Evolutionary psychology Genetics

New York Times electrifies corpse of “it’s in your genes” – even while admitting that it’s sort of like, not true

“In Genetic Basis for Crime: A New Look” New York Times (June 19, 2011) , Patricia Cohen tells us Researchers estimate that at least 100 studies have shown that genes play a role in crimes. “Very good methodological advances have meant that a wide range of genetic work is being done,” said John H. Laub, […]

Genetics Human evolution

Ninety-nine per cent chimpanzee rides again? In a Christian rag? Well, maybe only 96%?

Dennis Venema, Biologos’s senior fellow for science, and biology chair at Canada’s evangelical Trinity Western University, would have us know (p. 25) that the chimp genome(total genetic heredity encoded in DNA), which was fully mapped by 2005,displays “near identity”with the human genome as detailed by Collins’s team, with a 95 to 99 percent match depending […]

Genetics

Happy 50th birthday, genetic code!

And many more! A friend writes to say, Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Nirenberg and Matthaei experiment , which was the first step in cracking the full 64-codon genetic code. The first codon that was cracked was that UUU=phenylalanine. And from The Scientist: On May 27, 1961, Heinrich Matthaei, a postdoc working with NIH […]

Evolution Genetics Intelligent Design

Crocodiles swam to North America?

This charming tale, “Crocodiles swam the Atlantic to reach America” should be true, but some are undecided. Michael Marshall explains for New Scientist (11 May 2011), “Millions of years before Vikings crossed the Atlantic, crocodiles swam thousands of kilometres from Africa to colonise the Americas,” … all four American species are most closely related to […]

Genetics Intelligent Design

How many fields other than human evolution can cheerfully tolerate the following level of vagueness?

In “Out-of-Africa migration selected novelty-seeking genes” (New Scientist, 06 May 2011), Aria Pearson tells us, “AS HUMANS migrated out of Africa around 50,000 years ago and moved across the planet, evolution may have latched onto a gene linked to risk-taking and adventurousness.” Once treated skeptically, the idea “stands up to rigorous analysis,” due to minor […]

Darwinism Genetics

Coffee!! You cannot be naturally selected to win big if you are well-armed against tropical diseases at Earmuff Central

A friend put me onto this human genetic research program (no, no, it all sounds reasonable, keep your shirt on; no one is looking for the  missing link andyou are him and the genetic police are waiting outside … wake UP, will you?): Ethnically diverse people are donating DNA to science, and the wealth of genomic […]

Genetics

Epigenetics as forerunner of design?

We are in the midst of a paradigm shift in our understanding of how evolution can act…on evolution, yielding mechanisms that allow both adaptation and heritability within the course of a lifetime. And such paradigm shifts almost always have societal consequences. Manel Esteller shows that epigenetics also impacts the “dark genome” in a way that […]

Evolutionary psychology Genetics

Thrifty gene is bankrupt science? Or, why you should always be suspicious when you hear …

As Globe & Mail medical reporter Carolyn Abraham tells it (February 25, 2011): Since James Van Gundia Neel proposed it almost 50 years ago, the thrifty-gene hypothesis has reigned as the dominant explanation for soaring rates of obesity and diabetes among many aboriginal groups. Native communities where diabetes didn’t exist in the first half of […]