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Evolution

Joel D Parker

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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Using Google Earth To Teach The Magnitude Of Deep Time, Joel D. Parker Jan 2011

Using Google Earth To Teach The Magnitude Of Deep Time, Joel D. Parker

Joel D Parker

Most timeline analogies of geologic and evolutionary time are fundamentally flawed. They trade off the problem of grasping very long times for the problem of grasping very short distances. The result is an understanding of relative time with little comprehension of absolute time. Earlier work has shown that the distances most easily understood by teachers and students are those most people can experience directly. Thus most timeline analogies are flawed by either overcompressing an experienceable time or relying on an unexperienceable distance. Under the constraint of experienceability, the best timeline to distance scale must be at least 75 miles and ...


A Major Evolutionary Transition To More Than Two Sexes?, Joel D. Parker Feb 2004

A Major Evolutionary Transition To More Than Two Sexes?, Joel D. Parker

Joel D Parker

Two recently discovered cases of genetic caste determination in social insects might provide the first example of a major evolutionary transition from two to more than two sexes. I argue here that the system can be interpreted as comprising primarily individuals requiring gametes from three parental types and having four sexes from the perspective of demographic extinction. Additionally, I show how this mating system can be seen as a major evolutionary transition. For these populations, it is apparent that the mechanism for a three- or four-sex system does not lie within the myriad of possible arrangements of chromosomes within individuals ...