Natural Selection

Quantum Queries

Two seemingly unconnected events: (i) I am writing about Emperor Penguins, and (ii) I am listening to an interview on the radio about applying quantum mechanics to evolutionary biology. Read More...

Darwin and the Royal Academy of Arts

The great thing about London is the history: it’s not something to read about in books, it’s there in every building and down every famous by-way. Walk Pall Mall, Regent Street or any one of the Monopoly board names and you will find history alive, breathing.

The Royal Academy of Arts is one such place. A short stroll from Piccadilly Circus, it is somewhat hidden behind an arched entranceway that straddles the opposing doors of the Geological and Linnaean Societies.

Antarctic Adventure

 I’ve just arrived back from the Antarctic. A magnificent place of contradictions. While the perception is of a white continent, it is the subtle variations of light and colour that contribute so much to it’s beauty; covered in frozen water it is one of the driest places on Earth; and then, there are the animals. Read More...

Breast Cancer: evolutionary implications

I’ve not long finished researching and writing an article on Rachel Carson for the national Sunday newspaper in New Zealand. The article, naturally enough, was about pesticides, but it roamed into the area of breast cancer inasmuch as there is a suggested link between pesticides and breast cancer and, as fate would have it, Carson died of breast cancer. While I did not include this in the article, it seems apparent that our changing lifestyles are having a big impact on the dramatic increase in the rate of breast cancer over the last 100 years. Read More...

Darwin and the Galapagos Islands

I’ve just finished writing about Darwin’s experiences in the Galapagos Islands and, surprizingly, it took less time and less space than I had originally anticipated. On reflection I can see that this should not have been a surprize because Charles Darwin spent a relatively trifling amount of time in the Galapagos considering the duration of his journey on the Beagle and, when there, it certainly did not strike him as the key to evolution as it has often been portrayed. Read More...

Time: Evolution Wars

The cover story in the current issue of Time Magazine is headlined “Evolution Wars”. It reports on the growing push within the United States to have “Intelligent Design” taught alongside evolution in schools as an alternative theory. Perhaps the most telling line in the whole article is the one that quotes the results of a Harris poll of 1,000 American adults: “54% did not believe humans had developed from an earlier species”. Read More...

Hello world!

The above topic title was the one automatically assigned to this first post by WordPress – the engine that is powering this blog – and I have retained it because it seems especially appropriate. Firstly, greetings to the world – I hope this reaches a wide audience and that we can enjoy this journey together! Secondly, this site is devoted to developing an understanding of the world: it is based upon my experiences associated with writing a book called Looking for Darwin where I am attempting to unravel what this life and this world are all about. How did we get here? Read More...
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