Judy Stone, Professor of Biology and Dr. Charles C. and Pamela W. Leighton Research Fellow (Colby)

Oct. 25 at 7:00 in Lovejoy 100

12_Population_0Darwin’s theories on descent with modification and evolution by natural selection revolutionized biology.  Both of these theories rest upon an underlying insight called population thinking, which recognizes that variation among individuals within a species is the key ingredient of evolution and adaptation.  Population thinking is arguably Darwin’s most original insight because it overcomes thousands of years of typological thinking, in which variation is considered to be imperfection around the true type.  Unfortunately, despite Darwin’s brilliant insight, typological thinking persists in biology, medicine, journalism, and the public mind.  Typological thinking can lead to erroneous and even dangerous conclusions, especially when applied to the human species.  Cutting-edge approaches in genomics have the potential to finally complete the Darwinian paradigm shift, so that the complexity of variation is fully appreciated.

Judy Stone is a population geneticist who combines fieldwork in Costa Rica and Maine with molecular genetic analysis.  She studies plants because they are important, tractable, and beautiful.  Her research addresses basic questions about adaptation, gene flow, and genetic drift, as well as conservation genetics of rare plants. Stone is currently chair of the Department of Biology at Colby.

Student Discussions

  • Changing the Outlook on Life: The Darwinian Revolution December 20, 2016 Ben TheyerlThe theory of evolution is one of those rare ideas that changes completely the way that the world worked when it came into being.  It not only resonated in the ...
  • How Typological Thinking Affects Us Presently December 19, 2016 Jaritza AbreuThe talk called The Unfinished Business of the Darwinian Revolution by Professor Judy Stone was very different from the previous Darwinian talk. While Janet Browne from Harvard University spoke about ...
  • Progression or Regression? December 19, 2016 Matthew HoffmanMore and more during the political cycle, erroneous typological statements were made by both candidates. Donald Trump has many examples of this line of thinking, which he has been ...
  • I Ain’t Got No Type December 5, 2016 PokemonHunterWhile we may see difference and variation in the world around us, it is important to differentiate between classifications. For example, when we see two people of different heights, it is ...
  • Do we see the Evolution of Discrimination? November 28, 2016 Alisha LeeIn recent years, I have noticed several repeated phrases, and one of these is criticizing a linear model for many ways of thinking. I heard this once again in Professor ...
  • The Dark Side of Darwinism November 28, 2016 mahurl20Revolutions are often considered progressive, as the birth of new thought and ideas moves society forward and compels citizens to be more open minded. However, some revolutions can be twisted ...
  • Darwin Today November 21, 2016 JoshuaThe widespread interpretation of Darwin’s work is largely driven by the classic picture of evolution from ape to human—a series of linear steps moving towards a goal. But this, the ...
  • Dangers of Darwin November 15, 2016 srkohliEvolution, a staple topic in Biology, is widely regarded as one of the most crucial pieces of understanding human, plant, and animal physiology, and their relationships with the Earth. Professor ...
  • Continuing the Darwinian Revolution November 8, 2016 Stacey HouThis Tuesday for our STS class, we welcomed Professor Judy Stone for a talk titled “The Unfinished Business of the Darwinian Revolution”.   Following suit of Professor Janet Browne’s talk on Darwin’s ...
  • The Cathedral and the Bazaar November 8, 2016 Amanda Sagasti Popular science is science that’s not for scientists. However, when we examine the exact boundaries between popular science and real science, they break. What counts as genuine scientific knowledge? ...