Plant Evolution to Avoid Humans?

A recent study came out that claimed that some plants have evolved explicitly to avoid harvesting by humans. The study claimed that a species of plant, Fritillaria delavayi, a plant whose bulb is used regularly in Chinese herbal medicine, has evolved to make it harder for humans to find it and harvest it. The study, published in the journal Current Biology, is very interesting, but equivocates on the word “evolution”, like most so called evidences for evolution do.

DNA Energy Code?

A recent article out of the Quarterly Review of BioPhysics, a peer reviewed journal out of the UK, made a startling and outrageous claim. According to the paper, the genetic code evolved, not always toward functionality, but towards thermodynamic stability, which just happened to coincide with functionality in many cases. The paper makes claims that are at odds with typical evolutionary explanations as well as some very interesting claims about thermodynamics applied to genetics. Lets have a look at this article and see what we can learn.

Effective Population Size and Creation

Today, perhaps the most well-known species that is falling off the extinction cliff is the cheetah. Scientists know that Cheetah viability is dropping, litter size is shrinking, and deformities are increasing. As Kelly (2001) pointed out, the effective population size in cheetahs is a mere fifteen percent of the actual population size, far below what is acceptable to maintain a species. The cheetah will go extinct and nothing can be done to prevent it.