an ice age to its north. The human species lived only in Africa and had dwindled to perhaps 2,000 individuals. They looked like … Continue reading
Eugenics Revival Watch: Scientific American editor, Mariette DiChristina, calls eugenic goals expressed in 1911 “lofty aspirations”
Curiously, the editor at the Scientific American website (Mariette DiChristina) recently approved the posting, with only minimal comment, of an editorial written in its pages 100 years ago, in 1911, advocating eugenics. Here are three quotes from the editorial: It is not … Continue reading
Do you suppose that psychological predisposition and temperament play large roles in religious and irreligious belief? Let me suggest a dramatic example: a significant minority of the world’s prison population—perhaps 20%–exhibits psychopathy. Some of these people are, no doubt, atheists, but … Continue reading
University of Chicago evolutionary geneticist, Jerry Coyne, reviewing, for The Nation, Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini’s book, What Darwin Got Wrong (2010), gives as clear a definition of natural selection as you’re ever likely to find: In principle, natural selection is simple. It … Continue reading
Move over Adam and Eve? With the recent fossil discovery at the Denisova cave, there is evidence of a fifth human species (now extinct) that inhabited the Earth just 30,000 years ago
Denisova cave poses yet another big problem for biblical literalists, for as recently as 30,000 years ago it appears that homo sapiens were very, very far from alone, but had at least five non-extinct and closely related human cousin species that we shared … Continue reading
I would say that Ben Stein exaggerated, but not by a lot. There is a hidden gnosis unveiled by the mechanism of evolution that constitutes a temptation to the human species. Once we have a mechanism for the improvement of a species—once … Continue reading
In our future, at least according to this video (see the 4:00 minute mark):
Most (though not all) of the questions I’ve heard asked by interviewers of Richard Dawkins seem to me tedious and uninspired. Generally, the same basic questions are asked about his atheism and about evolution, and he rehearses back the same … Continue reading
Cornelius Hunter is a Fellow of the Discovery Institute, and earned his Ph.D. in Biophysics and Computational Biology from the University of Illinois. At his blog today, I noticed that he offered an argument for life’s probable design that I had not seen … Continue reading
Evolution v. Creation Watch: Protein-Sequence Data from the Duckbilled Dinosaur Supports the Dinosaurian Origin of Birds
Biologist Jerry Coyne notes this interesting piece of news at his blog today: In this week’s Science we find a paper by Schweitzer et al. (total of 16 authors!) that has a quite remarkable result. (See the one page summary … Continue reading
Not Out of Mesopotamia: The New York Times Today Reports that Scientists Contradict the Bible, and Locate the “Garden of Eden” in Either West or East Africa
The Bible’s book of Genesis puts the first man and the first woman (Adam and Eve) in a garden called Eden, and claims that this garden was located along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). But the New York Times … Continue reading
Brave New Old World?: With DNA Extraction Technologies, Neanderthals and Mammoths Could Roam the Earth Again
So says the NY Times today. Money quote: [DNA extraction] technology could be applied to any other extinct species from which one can obtain hair, horn, hooves, fur or feathers, and which went extinct within the last 60,000 years. Though … Continue reading