Category Archives: Biology

[Review] Richard Owen. Biology Without Darwin.

Nicolass Rupke. Richard Owen: Biology without Darwin. xxiv + 344pp., Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009. $29.00, (paper). The Natural History Museum in London recently unveiled its Darwin Center, the most significant expansion of the Museum since it opened at its present site in … Continue reading

Posted in Biology, Book Reviews, History, Institutions, Museums, Religion | 1 Comment

Putting the lead in your pencil

Anyone who has regularly reads this blog (does anybody regularly read this blog?) will perhaps be aware of the fact that I have a soft spot for polymaths. There is an expression in German “Fachidiot”, which translates as “discipline idiot” … 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

The Ibis in myth, science and palaeontology

“Every one has heard of the Ibis, the bird to which the ancient Egyptians paid religious worship; which they brought up in the interior of their temples, which they allowed to stray unharmed trough their cities, and whose murderer, even … Continue reading

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The greatest show on Earth

In antiquity malformations on both men and animals were regarded as warnings from the gods, this old belief still today survives in the word “monster”, from the Latin verb “monere” – meaning “to warn”. Collected first in Cabinets of Curiosities, … Continue reading

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The “missing” Darwin-Mivart letters

I’ve been examining the life and work of St George Jackson Mivart for some time now, so the following caught my eye. Creationist journalist, Denyse O’Leary is making much of a claim that the correspondence between Mivart and Darwin has … Continue reading

Posted in Biology, History | 8 Comments

Kangaroos and geologists: The first geological exploration of Australia

It was one of the most ambitious scientific expeditions of all times, the “Geographe” and “Naturaliste” were intended to explore the geology, botany, zoology and anthropology of the distant and largely unknown continent of Hollandia Nova, sometimes referred also as … Continue reading

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