Category archives: Evolution

Earth’s oxygen has varied dramatically over time – here’s how new data could help us spot alien life

Earth’s oxygen has varied dramatically over time – here’s how new data could help us spot alien life

AstronomyBiologyEvolutionGeosciences

By Invited Researcher

Are we alone in the universe? This is a question that has intrigued humans for centuries and inspired countless studies and works of fiction. But are we getting closer to finding this out? Now that the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is in operation, we might have taken one giant leap in being able to […]

Evolution, faster than anybody thought

Evolution, faster than anybody thought

BiologyEvolution

By Invited Researcher

How fast is evolution? In adaptive evolution, natural selection causes genetic changes in traits that favour the survival and reproduction of individual organisms. Although Charles Darwin thought the process occurred over geological timescales, we have seen examples of dramatic adaptive evolution over only a handful of generations. The peppered moth changed colour in response to […]

Future evolution: from looks to brains and personality, how will humans change in the next 10,000 years?

Future evolution: from looks to brains and personality, how will humans change in the next 10,000 years?

AnthropologyBiologyEvolution

By Invited Researcher

Humanity is the unlikely result of 4 billion years of evolution. From self-replicating molecules in Archean seas, to eyeless fish in the Cambrian deep, to mammals scurrying from dinosaurs in the dark, and then, finally, improbably, ourselves – evolution shaped us. Organisms reproduced imperfectly. Mistakes made when copying genes sometimes made them better fit to […]

Cod ‘supergenes’ reveal how they are evolving in response to overfishing

Cod ‘supergenes’ reveal how they are evolving in response to overfishing

BiologyEvolutionGenetics

By Invited Researcher

Cod “supergenes” have shed light on how they respond to overfishing, and these supergenes could make them more resilient to other environmental changes. That’s according to a new study published by scientists in Norway. This could be good news, in that cod have genetic architecture in place that will permit them to respond to climate […]

How a handful of prehistoric geniuses launched humanity’s technological revolution

How a handful of prehistoric geniuses launched humanity’s technological revolution

AnthropologyEvolution

By Invited Researcher

For the first few million years of human evolution, technologies changed slowly. Some three million years ago, our ancestors were making chipped stone flakes and crude choppers. Two million years ago, hand-axes. A million years ago, primitive humans sometimes used fire, but with difficulty. Then, 500,000 years ago, technological change accelerated, as spearpoints, firemaking, axes […]

Prepared to kill: Some ideas to debate

Prepared to kill: Some ideas to debate

BiologyEvolutionPsychology

By Invited Researcher

Original: Eduardo Angulo (2017) Preparados para matar: algunas ideas para el debate. Translated and adapted by Julio Nicanor Ozores, M.D. “ …the proper application of Darwinian thinking to human issues- of mind, language, knowledge, and ethics, for instance- illuminates them in ways that have always eluded the traditional approaches, recasting ancient problems and pointing to […]

Nature versus nurture: how modern science is rewriting it

Nature versus nurture: how modern science is rewriting it

EvolutionGeneticsNeurobiology

By Invited Researcher

The question of whether it is genes or environment that largely shapes human behaviour has been debated for centuries. During the second half of the 20th century, there were two camps of scientists – each believing that nature or nurture, respectively, was exclusively at play. This view is becoming increasingly rare, as research is demonstrating […]