Didn’t I just say “Woo hoo” yesterday? False alarm. Scarcely do I clear one set of major tasks away than another set rise up. I already mentioned that I was going to be the speaker at the Humanists of Minnesota banquet on Saturday evening. I neglected to tell you all that I’m leaving for the University of Michigan tomorrow to give the keynote at the Genetic Programming Theory and Practice Workshop.
I know virtually nothing about genetic programming, so this is a wonderful opportunity to learn something about it.
Since I’m certainly not going to be able to tell them a thing about genetic programming, I’m planning to tell them a little about my own skewed perspective as one of those metazoan-centric fans of developmental processes. I’m hoping they might learn a little something from me, and that we’ll all have some fun with ideas about embryos. Here’s my very brief abstract:
A developmental biologist’s view of evolution
The ongoing integration of molecular genetics, developmental biology, and evolution (the field of evo-devo) is stirring up new ideas and new questions. I will tell a few stories from the evo-devo literature that illustrate the importance of the principles of developmental plasticity and developmental constraint on evolutionary trajectories — showing that these are two competing and complementary forces operating on multicellular organisms. My argument is that the contingencies of developmental architectures may well be as significant a force on evolutionary histories as selection.
Next week I get to slack off. No, wait, there’s also…