Bloggin' 'bout science and life

Tag: Charles Darwin

The Maximum Impact Factor Measure

I used to be the Editor-in-Chief of the American Naturalist, one of the oldest scientific journals in North America.  The American Naturalist published its first issue two years before Charles Darwin published the Origin of Species, and I think that AmNat, as it’s affectionately called, is the world’s best journal for papers in evolution (and ecology and behavior). 

Today, our Managing Editor, Trish Morse, brought to my attention some of the best evidence of AmNat‘s significance.  AmNat is number 113 on the list of sources most cited by the Oxford English Dictionary.  Only 6 other scientific publications are ahead of us on the list.  That seems like a much better measure of the importance of a scientific journal’s contribution to knowledge than Impact Factors or other so-called measures of importance. 

AmNat, at 113, is two ahead of Robert Burns (pretty impressive) at 115 and behind Ayenbite of Inwyt at 112. Who or what is Ayenbite of Inwyt you ask?  Look it up!


HMS Beagle

If you’re an evolutionary biologist and you’re going to build a ship model, what ship should you build?  That’s an easy question – the HMS Beagle. That’s the ship that took Charles Darwin around the world on his voyage of discovery as a young man.  His adventures and discoveries on this voyage are chronicled in his first book The Voyage of the Beagle.

It took about 3 months of weekends, scattered over 6-8 years (I’ve lost track), to finish it. UPDATE: 22 March 2015, I finished the glass case to cover the model.  That came out well as well.  


Kitchen table and chairs

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Kitchen table and chairs made from cherry and maple in 2017. The table top is made from tongue&groove maple flooring left over from out house renovations.


Darwin Was Wrong About A Lot of Things

Now that’s a provocative title coming from an evolutionary biologist, isn’t it? Well, it’s meant to be.

I am continually amazed by both creationists and evolutionary biologists alike in the ongoing “debate” about the validity of evolution.  Many creationists feel that if they can find a single instance in which Charles Darwin was wrong about the workings of evolution, the entire idea that biological evolution shapes the biota of the world around us will be shown to be a complete fraud.  Moreover, many evolutionary biologists fall to an extremely defensive position because of this.


A Commentary on Theology and Biology

From a letter by Michael Jinkins, President and Professor of Theology, Louisville Seminary:


If sophomore biology threatens your faith, your theology has bigger problems than Charles Darwin.


Updated 3 May 2015: to include Michael Jinkins’ position and place of employment for context.


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