August 23, 2013
Mario Livio, a brilliant astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute, is fully qualified to write about “Brilliant Blunders.” His subtitle, “From Darwin to Einstein,” actually includes five outstanding scientists who made significant blunders. Livio is firm in pointing out that we all can make mistakes and still advance our goals. Space permits a consideration of only two who blundered, so I hope that Darwin and Einstein will be interesting. Livio makes it clear that he is not engaged in proudly exposing flaws in order to be sensational.
September 8, 2012
Yes, adaptation is at the heart of evolution To the editor: I read S. V. Yumlu's letter (Sept. 2) with fascination. He alludes to my previous letter (Aug. 12) , claiming that I added confusion to the issue of evolution. But in fact, Yumlu, himself, has confused the issue. For example, Yumlu takes the concept of natural selection (proposed by Darwin) and claims its existence as evidence that evolution does not occur! Regarding microbial antibiotic resistance, he writes that resistant strains result due to a diverse genome containing naturally immune individuals. True enough, but then he writes: “Therefore, claims that a microevolution had taken place turn out to be nothing more than an adaptation process which gives the species ability to survive.” But that is the very definition of natural selection, and is a key part of the modern evolutionary syntheses!
September 30, 2011
Richard Dawkins might properly be ranked as the most prolific, gifted and colorful writer in explaining the workings of science to the reading public. In “Unweaving The Rainbow,” Dawkins is at his best educating the public about the nature of science with emphasis on evolutionary biology and a deliberate attempt to awaken each reader to the poetic wonder of the awesome universe. Science is not, according to Dawkins, a pessimistic, fatalistic unraveling of nature by soulless investigators.
April 23, 2010
The April 9 announcement of the discovery of partial skeletons of a 9-year-old boy and a female about 30 years of age in South Africa was another confirmation of evolution. These fossil bones, estimated to be about 2 million years of age, also support the "out of Africa" predictions as the birthplace of pre-human primates leading to human beings. Many who are interested in the development of evolutionary thought are aware that Darwin published "The Origin Of Species" in 1859.