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

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

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

If humanity went extinct, what species would replace us?

Could another species someday replace us as Earth's dominant intelligent life and, if so, which species? To answer that question, we need to understand just what intelligence really is. And why, from an evolutionary standpoint, an organism would even want it. » 3/09/11 9:35am 3/09/11 9:35am

How an agnostic, libertarian hypochondriac invented "survival of the…

The most famous philosopher of the Victorian age, Herbert Spencer, coined the term "survival of the fittest", tried to apply the concepts of evolution to human society, and was described by Charles Darwin himself as "twenty times my superior." He was also a shameless hypochondriac, a sadistic prankster, and liked to dress … » 2/01/11 3:55pm 2/01/11 3:55pm