​Here's How Charles Darwin's Cousin Invented the Dog Whistle

Francis Galton would have been the famous eccentric scientist in any family except the one he was born into. The Darwin, Wedgewood, and Galton families were thick with scientists, and Francis wasn't anywhere near the favorite. He did leave his mark in both large and small ways. The dog whistle is one of the smaller… » 3/06/15 12:20pm 3/06/15 12:20pm

What Did Charles Darwin Put In His Mouth? Pretty Much Everything.

One of Charles Darwin's quirks was his curiosity as to how the animals he studied tasted. Throughout his life, he went around the world eating exotic species. » 2/24/15 1:10pm 2/24/15 1:10pm

I'm Tired Of Seeing This Charles Darwin Quote Taken Out Of Context

In the sixth chapter of On The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin addresses "Organs of Extreme Perfection" – organs like the eye, the formation of which due to natural selection, Darwin "freely confessed," seems "absurd in the highest possible degree." But this is only part of a much longer quote. » 1/11/15 10:30am 1/11/15 10:30am

Why 19th Century Scientists Believed That Life Originated In Space

The Panspermia Hypothesis holds that life on our planet traces its origins to space—say, a microbe-laden meteorite landing on primordial Earth. The theory, conceived before humans even went into space, was actually born out of criticism of Charles Darwin and his perceived failure to explain how life began. » 12/23/14 8:00am 12/23/14 8:00am

Over 16,000 of Darwin's Papers On Evolution Are Now Available Online

Since 2007, the American Museum of Natural History and the Darwin Manuscripts Project have been digitizing Charles Darwin's writings on evolution, and putting them online. Today, on the 155th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, the project is more than 50% complete. » 11/24/14 3:18pm 11/24/14 3:18pm

Darwin's Children Drew Pictures on the Origin of Species manuscript

Charles Darwin wasn't just a writer and a naturalist; he was also the father of ten children. And when those children got a hold of his manuscript for On the Origin of Species, the did what kids do: they drew all over them. » 3/19/14 4:00pm 3/19/14 4:00pm

Why mistakes by great thinkers are important to scientific progress

Scientists have a low tolerance for errors, but as Freeman Dyson points out in a recent New York Review of Books article, some of our most important conceptual breakthroughs — from natural selection to general relativity — first got started as big mistakes. » 2/19/14 1:20pm 2/19/14 1:20pm

Disembodied duck feet helped Darwin make the case for evolution

Charles Darwin knew that making the case for evolution would involve more than just a good idea. . Darwin knew the idea of evolution would fall into disrepute if any aspect of it was questionable. Thankfully, dead duck feet provided the answer to one of evolution's biggest mysteries. » 11/13/13 6:20am 11/13/13 6:20am

Explore the Galápagos Islands on Google Street View

Google Maps has taken us into the Grand Canyon, to Japan's abandoned Battleship Island, and under the sea, and now it allows us to venture to the Galápagos from the comfort of our desks. » 9/14/13 9:30am 9/14/13 9:30am

How the pseudoscience of Social Darwinism nearly destroyed humanity

Following the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in 1860, many political theorists and opportunistic politicians applied his findings to human society. In the 20th century, these ideas were put into practice — and it nearly destroyed us. Here’s why Social Darwinism was one of the worst ideas ever. » 9/13/13 11:35am 9/13/13 11:35am

Müllerian mimicry helps prey train their predators

We've heard about harmless animals "camouflaging" themselves by imitating deadly animals. Müllerian mimicry doesn't work that way. Instead, deadly animals form an alliance and train their predators. Maybe. » 8/02/13 8:00am 8/02/13 8:00am

Crowdfund question block lamps, slime mold field guides, and much more

You can run around your house pretending to be Mario or Luigi with the question block lamps currently available through a Kickstarter campaign. Or pledge for social justice sci-fi, a slime mold field guide, or an unusual exploration of Darwin's Origin of Species.

» 6/23/13 12:00pm 6/23/13 12:00pm

Hundreds of Charles Darwin's previously unpublished letters to be…

Charles Darwin's personal letters have a reputation for being quite revealing, and, at times, very entertaining. They're where he weighed the pros and cons of marriage, and berated himself for being "very stupid." Now, more than 1,000 letters between Darwin and botanist Joseph Dalton Hooker have been made available… » 3/30/13 3:00pm 3/30/13 3:00pm

Happy Darwin Day, you damn dirty ape-cousins!

It's Darwin's birthday, and that means it's Darwin Day! Founded in 1993 by molecular biologist Robert Stephens, Darwin Day is recognized as a global celebration of science, humanity, and reason. A day to revel in our evolutionary nature. To marvel at the Universe. To celebrate life, new and old. » 2/12/13 1:49pm 2/12/13 1:49pm

New resolution would see "Darwin Day" recognized this coming February 12

How cool would it be to set aside a day to celebrate the birth of one of the most important and influential scientists to ever walk this good Earth? That's exactly what U.S. House Democrat Russ Holt is hoping to establish — and he's introduced a resolution to Congress that would see February 12, 2013 officially… » 1/24/13 8:40am 1/24/13 8:40am

The book about earthworms that took Charles Darwin 44 years to write

For most of his adult life, Charles Darwin was mulling over the earthworm question. In the years before his famous adventure on the H.M.S. Beagle, he began investigating how these creatures creates soil-enriching mold during their digestive process. Off and on in the decades after that, he continued to ponder… » 1/23/13 4:50pm 1/23/13 4:50pm

5 Historical Myths About Real Scientific Discoveries

Scientific discovery may require reason, rationality, and a firm handle on the facts, but science history has its share of myths, urban legends, and tall tales. Thought experiments are misinterpreted as real experiments; the scientist with the most interesting story gets the credit for a discovery; misunderstandings… » 11/24/12 9:00am 11/24/12 9:00am

In this species of frog, males rear the young... in their mouths

Happy Monday, people. We hope you're ready for some weird, because we're about to bring it in the form of a wriggling frog-sac full of tinier frogs. » 11/19/12 6:20am 11/19/12 6:20am

Why do humans blush?

Why do our faces go red and hot when we feel embarrassed, ashamed or guilty? No other species is known to do this, and yet most humans can recall experiencing something that made them blush at one time or another. » 10/23/12 8:50am 10/23/12 8:50am