Speciation in Bed Bugs

Here’s one of my favorite recent evolution writings from the blogosphere. In it, Jerry Coyne, the eminent evolutionary biologist writes about a new study on bed bugs, published recently in Molecular Ecology, in which it is pointed out that there are two races of bed bugs, one that feeds on humans and one that feeds on bats. They appear to still exchange genes (so they can be considered one species), but they are distinguishable based on morphology or genetics. This seems to be a case of speciation in its early stages.  https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/where-did-bedbugs-come-from/

Science vs. God debate remains vibrant

The latest round in this debate involves an editorial by Eric Metaxas that was published on the  Wall Street Journal’s editorial page. The editorial argues that scientific evidence is increasingly supporting the existence of a divine creator. The article is behind a paywall, so I have to admit that I haven’t read it, but take note of how many Facebook shares it got (yeah, it’s kinda popular). The physicist Lawrence Krauss responded with an article in the New Yorker to explain why Metaxas’ reasoning was flawed. Does Krauss argue effectively for the non-existence of a creator? Does Krauss makes a bit of a strategic mistake when he starts his article by noting that Metaxas is a TV host and writer, rather than a scientist?

darwin-creator (1)

Presumably prompted by Krauss’ article, Steven Pinker tweeted this:

Also, this article, linked from Krauss’ article, is awesome.

Great evolution writings on the web (since 2014)

Here are some of my favorite writings on Evolution that have hit the internet over the past year:

A Nautilus magazine article about recently discovered fossil hominins in Ethiopia.

A Nautilus magazine article on the origins of eukaryotic cells. 

A Mosaic magazine article on how malaria evolves to defeat our drug treatments.

An Aeon magazine article about why the selfish gene theory needs to be laid to rest. 

…and here’s an interesting one from the NYT Sunday Review section yesterday, about the evolutionary inevitability of climate disaster, by Adam Frank.

… There are many more I could list, but I like these ones for a variety of reasons. Add your favs in the comments below!

Chris W.

Welcome to the class Blog

This Blog is an experiment. Participation is optional, and anonymity is allowed.

It’s intended for students in UNM’s Biology 300 for Spring 2015. It is open access.

Use it as you wish. Here are some examples of how you could use it:

  • Post links to great evolution sites, blogs, videos, or articles about new discoveries.
  • Post reviews or commentary about readings or class discussions.
  • Communicate with your classmates.
  • Ask an evolution-related question to the local or global community.
  • Write a short article or essay about a current topic or recent discovery related to evolution.

Basic community guidelines must be followed:

  • Be respectful of others.
  • Don’t post copyrighted material.
  • Attribute sources (and link copiously).