Wonderful Life Times Two

No, I’m not talking about the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart, and the eponymous book Wonderful Life by Stephen Jay Gould that presented the case for the role of contingency in the evolution of life. Rather, I’m celebrating a wonderful end to the week and a wonderful weekend, too. Last week, we submitted …

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Darwin, Mendel and statistical fluctuations

Freeman Dyson discusses Darwin’s failure to discover Mendelian inheritance. Had Darwin a stronger grasp of statistics (then under development by his cousin Francis Galton), he might have discovered the properties of the basic units of inheritance, so central to his theory of natural selection. See also Bounded cognition. NYBooks: … Seven years after Darwin published …

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