BBC interview with Ewan Birney.

Say what you want about the tone of the Graur et al. (2013) paper in Genome Biology and Evolution, but it has people talking. Including Ewan Birney, the lead scientist of the ENCODE project and the primary spokesperson for ENCODE in the media fiasco describing the “death of junk DNA”. Most recently, Birney was […]


Carnival of Evolution #56.

Head on over to Lab Rat and check out the latest instalment of Carnival of Evolution!


The great wrinkled finger debate.

This past May, I was fortunate enough to take part in a conference in Venice, Italy, which was a retrospective on the legacy of famous paleontologist and author Stephen Jay Gould 10 years after his death. The choice of Venice as the conference venue was a nod to one of Gould’s most famous and […]


Another just-so story, this time about fists.

“It is demonstrable,” said he, “that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for as all things have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end. Observe, for instance, the nose is formed for spectacles, therefore we wear spectacles. The legs are visibly designed for stockings, accordingly […]


Stephen Jay Gould conference in Italy — full series of talks.

The complete series of talks is now posted from the conference on Stephen J. Gould’s Legacy: Nature, History, Society, May 10-12, 2012 at theĀ Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in Venice, Italy.

Telmo Pievani – Ten years without Stephen J. Gould: the scientific heritage

Niles Eldredge – Stephen Jay Gould in the […]


An example of why it is important to distinguish evolution as fact, theory, and path.

Over on Why Evolution is True, Jerry Coyne asks “What would disprove evolution?”. The basic idea of his article is to a) summarize what is claimed by “the theory of evolution” (a phrase I dislike nearly as much as “Darwinism”), and b) what observations could falsify it.

Here’s how he summarizes “the theory of […]


Chromosome 2 (con)fusion.

Those wacky creationists are at it again. This time, they have a book out that purports to challenge the evidence for human evolution. I haven’t read it, but you can find a thorough review here. From all appearances, it isn’t any better than their previous treatment of junk DNA (reviewed in detail here).

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Baba Brinkman rocks Evolution 2012.

It hasn’t been all science talks during the Evolution 2012 conference in Ottawa. Last night, Oxford University Press and Trends in Ecology and Evolution treated attendees to the highly entertaining lyrical stylings of Baba Brinkman and his Rap Guide to Evolution. For those of you who missed it (note that this was mandatory for […]


Links to my evolution education papers.

I’m currently at Evolution 2012 in Ottawa, having spoken at an education workshop on Friday. Various people at the meeting have told me that they’ve found my education papers very useful, so I thought I would put links to them all in one convenient location and then direct people there. So, here they are:

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A Gouldian View of the Genome (Venice, Italy, May 10, 2012)

Here is the video of my talk at the Stephen J. Gould’s Legacy: Nature, History, Society meeting held at the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in Venice, Italy.