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The birds' beauty belies their often menacing and destructive nature 

Keith Ward: Biologists are too dogmatic about God... they are not philosophers

It is surely embarrassing for science to be defended on the grounds that it is founded on an absolute prior commitment to a highly disputed and deeply problematic philosophical view. If ever there was a dogmatic faith that zooms well past the evidence, this is it.

Did Charles Darwin believe in racial inequality?

His anniversary has thrown a fresh spotlight on ideas about race that still excite his friends and foes. Marek Kohn looks at a troublesome legacy

Darwin Season, Radio 4

Melvyn and Co trace the origin of intelligent listening

Hit & Run: The Big Bird migration

Sesame Street, with its cast of weird monsters with big mouths and bright primary-coloured hides, is not only still thriving, but has gone global almost four decades after its birth. The legendary puppeteer Jim Henson, the alter ego of Kermit the Frog, may have been dead for 18 years, but characters he introduced to Sesame Street as long ago as 1969 - Big Bird, Elmo, Oscar the Grouch, Snuffleupagus and The Cookie Monster – are almost exactly as they were back then, though now they are multilingual.

Last Night's TV: The Genius of Charles Darwin, Channel 4; I'm Kylie's Body Double, BBC 3

It is a very strange thing, the way in which the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has come to resemble that which he most despises. There is something almost biblical in the desire of this high-profile hard-rationalist to smite the unbelievers, and remove them from the face of the earth, using the implacable power of science and reason. God knows, as he wouldn't say himself, how we'd manage without the chap.

Darwin's Garden, by Michael Boulter

Down the paths to evolution

Songbirds develop super muscles for dawn chorus

Mozart is said to have been inspired by the repertoire of musical notes produced by his pet starling. Now scientists can explain how the songbird is able to control such a varied voice.

The Kiwi's Egg: Charles Darwin and natural selection, By David Quammen

Darwin came up with the theory of evolution, right? Wrong. Evolution, if not in the scientific mainstream, was part of the common intellectual currency of his time. His own grandfather espoused a version of it. What Darwin proposed was the blind, purposeless and godless mechanism by which it worked: natural selection.

Paperbacks: Black Mass, by John Gray

Bracing in its iconoclasm, John Gray's cyclical view of world history fuels a bleak but plausible polemic. He believes that the replacement of millenarianism by

The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing, ed. Richard Dawkins

A fine workout for agile minds

Disappearing tortoises: Playing God in the Galapagos

On one of Darwin's pristine islands, the tortoises are dying out. So should we introduce a similar breed, or simply stop meddling?

Cycling: Saddle up, kids, it's good for you

Very few children cycle to school, but plans are afoot to change that, says David Prosser

Every species of animal and plant to be given a `barcode'

AN AMBITIOUS project to take a genetic "barcode" of every animal and plant begins today in an attempt to identify and label the 10 million species on Earth.

Every living species to be given a `barcode'

AN AMBITIOUS project to take a genetic "barcode" of every animal and plant begins today in an attempt to identify and label the 10 million species on Earth.
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