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Richard Lewontin: Race as a Biological Illusion

Evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin, an opponent of sociobiology and biological determinism and a strong advocate of defining race strictly as a socially but not biologically meaningful category, was born in New York on this date in 1929. In 1972, Lewontin identified that most of the genetic variation within human populations is found within local geographic groups, and that differences among so-called […]

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The Unexploded Population Bomb

Biologist Paul R. Ehrlich, who shared with his fellow entymologist, E.O. Wilson, Sweden’s 1990 Crafoord Prize (awarded to support areas of science not awarded Nobel Prizes), was born in Philadelphia on this date in 1932. A world expert on butterflies, Ehrlich is president of the Center for Conservation Biology and Bing Professor of Population Studies […]

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July 6: Basic Books

Arthur Rosenthal, who took over a psychoanalytic book club in 1952 and turned it into Basic Books, an imprint that he sold to Harper and Row twenty years later for $4 million, died at 93 on this date in 2013. The New York Times called him “a publisher of intellectual masterworks in an era of […]

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June 23: Noah’s Ark

According to religious sources that believe the Earth to be only 5,776 years old, today marks the date in 2105 BCE when Noah’s Ark lodged on the still-flooded summit of Mount Ararat in Armenia. Current projects to save species from global climate change and other sources of habitat destruction include The Frozen Ark, a consortium […]

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