Archive for February, 2011

HOX Gene Silence

Charles Darwin in The Origin of Species explains the role of natural selection in evolution: “I do believe that natural selection will generally act very slowly, only over long periods of time…. natural selection acts slowly by accumulating slight, successive, favorable variations.” The key to evolution is the accumulation of “slight, successive” changes.

In 1995, Edward B. Lewis, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, and Eric F. Wieschaus were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work on HOX genes. During the 1950’s, geneticist Edward B Lewis discovered the Bithorax complex (BX-C) group of HOX genes in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Continue Reading

Devolution of Evolution

Leonid Moroz, professor of neuroscience, chemistry, and biology at the University of Florida College of Medicine, in a recent article published in The Scientist entitled “The Devolution of Evolution,” comments on Theodosius Dobzhansky assertion nearly 40 years ago that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”

If Dobzhansky’s assertion is true, “How is it, then”, Moroz asks, “that so few newly minted PhDs in the biological sciences have taken any formal graduate school courses in evolution or biodiversity?” Continue Reading

The Great Newton Darwin Divide

Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin are similar up to the point of the great divide.

Although born nearly 200 years apart, Newton and Darwin were both Englishmen born into wealthy families, Newton was the son of a wealthy farmer, and Darwin was the son of a wealth physician.

Newton and Darwin were abandoned by their mother early in life: Newton’s mother went to live with her new husband at the age of three and Darwin’s mother died when he was just eight years old. Neither Newton nor Darwin gained respect from their fathers.

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Natural Selection, Then and Now

For Charles Darwin, natural selection was the key natural law driving evolution, as reflected in the title, On the Origin of Species, by Means of Natural Selection. Natural selection was envisioned as the mechanism for the origin of species—evolution.

Darwin declared – “I do believe that natural selection will generally act very slowly, only over long periods of time…. natural selection acts slowly by accumulating slight, successive, favorable variations.” In essence, natural selection was simply founded on a belief.

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Book Description



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Darwin, Then and Now is a journey through the most amazing story in the history of science - the history of evolution. The book encapsulates who Darwin was, what he said, and what scientists have discovered since the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859.

With over 1,000 references, Darwin Then and Now is a historical chronicle of the rise and fall of the once popular theory of biological evolution.

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