The Plastic Brain

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Darwin, a naturalist’s voyage around the world [Animation]

Reblogged from scipsy

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Interactive Tree Of Life by David Attenborough & the Wellcome Trust.

See how everything on the planet has evolved from Moss to Modern Humans.

Click the image to link to the application.

Reblogged from ilovecharts:

Submitted by X-Wide P

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Review: The Neck of the Giraffe, or Where Darwin Went Wrong, by Francis Hitching

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I’ve been reading a lot of books/blogs on evolution recently – and being somewhat biased towards Darwinian models, have natural focussed on pro-Darwin sources like Dawkins.

A while back I noticed The Neck of the Giraffe (TNoTG) on my father-in-law’s bookcase, and asked if I could borrow it. I thought it would be an interesting exercise in hearing a counter-argument to my view-point in order to force myself defend where I stand.

With this aim in mind I plunged in, and immediately ran into two issues. Firstly, it wasn’t immediately obvious which camp Hitching fell into. Secondly, his arguments were sometimes more nuanced and harder to refute than I had expected.

Nonetheless, despite the subtitle, and many of the conclusions he draws, Hitching does little to show that Darwin was ever wrong. What he actually shows is that Darwin’s theory, as original stated and as Darwin admitted, was limited, and possibly contained minor flaws and simplifications. None of this, however, issurprising in a work over 150 years old, and it certainly doesn’t show that evolution by natural selection is wrong.

TNoTG is itself around 30 years old, and I note that in some (possibly later) editions the subtitle is changed to “Darwin, Evolution and the New Biology”.

Dawkins seems to have read it before drafting Climbing Mount Improbable, in which he sets out to doggedly and rigorously undermine two key planks of irreducible complexity, which from a major part of  TNoTG – namely the evolution of flight and of “the” eye.

Despite logical errors, straw men (eg the odds of getting the 20 amino acids the for a 100-mer peptide in their exact order to be functional) and out of date arguments, I found it good fun and well worth a read,

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Reblogged from jtotheizzoe:

Among Americans (cue international ridicule …), nearly 40% believe strictly in Young-Earth Creationism.  Now remember, beliefs are one thing, your moral compass can be guided by many sources, and it is no person’s place to mandate the beliefs of another …

But if you subscribe to what science really stands for, then you have to take a long hard look at yourself if you’re in that 40%.  What do you think?

The Evolution Polling Numbers Have *Nudged* A Little | The Intersection

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