“Experimental Evolution Amongst Plants” (1895)

Tl;dr: This post features my (thus far) favorite quote that I have found when doing historical work on experimental evolution. In his speech/article, Liberty Hyde Bailey argued that the truth of evolution had already been demonstrated… centuries ago as well as in the present day, not by the academic elite, but by those involved in the cultivation of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. For Bailey, the domestication of plants and animals was a form of experimental evolution.

Continue reading

Book Review: Endless Forms Most Beautiful by Sean B. Carroll

Endless Forms Most Beautiful by Sean B Carroll is an excellent book. Both easy to read and understand in addition to containing some gorgeous pictures, Carroll makes his case for evo-devo clear and to the point. However, the book is not without its flaws, and I would like to discuss them here.
Continue reading

Drift as Biology’s First Law

Synopsis: Robert Brandon agrees with the “evolutionary theory as a ‘theory of forces’ ” framework established by Elliott Sober but disagrees with Sober’s choice of Hardy-Weinberg as a zero-force law. Instead, Brandon believes genetic drift is to evolution as inertia is to Newtonian mechanics, i.e., drift is the “first law of biology.”

Continue reading

Science and History: Scientism

I just read a bulk of Eugene Goodheart’s Darwinian Misadventures in the Humanities. His writing was nowhere as scathing of an attack on evolutionary biology or science in general as I had expected, but is a strong rebuttal to what is called scientism, or the belief that the natural sciences hold sway over other academic disciplines and for those disciplines to be worth anything, they must incorporate a scientific way of understanding the world. This may be a bit exaggerated in the intensity of my language, but it gets the point across.

Continue reading