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Evolutionary Biology

On and Beyond the Ethics of (Animals) Eating Animals

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 09.09.2016 | Home
David Katz, M.D.

For those committed to meat consumption, eating what they kill may offer various advantages over eating what they find sealed in cellophane. But it is a niche admonition at best, impertinent to the masses of us.

Why Do Most Mammals' Testes Hang Outside of Their Bodies?

Quora | Posted 08.13.2016 | Home

There are many theories out there as to why sperm needs to be kept cooler and why the testes of most mammals hang outside their bodies, inside the scrotal sac. In my opinion, the least likely is the "handicap principle." The easiest way to illustrate this principle is the peacock's flashy feathers.

Campfires, Socialism, and Multi-Level Selection

Joel Tauber | Posted 04.12.2015 | Home
Joel Tauber

I'm certainly grateful that I have biological impulses to act altruistically, but I'm also aware that I can't rely on them. They won't free me of the fundamental conflict between altruism and selfishness that is wired into my DNA, and they won't enable me to reach beyond my current limitations.

I'm With Stupid: My Neighbor Fred, the Really Good Dancer

Todd Hartley | Posted 01.14.2015 | Home
Todd Hartley

Being a really good dancer just reeks so much of giving a crap about a pursuit that seems kind of silly. It's like Jerry Seinfeld replied on Seinfeld when a girl asked if he went out dancing often: "No, because it's so stupid."

New Study Says Men Are Hardwired To Desire Women In Their 20s

The Huffington Post | Taryn Hillin | Posted 09.30.2014 | Home

According to a new study, when it comes to choosing a sexual partner, men of all ages fantasize about one type of woman: the 20-something female. ...

Are There Any 'Transitional Life Forms' That Haven't Been Debunked by Modern Science?

Quora | Posted 08.16.2014 | Home

The whole concept of "transitional fossil," unfortunately, has a sort of linear connotation. Like, there is a sequence of species, one having evolved into the next and so on, but there's a hole in the sequence that needs to be filled. But that's not really how evolution works.

The Well-Chewed Calorie: Rumination or Ruin?

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 07.19.2014 | Home
David Katz, M.D.

Many of you have doubtless already seen the commentary in the New York Times by my friend and colleague, Dr. David Ludwig, entitled: "Always Hungry? Here's Why." If you have not read the piece, I commend it to you.

EXPLAINED: Why Giant Birds Suddenly Vanished

| Virginia Morell | Posted 03.18.2014 | Home

For millions of years, nine species of large, flightless birds known as moas (Dinornithiformes) thrived in New Zealand. Then, about 600 years ago, the...

Why Do Giraffes Have Long Necks?

Wray Herbert | Posted 01.25.2014 | Home
Wray Herbert

Clearly the giraffe evolved this uncommon and helpful trait in order to reach those nourishing leaves. That's how natural selection works. If you're a 6-year-old.

WATCH: Giant Dino 'Walks' Again After 94 Million Years

LiveScience | Denise Chow | Posted 10.31.2013 | Home

The Argentinosaurus is one of the largest known dinosaurs, but scientists were unsure how exactly the massive creature plodded across the Cretaceous E...

Given That It's Just a Theory, Why Can't the Theory of Evolution Be Wrong?

Quora | Posted 01.23.2014 | Home

When you say, "The theory of evolution is something that can never be proven or disproven definitively," that's actually incorrect. The theory of evolution CAN be disproven. And that's the beauty of it.

Can Women 'Sniff Out' Their Competition?

The Huffington Post | Macrina Cooper-White | Posted 09.26.2013 | Home

Can women "sniff out" their competition in the mating game? Maybe so. New research from Florida State University suggests that women react to the ...


David Katz, M.D. | Posted 10.26.2013 | Home
David Katz, M.D.

Socialism is a dirty word, perhaps deservedly so. But the real trouble resides with our persistent use, and misuse, of a word we made dirty. Vocabulary so encumbered is like bathwater we refuse to drain; it takes on an opacity that quite obscures the baby

WATCH: Cute Science Geek Gets Answer To Horseshoe Crab Question

The Huffington Post | Ryan Buxton | Posted 08.14.2013 | Home

An inquisitive 11-year-old got his science questions answered when HuffPost Live introduced him to a researcher who offered some insight into horsesho...

Is Evolution Widely Misunderstood?

Quora | Posted 10.12.2013 | Home

The consequence of adaptationism is that every single trait is an adaptation to something. This is, quite simply, wrong.

Become a Darwinian Traveler

Kevin Richberg | Posted 10.03.2013 | TED Weekends
Kevin Richberg

2013-01-18-TEDplayvideo.jpgOn a recent trip to Botswana, a country Darwin was never fortunate enough to have seen, I was struck by how readily the questions of biology, which popped up during Darwin's travels, are ripe for the asking on a modern safari.

On the Origin of Cuckolds

Baba Brinkman | Posted 08.17.2013 | Home
Baba Brinkman

Confronted with the hyper-vigilant and often violent jealousy of generations of men protecting their genetic legacy, evolution predicts a psychological arms race between the sexes, producing ever more keen-eyed and suspicious men and ever more creatively deceptive women.

Challenging the Fertile Window

Robert Martin | Posted 08.11.2013 | Home
Robert Martin

While the mechanics of human reproduction have stayed the same in the past 80-plus years, there is no reason why our view of conception should be stuck in the early 20th century.

Has 'Junk DNA' Mystery Finally Been Solved?

Posted 05.13.2013 | Home

By: Tia Ghose, LiveScience Staff Writer Published: 05/12/2013 02:25 PM EDT on LiveScience One person's trash may be another person's treasure, but...

Do Doctors Really Discriminate Against The Overweight?

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 07.03.2013 | Home
David Katz, M.D.

Obesity bias needs to be fixed. We are most likely to fix it when standing on a solid bedrock of understanding it at its origins. We can then replace the crude and obsolete survival-related imperatives bestowed to us in our genes, with the better angels of our nature.

Web Portals and Mouse Mazes: How Your Brain Sorts the World

Ben Thomas | Posted 04.29.2013 | Home
Ben Thomas

Why are we so good at forming categories? The short answer is, complex categories help us make long-term, large scale predictions about the world.

Primitive Fish Sported Weird Fins, Research Shows

Posted 04.10.2013 | Home

By: Tia Ghose, LiveScience Staff Writer Published: 04/09/2013 07:08 PM EDT on LiveScience A 370-milion-year-old, primitive fish sported a weird pa...

WATCH: Is THIS What Our Prehistoric Ancestors Sounded Like?

The Huffington Post | Macrina Cooper-White | Posted 04.09.2013 | Home

Ever wondered what our prehistoric ancestors sounded like when they "talked" to each other? Scientists say it might have sounded a bit like the gurgli...

Primate Brain Study Sheds Light On Human Smarts

Posted 03.29.2013 | Home

By: Tia Ghose, LiveScience Staff Writer Published: 03/28/2013 09:53 AM EDT on LiveScience Brain organization, not overall size, may be the key evo...

Ancient Fossil Shows Creature Had Modern Teeth

Posted 03.27.2013 | Home

By: Tia Ghose, LiveScience Staff Writer Published: 03/27/2013 06:49 AM EDT on LiveScience Paleontologists in Japan have unearthed the jaw of a pri...