ceci n’est pas un blogpost

(…also, i think that’s some really bad french! (*^_^*) )

seriously, tho. this is not me returning to blogging. sorry! i think i need another week or so of r&r.

but, i have been binge watching a lot of netflix shows/youtube videos, and i thought i’d share one with you: a bbc horizon documentary from 2011 — Are We Still Evolving? — hosted by one dr. alice roberts.

for the first ten or fifteen minutes, you might feel like poking out your eyeballs, but the show does get better and quite adequately explains rapid evolution, recent human evolution, and even — *gasp* — human biodiversity, albeit only such “nonthreatening” aspects of hbd like lactase persistence and high-altitude adaptations. still, it’s pretty cool that the show goes there at all.

of course roberts gives behavioral genetics a wiiiiiide berth. in fact she doesn’t even mention biological/genetic explanations for behavioral traits at all — until near to the end when she talks to the very frank dr. jeffrey steinberg about genetic engineering and intelligence briefly comes up. oops!

pay close attention to what stephen stearns has to say at ca. 47:45:

“Well I think what is very probably going on is that selection is moving a population up and down all the time. It goes off in a certain direction for a while, and then it goes back in the other direction. It’s only if you get a significant change in the environment that it will then continuously go in a new direction.”

in other words, the average frequencies of genes in populations matter, and those frequencies can vary over time depending up the selection pressures.

k. that’s all i’ve got for you. back to my la-z-boy. enjoy! (^_^) :

_____
(note: comments do not require an email. this is not the pipe you’re looking for.)

8 Comments

  1. Welcome back!! If you thought “Are we Still Evolving” was amusing, check out “Dawn of Humanity,” PBS’ take on Homo naledi.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/evolution/dawn-of-humanity.html

    It’s propaganda at its finest. They must have resurrected some Blank Slate Rip van Winkle to write the script. They even gratuitously drag in Robert Ardrey for good measure, attacking his “hunting hypothesis” as if we’d all been carried back to 1968 in a time machine. No mention of Jane Goodell’s observation of chimp violence and organized hunting, no mention of Homo erectus’ fire hardened spears, no mention of evidence of butchered bones 2 million years old, etc. Obviously these “men of science” haven’t forgotten or forgiven Ardrey for shaming them.

    Reply

  2. Glad to hear of your progress, chick. I’ll pass on the telly show: usually their combination of being absurdly slow and excruciatingly PC just make me want to hurl things at the screen.

    Reply

  3. Glad to see you are feeling at least this much better. I’m suffering from linkfest withdrawal.

    Reply

  4. I don’t know much about the math of genetic evolution, but the claim that the arsenic adapted earthworms evolved in 170 years to be more different from garden variety earthworms than homo sap and mice is suspicious to me. Seems more likely that they had been evolving longer than that, especially since there are obviously arsenide deposits in the area.

    The arsenic did not come into being because men started mining, it could have been outcropping there for millions and millions of years.

    Reply

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