The Reith lectures part 2: The Darwinian Economy

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Darwin’s theory of evolution: Survival of nature’s fit!

On 23 September a young naturalist, thousands of miles from home and frequently seasick and homesick, found the fossil of an enormous skull embedded in soft rock. It took Charles Darwin three hours to chip it out of the cliff face at Punta Alta in Argentina, and hours more to lug it back to base. He arrived with it long after dark at the ship which became the most famous in the history of natural science, the Beagle. Darwin was only 24, a college dropout from his medical degree who had done a crash course in geology in order to join the voyage.

She has taught in the Harvard Writing Program for eight years before Although many students taking “Darwinian Dating” are interested in.

Most were subsequently found alive after having become hopelessly lost in dense underbrush and rugged volcanic terrain. But some perished. Amassive, two-month search failed to find him. In fact, some of the searchers themselves became lost and had to be rescued. A former Israeli tank commander, he had been in top physical condition, yet had managed to go only six miles before succumbing to the searing heat and lack of fresh water.

Do not go beyond this point. You could die. How, Darwin asked himself, had life first come to these islands? Most of the organic productions are aboriginal creations, found nowhere else. As he traveled from island to island, Darwin also encountered tantalizing evidence suggesting that evolution was proceeding independently on each island, producing what appeared to be new species. Other evidence, from the South American continent, showed that species did not seem to be stable across either geographic space or the deep reaches of paleontological time.

He subsequently added to his daring endorsement of evolution the crucial insight that species evolve by means of natural selection: variants that are better adapted to their environments are more likely to survive and reproduce.

What Darwin Never Knew

Evolutionary psychologists who study mating behavior often begin with a hypothesis about how modern humans mate: say, that men think about sex more than women do. Then they gather evidence — from studies, statistics and surveys — to support that assumption. Lately, however, a new cohort of scientists have been challenging the very existence of the gender differences in sexual behavior that Darwinians have spent the past 40 years trying to explain and justify on evolutionary grounds.

Of course, no fossilized record can really tell us how people behaved or thought back then, much less why they behaved or thought as they did.

Darwinian sapience takes a beating as the notion of ‘punctuated equilibrium’ what Niles Eldredge, Harvard palaeontologist, calls the “great evolutionary debate”. But now, armed with latest dating techniques, scientists are finding that the.

One hundred and fifty years later, scientists decode nature’s greatest mysteries—a two-hour special. Program not available for streaming. Earth teems with a staggering variety of animals, including 9, kinds of birds, 28, types of fish, and more than , species of beetles. What explains this explosion of living creatures—1. The source of life’s endless forms was a profound mystery until Charles Darwin brought forth his revolutionary idea of natural selection.

But Darwin’s radical insights raised as many questions as they answered. What actually drives evolution and turns one species into another? To what degree do different animals rely on the same genetic toolkit? And how did we evolve? Breakthroughs in a brand-new science—nicknamed “evo devo”—are linking the enigmas of evolution to another of nature’s great mysteries, the development of the embryo. NOVA takes viewers on a journey from the Galapagos Islands to the Arctic, and from the explosion of animal forms half a billion years ago to the research labs of today.

Scientists are finally beginning to crack nature’s biggest secrets at the genetic level. The results are confirming the brilliance of Darwin’s insights while revealing clues to life’s breathtaking diversity in ways the great naturalist could scarcely have imagined.

Darwin’s lost fossils – including a sloth the size of a car – to be made public

A chemistry professor at the University of Iowa got slammed recently by colleagues for voicing the view that Darwinian evolutionary theory has “holes…that are big enough to drive a semi-truck through. The professor, Ned Bowden, was writing in an official university publication, Iowa Now , and 25 of his fellow faculty members took umbrage. They signed a collectively authored letter chastising him, reminding Dr.

Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard University, William Ziegler Professor at Harvard Business School, and fellow of Jesus.

John Gowdy gowdyj rpi. Geoffrey M. University of Chicago Press, General Darwinian principles, and the contemporary elaborations of those principles, can be fruitfully applied to the study of social evolution—such is the basic premise of two recent titles by Geoffrey M. Although the ideas presented in both volumes relate to social evolution in general, an emphasis is given to how the concepts of evolutionary biology apply to economics.

