Natural Selection

Does Kin Selection Explain Altruism?

There's a curious puzzle unanswered by the theory of evolution: why do some animals give up their chance to reproduce to help others reproduce instead? For decades biologists have suggested family was the reason, but that has recently been challenged.

How Vestigial Organs Work

Darwin asserted that seemingly useless organs and behaviors are left over from our evolutionary history. But as more are found to have a function, the idea has become a flashpoint for the battle between science and religion.

How Natural Selection Works

While evolution gets all the spotlight for moving species into better versions of themselves, but really it's natural selection that is the engine driving the process. Learn all about this elegant scientific observation that forms the basis of life.

How Charles Darwin Worked

Charles Darwin wasn't the first or only scientist to grasp the theory of evolution through natural selection, but he became its father and icon. Learn about the man who reluctantly but bravely became the source of the divide between religion and science.

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Each week, Chuck and Josh read tons of articles. Here are the best of the bunch. Enjoy them with our compliments.

Thanks a bunch to Mr. Rob Sheppe for sending along a link to a recent article in New Scientist about a prediction that in the future women will be shorter, plumper and have better tickers than they do now. The prediction was made by a Yale evolutionary biologist named Stephen Stearns, who looked at medical histories from what is arguably the most intensive and sweeping study every carried out in the history of the whole wide world, the Framingham Heart Study. Back in 1948, a very clever person named Dr. Thomas Dawber thought it might be a good idea to begin a study that followed the residents of a single town in Massachusetts called Framingham. The extensive longitudinal study has been ongoing since then and it's yielded a wealth of information about things like cardiovascular disease, smoking habits, dementia, hearing disorders and, now, a snapshot of evolution at work.

"Nerrrddds!": Ogre is favored by evolution