Changes in the heritable attributes of populations of organisms over time. Major mechanisms include drift, natural selection, mutation, and gene flow (migration).

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Evolution and the levels of selection

Reading Okasha's "Evolution and the levels of selection" he talks about "the levels of selection problem." There is a bit of a problem with this opening chapter because, while he talks about why the ...
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4answers
3k views

Why are there exactly four nucleobases in DNA?

Does someone know why DNA is composed of four nucleobases? In particular, is there an explanation for the number? Why four and not two, or eight?
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3answers
1k views

What evolutionary explanations are there for death?

I know death and cancer doesn't hurt humans' reproductive success. It's not helping either. Why do we die? Why dying humans (all of us) are common? What's the point of dying?
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1answer
109 views

How does Oedipus complex fit in the evolutionary theory? [closed]

This is somthing that really makes me curious. How is posible that trough a evolution process the best posible candidate is the one that falls in love whith his progenitor?
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1answer
87 views

Coalescent theory - independence of coalescent times

Let $T_i$ be the time to coalesce from $n(t)=i+1$ to $n(t)=i$, where $n(t)$ is the number of sites that have not coalesced yet. In the below example the maximum $n(0)=6$. As I understand it, many ...
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2answers
427 views

Correlation between genome size and mutation rate?

Martin Nowak in his book "Evolutionary Dynamics" talks about a given correlation between genome size and mutation rate. What correlation does exactly exist between these two concepts? Is it a ...
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2answers
256 views

If not intelligent design, what is an alternative scientific theory to evolution? [closed]

In the popular culture, Intelligent Design is often portrayed as trying to be an alternate theory to evolution. However, as the following question points out, it is not scientific, and so cannot be ...
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7answers
5k views

Why does evolution not make our life longer?

Why does evolution not make life longer for humans or any other species?
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4answers
337 views

Does evolution take place universally?

Why does evolution (namely the evolution of primates into humans) take place both uniformly and universally on the earth? Why aren't there any creatures who have not taken the same evolutionary steps ...
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1answer
61 views

Coefficient of relationship and path of coefficient

A path of coefficient of relationship is defined as $$\rho_{AO} = \left( \frac{1}{2}\right)^n \sqrt { \frac{1+f_A}{1+f_O}}$$ This SE post discusses this definition From this, the coefficient of ...
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2answers
250 views

Why is venom more common in fish and snakes than other vertebrates?

Reading this question, I wondered why is it that we associate vertebrate venoms so often with snakes and fish, and more rarely with lizards, amphibians, mammals, and birds (apparently never, in ...
0
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1answer
39 views

evolution and mutation of microrganisms against medicines?

I presume microorganisms would have very short life span and they would multiply more creating millions of their kind. Is it really a threat to consider when we use anibiotics and other stuff more ...
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2answers
166 views

Viruses: Adaptation to a new host through repeated host jumps

A friend told me, during a 3 minute discussion, that viruses that are endemic in host $A$ and make repeated jumps to host $B$ but can't be transmitted between individuals of species $B$, may slowly ...
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1answer
91 views

Defining: Evolutionary (quantitative) Genetics and Population Genetics

How do we define the fields that are Evolutionary (quantitative) genetics and population genetics. What set these two fields apart? Can you try to provide definitions? To my intuitive understanding, ...
5
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2answers
271 views

How Sex Evolved ? and when?

As I know evolution comes bit by bit mutation by mutation How sex evolved which requires a major change in at least two individuals one to become male and one to become female ? When that happened ...
3
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2answers
316 views

How are two species with similar phenotypes identified as different?

How are two species with similar phenotypes identified as different? Have two different individuals that were thought to be different species ever been determined to be from the same species ( or ...
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2answers
131 views

Which was the last significant event in human evolution? What's next?

