Why is human niche construction reshaping planet Earth? thumbnail

Why is human niche construction reshaping planet Earth?

by Erle C Ellis


Human societies have become a ‘great force of nature’. Among the many massive environmental changes we are causing are the widespread conversion of habitats to agricultural fields and settlements, species extinctions, global climate change, and the pollution of air, land and sea. So profound are these global transformations that geologists may soon recognise them as

read more
Behaviour, Development and Evolution thumbnail

Behaviour, Development and Evolution

by Sir Patrick Bateson


In my latest book, Behaviour, Development and Evolution, I take a systems biology approach to understanding the evolution and development of behavior. Themes that run though the book are the adaptive processes that result in the appearance of design in nature; the active role of the organism in development and evolution; and an emphasis on whole

read more
Defining niche construction thumbnail

Defining niche construction

by Kevin N Laland


Scientists like to define their terms. They believe that it is imperative to pin down key concepts so as to remove ambiguity as to what they mean, and how they are bounded. Definitions, it is argued, facilitate clear thinking and consensual analysis across scientific communities. Philosophers of science, on the other hand, who prize clear

read more
Domestication as a model system for the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis thumbnail

Domestication as a model system for the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis

by Melinda A Zeder


Archaeology has a long history of looking to evolutionary biology for ways to explain the initial domestication of plants and animals. To date, most have been firmly grounded in traditional neo-Darwinian principles. These characterize domestication as an adaptive response to declining resource availability in which human goal-directed behavior plays little if any role. Recently, many

read more
Intelligent design without a creator? Why evolution may be smarter than we thought thumbnail

Intelligent design without a creator? Why evolution may be smarter than we thought

by Richard A Watson


Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution offers an explanation for why biological organisms seem so well designed to live on our planet. This process is typically described as ‘unintelligent’ – based on random variations with no direction. But despite its success, some oppose this theory because they don’t believe living things can evolve in increments. Something as complex as the

read more
Research project 9: The evolution of inclusive heredity through the genomic interactions of symbionts thumbnail

Research project 9: The evolution of inclusive heredity through the genomic interactions of symbionts

by Katrina J Falkenberg


‘The evolution of inclusive heredity through the genomic interactions of symbionts’ is one of five research projects under the third theme, Inclusive Inheritance, of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis research program. Michael Wade and Armin Moczek (both at Indiana University), are using theoretical models and experiments in dung beetles to investigate how the evolution of symbiotic

read more
Research project 7: The origins of organismal complexity thumbnail

Research project 7: The origins of organismal complexity

by Katrina J Falkenberg


‘The origins of organismal complexity’ is one of six research projects under the second theme, Evolutionary Innovations, in the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis research program. Charlie Cornwallis and Per Lundberg, together with Karin Rengefors and Lars-Anders Hansson (all at Lund University), are investigating the origins of multicellularity.   The emergence of multicellularity, that is, single cells

read more
A TVOL interview with Tobias Uller: Orchestrating the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis project thumbnail

A TVOL interview with Tobias Uller: Orchestrating the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis project

by David Sloan Wilson & Tobias Uller 


This View of Life (TVOL) is featuring a series of articles on the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis, based on a major grant from the John Templeton Foundation awarded to our team of scientists headed by Kevin Laland (St Andrews University) and Tobias Uller (Lund University). This interview with Tobias begins to introduce the empirical side of

read more
Who’s afraid of the Extended Synthesis? thumbnail

Who’s afraid of the Extended Synthesis?

by Massimo Pigliucci


“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” So wrote physicist Max Planck, in his Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers, (1949, pp. 33–34). That’s a bit drastic, perhaps,

read more
What evolutionary developmental biology (evo devo) brings to evolutionary biology thumbnail

What evolutionary developmental biology (evo devo) brings to evolutionary biology

by Armin P Moczek


Evolutionary biology is a very vibrant and highly successful discipline. Since its reformulation during the modern synthesis it has successfully tackled many major questions and developed into a sophisticated, powerful framework. But it is important to emphasize that there are foundational questions in evolutionary biology, questions that have motivated evolutionary biology from its inception, that

read more

Back to top