About

NathanHLents

Bio: Dr. Nathan H. Lents is a Professor of Molecular Biology at John Jay College of The City University of New York and author of "Not So Different: Finding Human Nature in Animals," available in May 2016.

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4 thoughts on “About

  1. Dear Professor Lents,

    With this comment, the editors of Inference: International Review of Science, would like to introduce you to a new quarterly online journal, one whose remit is the sciences, from Anthropology to Zoology. To date we have published five issues, with a sixth scheduled for publication in mid-May.

    http://inference-review.com

    After having discovered your blog, we thought you might be interested in one of our essays: “The Genus Homo” by Ian Tattersall, a paleoanthropologist at the American Museum of Natural History, New York City.

    http://inference-review.com/article/the-genus-homo

    With best wishes and our thanks in advance for your consideration.

    Sincerely,
    Hortense Marcelin

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  2. I have numerous issues with the theory of evolution but one that sticks to me consistently is the question of sexual reproduction within species. If my thinking is correct it would seem that for any species to reproduce there would have to be at least one male and one female of the species “evolutionised” at the same time (or at least within the fertile lifetime of its mate). That seems an incredibly astonishing, nay impossible, coincidence. Given the thousands of sexually reproducing species now known it means that two of each would have to be alive at the same time and in the same area for the species to continue. Can you explain that?

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    1. It’s difficult to dissect each misconception embedded in this question, but the simplest answer is that the term “evolutionised” makes no sense. Individuals don’t evolve. Populations do. Populations are interbreeding groups of organisms. They evolve together over time due to the emergence of mutations followed by selection, genetic drift, etc. There is no moment where one individual is suddenly born as a new species. It’s a gradual evolution over many generations and no line can be drawn precisely to say when one species ends and another begins. It’s rather like a child becoming an adult. There is no precise moment at which that happens (biologically speaking), but we all know that there is a difference between a child and an adult. The main problem with your understanding of evolution is that it is focused on individuals. Mutations emerge in individuals, and selection is placed on individuals, but evolution happens in populations, not individuals.

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