At 10.000 BC (12 ka), we became the last of the Homo species on Earth. In evolutionary terms this is a very little time range to something happen, but I'm wondering anyway, in this meantime which are ...
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3answers
220 views

Many spermatozoa, but just one ovum

Why do men produce so much spermatozoa, that will get discarded, but women, just ovulum, but it's a good one. Couldn't men produce good spermatozoa as a limited edition? Where is the evolutionary ...
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1answer
146 views

Heterozygosity and overdominance

Consider $m$ loci with heterozygote advantage (overdominance) such that the fitness of the two homozygotes is $1-\frac{s}{2}$ and the fitness of the heterozygotes is $1+\frac{s}{2}$, where $s>0$. ...
3
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1answer
143 views

Are people genetically predisposed to being interested in specific fields/ideas? How does specialization occur?

I'm not sure if I formulated my question well, but I'm curious about a couple statements made by Steven Pinker and and James Heckman. In this interview: ...
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1answer
228 views

definition of tempo and mode in evolution

I am reading Punctuated Equilibria: The Tempo and Mode of Evolution Reconsidered, which mentions the "tempo" and "mode" of evolution. I'm not familiar with the related literature and when I google the ...
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0answers
35 views

Source of information on the evolution of aging/senescence

Do you know a good review (published peer-reviewed or an online course or whatever) that offers a good overview of all hypothesis explaining the various patterns linked with aging? I'd like this ...
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1answer
819 views

Advantage of being deuterostome

We know that most of the so called "Advanced" organisms are deuterostomes (i.e., development of gut starts from anus). Is there any evolutionary advantage of that? If not, why and how did it evolve?
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1answer
134 views

Population genetics and the fitness probability distribution. Why is the arithmetic mean all we need?

When recording change in allele frequency in diploid, bi-allelic, infinite and panmixic population we usually use this kind of equation: $\delta_p = \frac{p * q *( p (w11 - w12) + q * (w12 - ...
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1answer
221 views

List of heritability estimates in humans?

Many people on this site ask questions that directly or indirectly have to do with heritability in human. Do you know a list of estimates of heritability of various traits in humans? Or could you try ...
2
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1answer
49 views

How are new chromosomes replicated into the next generation via sexual reproduction?

If an individual has a new chromosome, which is very unlikely to happen, he will not have any luck in finding a sexual partner with this same trait. How will the offspring inherit this trait. And ...
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1answer
40 views

Coalescent Theory - Probability for $k$ alleles that of one coalescence event occured $t+1$ generations ago

From this textbook Under the wright-Fisher model of genetic drift and under the assumption that all alleles are neutral, the probability that $k$ alleles had $k$ distinct parent alleles the previous ...
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1answer
118 views

Does recombination increase the additive genetic variance for fitness?

On this article, first column, eighth line of the introduction: By bringing together favourable alleles from different chromosomes, sex and recombination increase the additive genetic variance for ...
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1answer
368 views

How does GC-content evolve?

Background GC-content refers to the frequency of base pairs that are either C or G in the genome, or in other words the number of GC base pairs divided by the addition of the number of GC base pairs ...
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3answers
515 views

Evolution: How could all useful traits evolve simultaneously?

I have a basic question about evolution, for which I never found an answer. I understand how evolution works if we focus on one specific organ or trait. With each generation, some organism is more ...
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2answers
95 views

Heterozygosity under genetic drift

The wright-Fisher model of genetic drift is: $$p_{ij} = \binom{2N}{j}\left(\frac{i}{2N}\right)^j \left(1- \frac{i}{2N}\right)^{2N-j} $$ ,where $\binom{2N}{j}$ is a binomial coefficient. From this ...
3
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1answer
376 views

What is the beneficial function of IgE antibody?

Dont tell me the "function" of IgE is to cause allergy ! In whatever texts I have seen it is written that IgE is important to cause allergies but what is the beneficial function of IgE ? Why was it ...
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2answers
499 views

How does the genetic code evolve?

