HIV May Be Evolving Into A Less Deadly and Less Virulent Form

It's possible that HIV's ability to cause AIDS is slowing. A new paper from Oxford University suggests the disease is becoming less deadly and less infectious over time as it adapts to our immune system and therapies. » 12/02/14 11:20am 12/02/14 11:20am

The Mice In Florida Prove The Antievolutionists In Florida Wrong

Florida has been the scene of multiple controversies over whether creationism should be taught in schools. This is odd, as Florida is the scene of one of the oldest and most thoroughly-studied examples of natural selection. » 11/18/14 6:40am 11/18/14 6:40am

Animals Shaped the Evolution of Colorful Fruits

Fruits can get their colors from a lot of places. New research suggests that the color preferences of the animals that eat fruit are among the strongest influences on fruit color. It's an assumption scientists have always made, but now they have some evidence to support it. » 7/18/14 2:32pm 7/18/14 2:32pm

Tibetans Got Their High-Altitude Gene From An Extinct Human Species

In what's considered one of the finest examples of natural selection in action, Tibetans have acquired the ability to thrive at extremely high altitudes. Incredibly, researchers say the gene required for this adaptation was inherited from the now-extinct Denisovans. » 7/03/14 7:40am 7/03/14 7:40am

How Predictable Is Evolution?

Evolutionary biologists like to say that mutations are random but that selection is not; species are crafted by their environments. But if this is the case, why is it so hard to predict evolution? A recent genetic analysis of stick insects provides an important clue. » 5/16/14 4:40pm 5/16/14 4:40pm

Hunting Lionfish Makes Them Harder To Hunt, Surprising Nobody

How many different ways are there to say that culling invasive or unwanted species is rarely the best solution to manage a disrupted ecosystem? It looks like we have to keep coming up with new ways of saying it, because our hunting behavior itself is driving invasive lionfish into hiding. » 4/08/14 2:29pm 4/08/14 2:29pm

We are not the boss of natural selection. It is unpwnable.

Last week, David Attenborough told The Guardian that humans "have put a halt to natural selection," and with it our genetic and physical evolution. In this expertly crafted rebuttal, University of Rhode Island anthropologist Holly Dunsworth explains why he's wrong. » 9/16/13 8:25am 9/16/13 8:25am

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

Sir David Attenborough says the future is going to totally suck

Speaking to Radio Times, he also said that China's one child policy wasn't a terrible idea, and that humanity has essentially stopped evolving. » 9/10/13 2:40pm 9/10/13 2:40pm

This is why scurvy is one of evolution's greatest mysteries

Scurvy used to be the scourge of the navy, killing sailors on long voyages. Now it's a blight to evolutionary biologists. They just don't know why it exists in humans. » 9/03/13 10:40am 9/03/13 10:40am

Did humans control natural selection of other species?

We think of natural selection as the kind of thing that happened long before people got involved. But one Soviet scientist believed that humans not only participated in a special kind of selection, but we ate better because of it. » 8/23/13 12:04pm 8/23/13 12:04pm

Why "Survival of the Fittest" Is Wrong

You've probably heard it a million times in descriptions of evolution and natural selection. Charles Darwin even liked to say it. But the phrase "survival of the fittest" is wrong, and understanding why can help us better understand what it means to be human. » 3/05/13 1:34pm 3/05/13 1:34pm

The gene that makes mustard explosively spicy

It takes a special species like Homo sapiens to devour something designed to fend off predators. Given our obsession with spiciness, it's astonishing that we haven't simply decided that eating thornbushes is truly delicious. Now that scientists have revealed the gene responsible for mustard spiciness, I predict we're… » 8/31/12 8:30am 8/31/12 8:30am

Charles Darwin ruminates on the pros and cons of marriage

Charles Darwin married his cousin, Emma Wedgwood, in January 1839 — but not before giving it some serious thought. In the months leading up to his marriage proposal in November of 1838, the preeminent naturalist maintained a number of lists, scrawled in his journal, dedicated to the pros and cons of marriage, and the… » 8/14/12 1:20pm 8/14/12 1:20pm

New research demonstrates how humans are still evolving

Since the dawn of agriculture, humans have been making technological advances that insulate us more and more from the selective pressures that once shaped our evolution — but they've also made the question of whether and how human populations are still affected by Darwinian evolution increasingly unclear. » 5/01/12 8:45am 5/01/12 8:45am

The most adorable video about evolution ever, courtesy of elementary…

This awesome video is the brainchild of Tyler Rhodes, an animation student at Virginia Commonwealth University. With the help of some elementary school students, he simulated multiple generations of evolution in the cutest way imaginable, complete with this visual proof. » 3/01/12 5:01pm 3/01/12 5:01pm

Listen to an Auto-Tuned David Attenborough and Bill Nye croon about…

The latest Symphony of Science track is out, and it is a doozy. Listen to David Attenborough, Richard Dawkins and Bill Nye get their rave on for evolution. Who knew synths intermingled with amoebas on the Tree of Life? Hat tip to Krakenstein2! » 1/17/12 2:35pm 1/17/12 2:35pm

Fish hatcheries super-charge the speed of evolution

When we domesticate animals, we alter their evolutionary development to favor the traits that we find most desirable. Usually, that process takes hundreds, even thousands of years. But fish hatcheries can scramble a species' genetics in a single generation. » 12/19/11 2:30pm 12/19/11 2:30pm

Why a little self-delusion can be a very good thing

In general, the more aware of reality you are, the more likely you are to survive. But sometimes lying to yourself has its advantages. Possessing an over-inflated belief in yourself can help you perform better than accurately knowing your abilities. » 9/14/11 3:43pm 9/14/11 3:43pm

Flamboyant birds are oversexing themselves into premature aging

The male Houbara bustard of North Africa is one of the animal kingdom's most extravagant creatures, with huge ornamental feathers and complex, energetic mating practices known as "booming." But all that booming has dire consequences for their actual reproductive chances. » 8/04/11 4:30pm 8/04/11 4:30pm