EVOLUTION IN THE NEW YORK TIMES
Science Times Section, Tuesday, 26
The following summary was largely written by NCSE Deputy Director
Glenn Branch for the NCSE weekly newsletter (see below for how
to subscribe). Glenn kindly allowed us to print it here.
A treat in the Science Times section of the June 26, 2007,
issue of The New
York Times: a suite of articles devoted to evolution. Evolutionary
developmental biology is a central theme. Carol Kaesuk Yoon
coming into its own as a science, evo-devo is the combined study
evolution and development, the process by which a nubbin of a
egg transforms into a full-fledged adult. And what these scientists
finding is that development, a process that has for more than
century been largely ignored in the study of evolution, appears
been one of the major forces shaping the history of life on earth."
on the evo-devo front, NCSE Supporter Sean B. Carroll discusses
a video, and is also taking questions from the newspaper's readers,
Douglas F. Erwin ponders whether evo-devo amounts to a paradigm
Sean Carroll's video clip would be excellent for showing
to students. In that short 6' clip, he effectively shows
how the new and exciting field of Evo-Devo (the role of development
in evolution) conveys how evolution works as a "tinkerer,"
not making new genes, but using old genes in new ways. See below
for the URL to this video clip. [Reviewed by Larry Flammer]
Carl Zimmer discusses evolutionary experimentation
using microbes, such as
Richard E. Lenski's pioneering work with E. coli; in the eighteen
40,000 generations of Lenski's work, Zimmer writes, "the
changed significantly. For one thing, they are bigger -- twice
as big on
average as their common ancestor. They are also far better at
in these flasks, dividing 70 percent faster than their ancestor.
changes have emerged through spontaneous mutations and natural
and Dr. Lenski and his colleagues have been able to watch them
his blog The Loom, Zimmer notes that "these experiments
are also meaningful
to bio-engineers who manipulate microbes to churn out useful
insulin or ethanol."
Human evolution is also covered, with John Noble Wilford explaining
Human Family Tree Has Become a Bush With Many Branches,"
convergence of molecular and morphological approaches to paleoanthropology,
and Nicholas Wade explaining "Humans Have Spread Globally,
Locally," emphasizing research on recent natural selection
in humans. And
under the rubric Basics, Natalie Angier writes about parasitism
evolutionary force to be reckoned with, a source of nearly bottomless
cunning and breathtaking bio-inventiveness" -- and Cornelia
what implications evolutionary biology and cognitive neuroscience
thought to have for the idea of the soul, quoting theologians
Haught and Nancey Murphy as well as NCSE Supporter Kenneth R.
Miller in the
For the Science Times section of The New York Times, visit:
For Carl Zimmer's post about his story in the Times, visit:
For the Evo-Devo video clip with Sean Carroll, go to:
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