After looking at this question, some other questions poped in my mind. The DNA code is redundant, there are 20 amino acids for 64 possible nucleotide combinations. Therefore some amino acid are coded ...
12
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2answers
262 views

How do we know that dinosaurs were related to lizards and/or birds?

Do we clearly know what the living closest relative of the dinosaurs are? And connected to the first question, in scientific manner how do we know these relationship between extinct species and living ...
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1answer
70 views

Additive genetic variance with $n$ loci

The genetic variance of a quantitative trait (the quantitative trait in question is fitness) can be express as the sum of two components, the dominance and additive variance: $$\sigma_D^2 + ...
2
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1answer
109 views

Earliest ancestor of humans who could integrate into modern society

Assuming the current model of human evolution to be correct, approximately when did the earliest ancestor of humans live, who was intelligent enough, that if raised from a young enough age, could ...
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1answer
87 views

Evolution from Mating types to different sexes

Imagine a lineage of multicellular organisms that had mating types and evolved their mating types into sexes. What are the possible mechanisms that might have brought this lineage to evolve sexes from ...
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1answer
2k views

Why do different humans look different?

Although farmers appear to be able to tell their cows apart, cows look very much alike to me. And this similarity in appearance seems to be a general trail across the animal kingdom: one individual of ...
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0answers
19 views

Propagation of tool use in primates?

There are several famous cases of great apes demonstrating a surprising degree of wherewithal in communication and tool use - even monkeys can learn some tool use from each other observationally, even ...
2
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1answer
119 views

Why do the neuron pathways decussate?

I learn about the brain right now, and there are crossing of neuron pathways everywhere; in the thalamus, the medulla oblongata, the pyramidal tract... And I don't understand why? What is the reason ...
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1answer
145 views

List of the biggest companies that work in selective breeding

Looking at this question, I've been wondering, What are the biggest private companies which work in both animal and non-animal selective breeding? Let me know if Biology.SE is not appropriate for ...
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0answers
25 views

Triune brain model

I have heard about the triune brain model in biology class, but my teacher does not know much about it. What I'm curious about, is this model accepted by most of the neuroscientists, or is it just a ...
1
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1answer
109 views

Additive genetic variance with $n$ alleles

The genetic variance of a quantitative trait (the quantitative trait in question is fitness) can be express as the sum of two components, the dominance and additive variance: $$\sigma_D^2 + ...
4
votes
1answer
360 views

Why does the slope of parent-offspring regression equals the heritability in the narrow sense?

Background ---- Notations and assumptions ---- let $W_{ij}$ be the fitness associated to the genotype $AiAj$. $x$ is the frequency of the allele $A1$ in the population. The frequency of the allele ...
4
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3answers
454 views

Fisher's Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection

Ronald Fisher discovered what he, with humility, called the Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection. This theorem says (in its modern terminology): The rate of increase in the mean fitness of any ...
2
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1answer
95 views

Life on other planets [duplicate]

first of all I'm not sure if I should post this here or in the astronomy stack. I think biologist are more likely to answer my question. To make it short: Why when looking for any sort of life on ...
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2answers
101 views

Effect on fitness of mutations

What is the distribution/probability density function (PDF) of impacts on fitness of new mutations? I very welcome any partial answer that does not give the whole PDF but just some information ...
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1answer
313 views

Cyanobacterial photosynthetic oxygen yield

I am somehow not convinced that biotic factors are solely responsible for creating 21% of atmosphere (around 40 million moles of oxygen). There may be additional issues here. Since cyanobacteria ...
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1answer
40 views

Dominance/recessivity of new mutations

What is the distribution/probability density function (PDF) of recessivity/dominance of new mutations? I very welcome any partial answer that does not give the whole PDF but just some information ...
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1answer
70 views

How can a recessive allele propagate until they manifest?

Suppose a specific gene has two possible alleles. In a given population all members have only the dominant one. By a mutation on member receives the first recessive allele of that population. Is it ...