Project News

May 3
What’s love got to do with it? From ‘survival of the fittest’ to compassionate connection

This new, online, four-week course taught by Richard Watson, associate Professor in artificial intelligence and theoretical evolutionary biology at the University of Southampton, UK, begins Tuesday 17 May 2022.

“A new explanatory framework for creative adaptation in biological systems is emerging. A society based on such principles would value compassionate connection – vulnerability that allows ourselves to be changed by our relationships with others, forming connections that give us meaning that is greater than ourselves. A word people sometimes use as a shorthand to describe that type of interaction is love.”

The course meets for two hours each Tuesday and uses a scientific foundation “to unify opposing worldviews and support a more harmonious and compassionate way of life for individuals, the global community and the biosphere.” More information, including a short video introduction to the course, is available online here, and registration is here.  

ASSOCIATED PROJECTS
April 29
Characterisation and cross-amplification of sex-specific genetic markers in Australasian Egerniinae lizards and their implications for understanding the evolution of sex determination and social complexity

Tobias Uller, PI of the "Evolution and organismal goal-directedness" project, is one of the authors of “Characterisation and cross-amplification of sex-specific genetic markers in Australasian Egerniinae lizards and their implications for understanding the evolution of sex determination and social complexity” published in the Australian Journal of Zoology. The authors write that the work “opens up a range of potential research questions related to the role that sex plays in the mediation of social behaviour and, through this, the emergence and stability of social life.”

ASSOCIATED PROJECTS
April 28
Cultural consensus and intracultural diversity in ethnotaxonomy: lessons from a fishing community in Northeast Brazil

Three members of the “An organizational account of ecological functions” project, Paride Bollettin, David Ludwig and Charbel N. El-Hani, contributed to the Open Access article “Cultural consensus and intracultural diversity in ethnotaxonomy: lessons from a fishing community in Northeast Brazil.” The article was published in the Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine.

ASSOCIATED PROJECTS
April 26
Increasing morphological disparity and decreasing optimality for jaw speed and strength during the radiation of jawed vertebrates

Phil Donoghue, PI of the Chance versus purpose in the evolution of biospheres project, is one of the authors of "Increasing morphological disparity and decreasing optimality for jaw speed and strength during the radiation of jawed vertebrates" in Science Advances. The authors "quantified the variety of form in the earliest jaws in the fossil record from which we generated a theoretical morphospace that we then tested for functional optimality."

ASSOCIATED PROJECTS
April 25
Reframing research on evolutionary novelty and co-option: Character identity mechanisms versus deep homology

Authors James DiFrisco, Günter P. Wagner and Alan C. Love’s article “Reframing research on evolutionary novelty and co-option: Character identity mechanisms versus deep homology” was recently published in Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology. All are part of the Agency, Directionality & Function project. In the article, the authors “argue that research on evolutionary novelty and the closely associated phenomenon of co-option can be reframed fruitfully” in several ways.

ASSOCIATED PROJECTS