Both Hodgson and Knudsen are economists by training: Hodgson is a research professor in business studies at the University of Hertfordshire, and Knudsen is a professor of organization and design at the University of Southern Denmark. Biology and economics, both considered to be evolving, complex systems, share an intellectual history dating back to Charles Darwin and Thomas Robert Malthus.

Since the publication of his seminal book, Economics and Evolution , Hodgson has been a champion of bringing contemporary ideas from biology back into economics. This is not an easy task. As a social scientist, Hodgson recognizes the danger of overgeneralizing biological analogies and the opposite pitfall of flatly rejecting anything hinting of biological determinism.

Charles Darwin

Responses ranged from those of naturalists, physical scientists, and religious leaders and theologians to social scientists, political activists, historians, and even artists from George Eliot and Fyodor Dostoyevsky to Richard Wagner. In addition, the immediate reaction by theologians was often quite virulent, and it has remained to plague evolutionary theory down to the present. The general period in the history of Darwinism from to , then, is one marked by numerous controversies, even as many, at least in the scientific realm, began to reach some sort of resolution by the time of the so-called evolutionary synthesis of the later s and s.

This article will focus on the period leading up to, but not including, the synthesis and beyond.

Fossils collected by Darwin on his global voyages on the Beagle will be digitally scanned and made available online. The giant ground sloth.

Even after years after his birth, Charles Robert Darwin and his work are still central to any discussion on evolution. What is the relevance of evolution as Darwin perceived it? What were the pre-Darwinian, Darwinian and post-Darwinian pictures? Man has always wondered where he came from, wondered what his origins were and wondered spellbound at the wonderful variety of life around him!

Was he a demigod, a spectator or participant in the natural scheme of things? May be on a star studded night, when man looked up at the sky and wondered, he became mankind. It is probably this single quality of wonder, more than anything else that made Charles Darwin synonymous with evolution in particular and biology in general.

Even two hundred years after his birth, Charles Robert Darwin and his work are still central to any discussion on evolution. Darwin carefully marshaled his facts for more than two decades after his return from the famous Beagle voyage before publishing his magnum opus in Through this book, he set out to provide evidences that all life is interrelated and life forms are mutable; that they evolve from the simple to complex forms directed by nondeterministic natural selection; and the changes that make the organism suited to its environment and are passed onto the progeny result in descent with modification.

The theory made change in organisms an irrevocable part of life. It created a controversy, because to accept this change would be going against certain religious dogma. But change is an inescapable fact of life. In the century and half since publication of this book, the rapid advances in Biology have lead to investigating the very molecules that make up life!

The Evolution of Charles Darwin

A fond farewell to a brilliant and beautiful theory. Darwinian evolution is a brilliant and beautiful scientific theory. Once it was a daring guess. Today it is basic to the credo that defines the modern worldview. Accepting the theory as settled truth—no more subject to debate than the earth being round or the sky blue or force being mass times acceleration—certifies that you are devoutly orthodox in your scientific views; which in turn is an essential first step towards being taken seriously in any part of modern intellectual life.

But what if Darwin was wrong?

Mayr, Ernst, “Agassiz, Darwin, and evolution”, Harvard Library bulletin, F. Clark​, “Human evolution and culture”; Emiliana, Cesare, “Dating human evolution”;.

Evolutionary ethics has a long history, dating all the way back to Charles Darwin. Almost immediately after the publication of the Origin, an immense interest arose in the moral implications of Darwinism and whether the truth of Darwinism would undermine traditional ethics. Though the biological thesis was certainly exciting, nobody suspected that the impact of the Origin would be confined to the scientific arena. As one historian wrote, ‘whether or not ancient populations of armadillos were transformed into the species that currently inhabit the new world was certainly a topic about which zoologists could disagree.

But it was in discussing the broader implications of the theory Some resistance to the biological thesis of Darwinism sprung from the thought that it was incompatible with traditional morality and, since one of them had to go, many thought that Darwinism should be rejected. However, some people did realize that a secular ethics was possible so, even if Darwinism did undermine traditional religious beliefs, it need not have any effects on moral thought.

Before I begin my discussion of evolutionary ethics from Darwin to Moore, I would like to make some more general remarks about its development. There are three key events during this history of evolutionary ethics. Since one did not have a fully developed theory of evolution until , there exists little work on evolutionary ethics until then. Shortly thereafter, Herbert Spencer penned the first systematic theory of evolutionary ethics, which was promptly attacked by T.

Huxley Huxley

Replacing Darwin: The New Origin of Species