Are there evolutionary patterns related to the evolution of size? If so, how do we make sense of these patterns? And what are the largest living systems that have ever existed?
The aquatic ape hypothesis is still supported by groups of anti-intellectuals. Professional anthropologists consider it pseudoscience because there is no evidence to support it. We are not, and never have been, aquatic apes.Read More
The coelacanth is often referred to as a "living fossil". This is because many evolutionary scientists believe that it has not changed much in the past 300 million years. Is this possible? Does evolutionary change occur at variable time scales?Read More
A few days ago biologists Alexei Sharov and Richard Gordon published a paper that sent shock waves throughout the academic community. In their paper titled Life Before Earth they propose that life originated before the formation of our planet. How did they come to this conclusion? Is it possible?Read More
The origin of life. If there is a more controversial (or complex) scientific problem I have yet to encounter it. Will we ever have a deep understanding of the transition from non-life to life?Read More
A new evolutionary concept has been proposed that explain how complex structures evolves in nature: complexity by subtraction. Is this a useful concept to debunk pseudoscientific claims? Does this concept force us to change our understanding of evolutionary theory?
De-extinction is now a scientific possibility. Should we bring back animals from the Paleolithic? If so, how should we? What are the ethical implications of resurrecting extinct organisms? These are questions we will be facing this decade.Read More
Humans have always dreamed of immortality. Biologist Aubrey de Grey believes that current research into the aging process may allow humans living today to live indefinitely. Is aging a disease? Will we be able to cure it so soon? And what role will biological immortality play in relation to nanotechnological and artificial intelligence revolutions?Read More
Europa is a likely candidate for microbial life in our solar system. Underneath a dense ice shelf there is likely a planetary subsurface ocean. Recent research by astronomers Mike Brown and Kevin Hand have revealed that the surface of Europa is connected to the subsurface ocean. As a result, we may be able to find out a lot about Europa's chemistry (and biology?) by analyzing its surface.Read More
This week, Dr. Michio Kaku wrote an article for Newsweek titled "Asteroid Apocalypse." Within it he discusses the potential for an asteroid collision in the next few decades. Do asteroids actually pose a serious threat to our civilization and species?Read More
Dr. Melba Ketchum is a geneticist that is currently attempting to self-publish her own fraudulent data on the “Sasquatch genome.” In the process, Ketchum is undermining the scientific process and manufacturing controversy.Read More
Human presence in space is unimpressive compared to our robotic presence. Will we ever join our robots? Will we ever colonize another planet? It’s possible, but it will require a new type of evolution.Read More
Last week I wrote about what molecular anthropologists know about our genetic origins. Within that post I discussed human genetic variation, great ape genetic variation, the founder effect, and hominid genetics. However, I feel as though I didn't spend enough time explaining one mind-bending aspect of these discoveries: genetic variation between humans and great apes.Read More
I have often wondered about whether key human adaptations represented universal traits for the development of high intelligence and technological complexity. Evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson argues that there were four preadaptations that are necessary. However, I contend that we should remain cautious because we need more data before making any broad conclusions.Read More
The likelihood of a transition to a planet dominated by non-biological intelligence is essentially dependent on one large philosophical assumption: that the substrate of intelligence and consciousness is unimportant. Although I contend that this is currently an unanswerable question, the answer may define our future.Read More