Author Archives: John S. Wilkins

Evolution quote: Sirks and Zirkle

Reposted from Evolving Thoughts At this point it might be well to insert a fact that has generally been overlooked by the historians of biology. The pre-evolutionary concept of species is generally given as a universally accepted view that species … Continue reading

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What is systematics and what is taxonomy?

Over the past few years there have been increasing numbers of calls for governments to properly fund systematics and taxonomy (and a number of largely molecular-focused biologists insisting they can do the requisite tasks with magic molecule detectors, so don’t … Continue reading

Posted in Biology, Biology, Epistemology, Evolution, General Science, History, Philosophy | 1 Comment

Attacks on philosophy by scientists

Reposted from my home blog. Something that I never really fully understand is why academics feel the need to denigrate other academic disciplines. Just because one happens to think something is so worthwhile that they devoted their lives to it … Continue reading

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Darwin’s motivation

For some time now I have been convinced that Darwin’s original and most pressing problem was not adaptation. It was the existence of taxonomic diversity. I have thought that the debates over what was a natural classification amongst the unjustly … Continue reading

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How many species concepts are there?

I make an argument for everything from 27 to 0 at Grrlscientist’s blog at the Guardian.

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More deaths

Two researchers have recently died who are relevant to evolutionary biology. Leigh Van Valen, the originator of the “Red Queen Hypothesis” and a proponent of the Ecological Species Concept, died yesterday, John Hawks is reporting. I had some correspondence with … Continue reading

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The historical way to do science

A review of two history of science books in History Today starts out The story of science is Whig history. We are forever cherry-picking the routes by which we came to our present understanding of the world – and the … Continue reading

Posted in History