Sequence the Bombadier Beetle! Vote now!

Dear evopeeps, the following is a public service announcement: We need YOUR help to sequence the Explosive Bombardier Beetle genome. Our team’s bombardier beetle proposal has been selected as one of five finalists to undergo a popular vote for the world’s most interesting genome! The final winner receives Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) SMRT Sequencing and genome Read More…

New species book contract!

Hi all. I have signed a new contract with Taylor and Francis for my revision of the species book, which is now to be known as Species: The History and Philosophy of the Idea. Much will be new in it – I will be fixing and expanding on many topics, adding an entire review of the Read More…

Prichard on species 2

James Prichard wrote his Researches into the physical history of mankind in 1813, in which he argued not only that humanity was a single species (a view called monogenism), but that they were effectively the same in their intelligence and faculties. In the course of this, he spoke repeatedly about what counted as a species. In the Read More…

A new (and apparently excellent) book on species concepts

We interrupt our ordinary transmission to note the forthcoming publication of an excellent (based on what I can read online) book on species concepts by Frank Zachos of the Natural History Museum (Naturhistorische Museum) in Vienna. I haven’t seen the full book yet, but look out for it.

My latest publication

Book ReviewMetasciencepp 1-4 First online: 15 June 2016 Drawing the tree of life J. David Archibald: Aristotle’s ladder, Darwin’s tree: The evolution of visual metaphors for biological order. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014, 256 pp, US$65.00/£45.00 HB John S. Wilkins  

A nineteenth century view on classification

The principle upon which I understand the Natural System of Botany to be founded is, that the affinities of plants may be determined by a consideration of all the points of resemblance between their various parts, properties, and qualities; that thence an arrangement may be deduced in which those species will be placed next each Read More…

Wilkins on philosophy of science

As part of the Science Week activities that informed the last few posts, I will be giving a brief introduction to philosophy of science as well as talking about the relation between science and religion shortly. The organiser of this event (on 23 August, at the East Melbourne Unitarian Church) is Adam Ford, who interviewed Read More…