Mathematical and theoretical biology Mathematical and theoretical biology is an interdisciplinary scientific research field with a range of applications in biology, biotechnology, and medicine. The field may be referred to as mathematical biology or biomathematics to stress the mathematical side, or as theoretical biology to stress the biological side. It includes at least four major subfields: biological mathematical modeling, relational biology/complex systems biology (CSB), bioinformatics and computational biomodeling/biocomputing. Mathematical biology aims at the mathematical representation, treatment and modeling of biological processes, using a variety of applied mathematical techniques and tools. It has both theoretical and practical applications in biological, biomedical and biotechnology research. Importance Applying mathematics to biology has a long history, but only recently has there been an explosion of interest in the field. Areas of research Evolutionary biology Spatial modelling
Evolutionary biology Evolutionary biology is a sub-field of biology concerned with the study of the evolutionary processes that produced the diversity of life on Earth. Someone who studies evolutionary biology is known as an evolutionary biologist. Evolutionary biologists study the descent of species, and the origin of new species. Subfields The study of evolution is the unifying concept in evolutionary biology. History Evolutionary biology, as an academic discipline in its own right, emerged during the period of the modern evolutionary synthesis in the 1930s and 1940s. Microbiology has recently developed into an evolutionary discipline. Important evolutionary biologists Many biologists have contributed to our current understanding of evolution. Journals Current research topics Current research in evolutionary biology covers diverse topics, as should be expected given the centrality of evolution to understanding biology. References See also
Evolutionary psychology Evolutionary psychology (EP) is an approach in the social and natural sciences that examines psychological traits such as memory, perception, and language from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify which human psychological traits are evolved adaptations – that is, the functional products of natural selection or sexual selection. Adaptationist thinking about physiological mechanisms, such as the heart, lungs, and immune system, is common in evolutionary biology. The adaptationist approach is steadily increasing as an influence in the general field of psychology. Evolutionary psychologists suggest that EP is not simply a subdiscipline of psychology but that evolutionary theory can provide a foundational, metatheoretical framework that integrates the entire field of psychology, in the same way it has for biology. Scope Principles Premises Evolutionary psychology is founded on several core premises. History Theoretical foundations
Evolution in Action: Lizard Moving From Eggs to Live Birth Evolution has been caught in the act, according to scientists who are decoding how a species of Australian lizard is abandoning egg-laying in favor of live birth. Along the warm coastal lowlands of New South Wales (map), the yellow-bellied three-toed skink lays eggs to reproduce. But individuals of the same species living in the state's higher, colder mountains are almost all giving birth to live young. Only two other modern reptiles—another skink species and a European lizard—use both types of reproduction. (Related: "Virgin Birth Expected at Christmas—By Komodo Dragon.") Evolutionary records shows that nearly a hundred reptile lineages have independently made the transition from egg-laying to live birth in the past, and today about 20 percent of all living snakes and lizards give birth to live young only. Eggs-to-Baby Switch Creates Nutrient Problem One of the mysteries of how reptiles switch from eggs to live babies is how the young get their nourishment before birth.
Evolution Entrance These exhibits trace evolutionary thought as it has developed over time, pausing to ponder the contributions of scientists and thinkers including Aristotle, Darwin, Wallace, and many others. Explore the theory of evolution. Learn about the history of evolutionary thought. There are many other great places to look on-line for information about evolution. Here are a few of our favorites: — Visit Understanding Evolution, a new site launched in February 2004 to meet the needs of K-12 teachers. — Browse the Talk Origins Archive, a rich source of information about evolution and the evolution/creation controversy. — Visit the National Center for Science Education website, a nationally-recognized clearinghouse for information and advice on teaching evolution in the classroom.
Edwards v. Aguillard [This is the text of the 1987 United States Supreme Court decision striking down a Louisiana law that required if evolution is taught in public schools then creationism must also be taught. This 7-2 decision ended any prospect of public schools in the United States being legally forced to teach explicate creationism. One consequence of this case was that some antievolutionists choose to use the term "intelligent design" instead of "creationism."] The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals, which in turn had affirmed the District Court's decision finding the Louisiana act unconstitutional. The decision had Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun, Powell, Stevens, O'Connor, and White on the majority, with Scalia and Rehnquist dissenting. Held Opinion Majority Opinion by Brennan I, II, III (A)(B), IV, V Concurring Opinion by Powell I (A), (B), II, III Concurring Opinion by White Dissenting Opinion by Scalia I, II, (A) (B), III EDWARDS, GOVERNOR OF LOUISIANA, ET AL. v. No. 85-1513 1.
The Panda's Thumb The National Academies In the News: Your Inner Fish – A Scientific Adventure Have you ever wondered why people look the way they do? Why our hands and feet have five digits instead of six? Why we stand on two legs instead of four? Follow that adventure now on PBS Darwin's Insights Continue to Inspire the Academy's Work The ideas of Charles Darwin and the concept of evolution by natural selection continue to have a profound influence on modern biology – they permeate almost every area of scientific exploration. In 2009 the National Academy of Sciences joined many other organizations in the international scientific community to celebrate the 'Year of Science,' which commemorated Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his masterwork On the Origin of Species. In 2010, the National Academy of Sciences awarded its most prestigious award, the Public Welfare Medal, to Dr.