Thread: On the “On the Origin of Species”

As I noted in my Hili post, today is Evolution Day: the anniversary of the day on which Darwin published The Origin in 1859.  It’s one the book I’ve read more than any other: I used to go through it once a year or so, but it’s been about three years now. My copy of the first … Continue reading Thread: On the “On the Origin of Species”

What I did for Darwin’s Birthday

by Greg Mayer As Jerry noted at the time, this past Wednesday was Darwin’s Birthday. My evolutionary biology class met the previous day, Tuesday, and the first slide I showed for the day was the following. The “click here” in the middle of the slide led to a performance of the Beatles’ song “Birthday”. (For … Continue reading What I did for Darwin’s Birthday

Teaching Evolution: Darwin: Unity of type and adaptation

Note from Jerry: Greg plans to run a mini-MOOC here, so if you want some education in evolution, do the readings and answer the questions (to yourself). This is the first installment. by Greg Mayer This semester I’m teaching BIOS 314 Evolutionary Biology, an upper level undergraduate course. The students are all or mostly biological … Continue reading Teaching Evolution: Darwin: Unity of type and adaptation

Monday: Hili dialogue

Good morning! It’s Sunday, February 12, and you know what that means: it’s Darwin Day, marking 208 years since The Great Man was born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire in 1809. (Across the Atlantic, Abe Lincoln was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky on the same day.) We’re celebrating this day with three–count them, three–food holidays: National Plum Pudding Day, National PB&J Day … Continue reading Monday: Hili dialogue

John van Wyhe debunks Darwin myths

Last night after my talk I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with John van Wyhe, a Darwin/Wallace scholar at the National University of Singapore, where I spoke last night. We continued our conversation this morning when he joined Melissa Chen and me at the Orangutan Breakfast at the Singapore Zoo. Here’s a bit … Continue reading John van Wyhe debunks Darwin myths

How to photograph your cat

by Greg Mayer In the Chicago Tribune, William Hageman (who seems to be the beat reporter for pets) has an article on how to take photographs of your cat. The article is an interview with Chicago pet photographer David Sutton (his studio is in Evanston). Among Sutton’s tips is the following: The animal’s expression is … Continue reading How to photograph your cat

Inbreeding depression in man

by Greg Mayer In a paper soon to appear in Nature, Peter K. Joshi and a cast of thousands show that inbreeding can make you shorter, ‘dumber’, and less likely to succeed in school, but not a blowhard. In a study of hundreds of thousands of people from dozens of populations from all over the … Continue reading Inbreeding depression in man

Wallace: Dispelling the Darkness

by Greg Mayer John van Wyhe of the National University of Singapore, and founder and chief editor of the essential Darwin Online and Wallace Online websites, has just published a new book on Wallace, Dispelling the Darkness: Voyage in the Malay Archipelago and the Discovery of Evolution by Wallace and Darwin (World Scientific Publishing, Singapore). … Continue reading Wallace: Dispelling the Darkness

Some Reading for Wallace Year

by Greg Mayer I should probably have posted something like this earlier, but here are a few recommended books about and by Wallace. It’s an idiosyncratic list, reflecting what was interesting and available to me, but might still be useful as a starting point. Wallace is of course mentioned in many books on the general … Continue reading Some Reading for Wallace Year

Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913)

by Greg Mayer As ever-alert reader Dominic has reminded us, 2013 is the centenary of Alfred Russel Wallace’s death, and it is thus an appropriate time to reflect on the many contributions of this great scientist who was, along with Charles Darwin, the co-discoverer of natural selection. Like Darwin, who was his older contemporary, Wallace’s … Continue reading Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913)