Tag » evolution


Superlions of Botswana, an amazing story of evolutionary adaption. In the same vein, an article on the evolution of a lactose-tolerance gene in East Africa.

Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins on TedTalks explains how our size affects our model of the world. One idea that particularly struck me is that something as fundamental as the concept of “solid” might simply be a useful interpretation, biologically evolved. If you’re not doing so already, do yourself a favor and watch all the TedTalks — they’re solid gold.



In the past months, I have come across no less than two articles on Biomimicry entitled Nature’s Design Workshop: MSNBC and more recently BusinessWeek (make sure you watch the slideshow).

Researcher Promode Bandyopadhyay has a very interesting quote:

I am against mimicry. I am against making a mechanical zoo. There is no science in that. It is imperative to understand the science first.

Nature is great at finding a solution to a very particular problem within a precise set of environmental constraints. The researcher’s role is to understand how nature’s solution works and to generalize it to other applications. Combine nature’s adeptness at finding efficient, sustainable solutions with our ability for abstract thinking and we get some of the very best engineering around.

For those not familiar with the term, the Biomimicry Institute gives the following definition:

Biomimicry (from bios, meaning life, and mimesis, meaning to imitate) is a new science that studies nature’s best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems.

Their website has a good introduction to the concept, and a bunch of interesting case studies.

Interesting Slashdot comment on the mathematics of evolution.

Design of the eye

The human eye – a great example of iterative design, as explained in this video on how it might have evolved from simple light-sensitive cells. Oops, there goes another intelligent design ‘argument’…

Evolution in Arkansas

An article on the teaching of evolution in Arkansas. Evolution may be winning battles in court, but that doesn’t mean it’s being taught.

Why did we evolve personalities? I also recommend reading the full NYTimes article on animal personality research.

Why sexual reproduction evolved

MSNBC article on why sex evolved.

Hey you guys, we are talking!

I found the following story quite amusing:

I am reminded of a great story a friend tells of some cavemen sitting around the campfire 100,000 years ago, chewing on the last bits of meat, chatting in guttural sounds. One of them says:

“Hey, you guys, we are TALKING!

“What do you mean TALKING? Are you finished that bone?

“I mean we are SPEAKING to each other! Using WORDS. Don’t you get it?

“You’ve been drinking that grape stuff again, haven’t you.”

“See we are doing it right now!”


This is from an article about the singularity on Kevin Kelly’s blog The Technium. The Technium has some interesting stuff about the evolution of technology, worth checking out if you’re into that sort of thing.