My new novel just went on sale! Secrets of Hominea is a magical middle grade fantasy novel: a tale of giants, gnomes, queens, and adventurers — and of science and history. It’s for readers age 9 to 14.
My first novel, The Jericho River, won multiple awards, including wins at the Next Generation Indie awards and the London Book Festival, as well as a bronze medal in the Readers’ Favorite awards. Continue reading “My New Novel, Secrets of Hominea!”
Biologists no longer consider evolution a steady or gradual process. New traits often spread suddenly, and a new species may crop up in tens of millennia or less. These “punctuated” or fast evolutions happen when a population faces a new stress or opportunity, particularly when a group stumbles into a new environment and gets isolated from the rest of the species. (I’ve blogged about a couple examples: the abrupt Stone Age appearance of a new subspecies of wolf, the dog, as well as the even faster rise of dog-like domestic foxes during the late 20th Century.) Biologists disagree about what happens between these bursts of evolution — how much the species changes — but they agree that any change then is slow, often noticeable only after millions of years. The resulting theory is punctuated equilibrium: the idea that evolution alternates between sudden change and stability. I think history works the same way. Continue reading “Punctuated Equilibrium: Natural History’s Pattern, and History’s Too”
This post has been updated. See, Who Thought Up Dog Domestication, People or Dogs?
Scientists used to think prehistoric hunter-gatherers created the dog by adopting wolf pups and breeding the friendliest of them, for centuries or longer. A more recent theory, however, suggests that humans served as little more than bystanders in dog domestication. The transformation from wolves was already complete, the theory goes, before the first dog-owners adopted their pets. Continue reading “Were We Just Bystanders in Dog Domestication?”