Rick Perry on Evolution: I’m an IDiot too!

Two months ago, Michelle Bachmann expressed her doubt about the validity of evolution and support for intelligent design.  Well, tea-party candidates must really like this topic, because last week Texas governor Rick Perry said pretty much the same thing.  In an interview with the Associated Press, Perry said: Continue reading

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Book Review: Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo

Greetings darwinbookcats!  I’m ctoquin, wife of koquin, author of this blog. When I’m not thinking about evolutionary genetics, blogging about national parks, or photographing cats, my nose is in a book. The hubby has been kind enough to invite me to write a book review today, so I’m happy keep you entertained

My first book review is for Victor Hugo’s masterpiece Les Miserables.  I became enamored with this story — now don’t laugh — after I watched the movie and theater musical. Now, if you have seen the movie or musical, you were probably captivated like I was with the story of constant struggle between Jean Valjean and the policeman  Javert. But there is so much more to this story!  I  read the complete and unabridged version, all 1,463 pages.  While it took me a while to get through it, I appreciate everything I read. Continue reading

My New Research Project and PaperBackSwap

I’ve got good news and bad news for today.

The surface and cave morphs of Astyanax Mexicanus (click for link)

First the good news: I’ve started a new job!  I am no longer a lowly graduate student, I’ve been promoted to fancy “postdoctoral fellow”.  I am still at UMaryland, I still study fish, and I still working on their eyes.  But I get to work in a new lab and study blind fish, or Mexican tetras (Astyanax mexicanus).  Astyanax are cool because they have two morphs: an eyed, surface-dwelling morph (surface fish) and an eyeless, cave-dwelling morph (cave fish).  I plan to use population-genomics to help identify the genes and mutations responsible retinal generation in Astyanax, which is a model for several human retinal diseases. Continue reading

Answers To One Reader’s Questions About Common Ancestry

I get email, albeit rarely.  Last week I received an email from one reader listing four questions about common ancestry.  Since I see questions like these pretty often — either from students or on evolution/creation comment threads — I thought I’d post the questions and their answers for all to see. Continue reading