Moore’s Law, The Origin Of Life, And Dropping Turkeys Off A Building

I’ve already mentioned the nonsensical paper “published” in (surprise, surprise) arXiv in...

Genome Reduction In Bladderworts Vs. Leg Loss In Snakes

In one sense, I am happy that there is enough interest in the concept of “junk DNA” (and by...

Another Just-So Story, This Time About Fists

“It is demonstrable,” said he, “that things cannot be otherwise than as they are; for as...

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T. Ryan GregoryRSS Feed of this column.

I am an evolutionary biologist specializing in genome size evolution at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Be sure to visit Evolver Zone

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The folks over at Science and Religion Today were interested in our study on graduate student conceptions of evolution, and asked me to give some thoughts on the question "How detailed an understanding of evolution do we need?" Here is my answer.

In my recent article on Understanding natural selection in E:EO, I reviewed a large number of studies that examined conceptions of evolution among students from the high school to undergraduate level, as well as among teachers. However, almost nothing seemed to be known about how graduate students in science perceive evolution or how well they understand it. At least, until a student and I did a study at our own university, which is now out in the journal BioScience. Here's a press release on it:
Tomorrow's Science will be a special issue reporting tons of new information on the fossil hominid Ardipithecus ramidus ("Ardi"), which is really exciting (though not as much as Darwinius, which was "like a meteor hitting the Earth" or whatever).



Sep 30 2009 | comment(s)

Sometimes it is helpful to have a catchy word to describe one's type of research. I think that's why "omics" words are so popular -- they encapsulate a complex combination of approaches (usually something + genomics, or something-more-than-genomics) in a memorable way that immediately conveys the gist of the field.

"Metagenomics" is a good example -- it's the study of a larger assemblage of genomes than just one, usually from an environmental sample of microbes. "Proteiomics" is another, or "transcriptomics". Of course, this can get out of hand (see here).
I have been a CrackBerry user for several years, and am rarely seen without it in my hand or on my belt. Last week I traded my 8700 for the Bold (9000) -- wow, what a good move! The Bold is faster, sleeker, and has 3G capabilities for functions that I would not have tried on the older EDGE network. Anyhow, I have been having fun looking for additional apps for it, and have come up with a good list. Here they are...

An absolutely outstanding free app with local searches for people, businesses, restaurants, and movies, including the ability to watch trailers.

A commenter on a previous post seems to have objected to the claim that evolutionary science makes predictions.
gimme 5 examples of predictions, i mean real predictions: not fit the model hogwash

Here's a list that I put together in around 10 minutes.

1) That a transitional fossil linking fishes and tetrapods would be found in rocks of a specific age (from the Devonian) and formed in freshwater environments. CONFIRMED.