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  • For the faithful, eusociality

    As social as humans are, their cooperative nature pales in comparison to that of ants, bees, wasps, and termites (see hill). Colonies of these insects can number in the millions and function seamlessly as “superorganisms.” In their book, The Superorganism: The Beauty, Elegance, and Strangeness of Insect Societies, Burt Hölldobler and E. O.… Read More
  • Darwin film finds U.S. distributor

    The Hollywood Reporter last week noted that Creation had finally been picked for the U.S. market. Now Americans can decide thumbs-up or thumbs-down. Read More
  • Math tribute to Darwin

    As a year of meetings and celebrations of Darwin anniversaries winds down, mathematicians are planning their own Darwin fest: “The Mathematics of Darwin’s Legacy” (23 to 24 November 2009 in Lisbon, Portugal).The legacy begins with Darwin, even though he was no mathematician and took only a qualitative approach to natural history. Read More
  • When Darwin met a Neandertal

    GIBRALTAR—The first known Neandertal skull, right, was discovered here in 1848, and some of the last Neandertals may also have taken refuge in Gibraltar’s caves before they finally went extinct about 30,000 years ago. So Clive Finlayson of the Gibraltar Museum organizes a meeting here every few years on the evolution of Neandertals and other… Read More
  • Movie review: “Creation” lacks spark of genius

    Creation, the star-studded biopic of Charles Darwin, opens later this week in the United Kingdom, and scientists and science educators have been bemoaning the fact that the film doesn’t yet have a U.S. distributor. Although the production company behind the movie has hinted that a U.S. deal is imminent, some have suggested that the movie… Read More
  • Robots, too, help researchers understand cooperation

    In my essay, On the Origin of Cooperation, I describe experiments in which people are asked to play computer games that help reveal our cooperative tendencies, and I discuss other studies involving the use of microbes to get at the basic principles of working together. But Laurent Keller has gone a step further to work out details of… Read More
  • Darwin and dance

    Birds are noteworthy not only for their wit, charm, and sartorial splendor but also for their great dancing. So, for its contribution to this year’s Darwin celebrations, London’s Rambert Dance Company is putting on a bird-inspired show. The company has the ideal scientific adviser: Nicola Clayton, an expert on the cognitive talents of jays a… Read More
  • New Darwin Centre debuts its cocoon

    On Monday, London’s Natural History Museum (NHM) will formally open its new Darwin Centre with a launch ceremony that will be attended by official and unofficial English royalty—HRH Prince William of Wales and Sir David Attenborough, the celebrated naturalist and TV host whose name is bestowed on a multimedia studio in the center. The glassed… Read More
  • Join Darwin on Facebook

    In late January, New York-based internet consultant Phil Terry made a pitch on Facebook for members to post a Happy Birthday Darwin message. By 12 February, more than 200,000 members had signed on, far exceeding his expectations, he said. Since then, he’s been shooting to make an even bigger splash. The goal is to have 1… Read More
  • On the Origin of Cooperation

    Cooperation has created a conundrum for generations of evolutionary scientists. If natural selection among individuals favors the survival of the fittest, why would one individual help another at a cost to itself? And yet cooperation and sacrifice are rampant in nature. Humans working together have transformed the planet to meet the needs of billio… Read More