If you live long enough, you get cancer. But without our mutating, blundering cells, we’d never have made it out of the primordial soup. … More The Inevitability of Cancer and Why It Makes Us Great
Last weekend, the Wall Street Journal published a teaser of my new book Human Errors (available May 1st!), which you can read here. As soon as the article dropped, I began to receive emails about the article, mostly positive, but I also knew from years of blogging about human evolution that not everyone would be … More A Creationist Response to “Human Errors” (and my rebuttal)
Researchers have developed a new method to discover the precise genetic differences between humans and our ape relatives. … More A New Method to Detect Natural Selection in Genes
In a recent episode of This World of Humans, I interview Dr. Dan Graur of the University of Houston about his recent paper entitled, An Upper Limit on the Functional Fraction of the Human Genome. … More How much of our genome is junk?
Despite being one of the most influential of the early modern biologists and having crucially paved the way for Darwin, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck has mostly gone down in history for being wrong. His theory of “use and disuse” as a mechanism for evolution was roundly rejected and is often presented in introductory biology textbooks as totally misguided and even … More In Defense of Lamarck: Historical, Philosophical, and Biological Vindication of Evolution’s First Big Idea
Earlier this year, Columbia University Press published a book entitled “Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome” by Nessa Carey. A popular science book written for a general audience, “Junk DNA” is an exploration of all the ways that DNA can function without coding for proteins. As the author rightly decries, the protein-coding regions of our DNA have gotten … More Junk DNA: A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome
In the study of human evolution, one conundrum has always vexed us: how did humans evolve such powerful brains? Few Differences in Chimp and Human DNA The genome of Homo sapiens is remarkably similar to those of our closest extant relatives, the common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and the pigmy chimpanzee, or bonobo (Pan paniscus). On the sequence level, we … More Genes Found that May Explain Expansion of Higher Brain Function in Homo sapiens