SoT 2: The Princess Effect

Click here to downloadHosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday and Shayne Joseph

Unfortunately we had some audio problems, and there’s a slight crackle we couldn’t remove. It’s fixed for future episodes, though.

Topics covered:

For accurate information about vaccines, we recommend these sites: VaccinationFacts (Australian), NCIRS (Australian), Immunize For Good (US) and Vaccines.gov (US).

Our theme music, Step On It, kindly provided by The Upstanding Members.

Download here.

  • Darkwing Duck

    The cane toad story is confusing, probably because the media presented it strangely.

    I’m not sure if it’s related, but there was a recent article by Nature which attempted to explain why you can get diversity in the same ecological niche: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature09905.html

  • Confusion over the term ‘survival of the fittest’ seems, partly, to stem from a restricted understanding of the word ‘fit’. It doesn’t just mean ‘strong, toned athletic’ etc as in “she was mighty fit”, but also ‘suitable, appropriate, meet’. That’s the definition of ‘fittest’ that applies in this case: “most suitable/suited”. I’m sure whoever first used the tag ‘survival of the fittest’ had the second definition in mind (and I’m surprised to learn it wasn’t Darwin!)

  • Ed Brown

    Thanks for the comment, Locus. I think we did try and make the distinction that “Survival of the fittest” isn’t really accurate, and “survival of the best adapted” would probably be a better term. We probably didn’t make that point clear enough.
    “Survival of the fittest” was first used by Herbert Spencer in 1864 after reading Darwin’s On The Origin Of the Species.

    Darkwing: Sorry if we didn’t explain it very well, and you’re right there’s been a lot of “Cane toads prove new method of evolution” style news reports about that story. Thanks for the diversity link!