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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What is the viability of Intelligent Design as a supplement to chemical abiogenesis and Darwinian Evolution?

First of all I am not endorsing Intelligent Design (Wikipedia link); I'm asking this because I (someone who does not have a background in biology, organic chemistry, or philosophy) got into a ...
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8answers
493 views

How does the creative process of Biological Evolution work?

In order for nature to go from microbes to man, there needs to be new information. Where does this new information come from? It is understood that Evolution basically involves three elements. ...
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1answer
42 views

Why does ear wax taste sour?

Why does ear wax taste sour? I am interested in both the physiochemical mechanisms and the evolutionary reasons behind the sour taste of earwax.
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2answers
46 views

Evolution of bee hives

How do the instinct to create a hive appeared in bees? Is there some evidence of "intermediate" hives? With this questions i mean all the factors necessary to build a hive, including the social ...
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2answers
41 views

Why do we find nature 'beautiful', from an evolutionary perspective?

Most people I know find nature beautiful and holidays generally involve a place that has 'natural beauty'.
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5answers
2k views

Why are not all species hermaphrodites?

If a hermaphrodite animal (like slug, snail, etc) finds a partner they can mate immediately. If another animal with "normal" reproduction (lets say a mouse) finds a partner they can only mate if they ...
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1answer
100 views

How do I calculate the change in allele frequency in a haploid population under selection?

From this book For simplicity, let us consider a haploid organism and assume that the frequencies of alleles $A_1$ and $A_2$ are given by $x$ and $y=1-x$, respectively. We also assume that the ...
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3answers
2k views

Why doesn't recombination occur in male Drosophila?

"Males do not show meiotic recombination, facilitating genetic studies." For a while I have known that this phenomenon occurs, this quote comes from the Wikipedia page on Drosophila melanogaster, ...
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2answers
47 views

DNA adaptation in human life

Does our DNA adapt by human lifetime? Or do we have the same genetic information from birth to death? I mean: What is usually called "evolution" means "natural selection" like this: ...
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22 views

Are there specific features of birds that cats/small predators are attracted to?

I've recently heard a podcast, in which a professor describes one of the theories as to why we like abstract art. In his talk, he mentions an experiment with seagull chicks, in which the seagull ...
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3answers
630 views

How can homosexuality evolve despite natural selection?

I would imagine that the answer to this question would be population control, especially since even if one sibling is homosexual this does not necessarily mean that the other siblings will be too.
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2answers
109 views

How did the first sexual animal come to exist? [closed]

I am more or less familiar with the evolution theory based on mutations. Now, starting with a nonsexual being, how did the first organism that reproduces sexually come to exist.
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1answer
49 views

Chromosome 2 alternate explanation - apes gaining a set of chromosomes?

I'm preparing for a debate (just between friends) on evolution (I'm in support), and one of the points I plan to bring up is the Chromosome 2 evidence. I'm now trying to predict their potential ...
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Linkage disequilibrium with $n_l$ loci $n_a$ alleles

Linkage disequilibrium $\left(D\right)$ for two bi-allelic loci is defined as: $$D=X_{11}X_{22} - X_{12}X_{21}$$ , where $X_{11}$, $X_{12}$, $X_{21}$, X$_{22}$ are the frequencies of the haplotypes ...
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1answer
22 views

Could mating/recombination be responsible for evolution of entirely novel features?

The diploid chromosomal architecture is rather interesting. For example, because of diploidy we Humans have to mate. Of course in that sense, because diploid organisms often have mate, this has led to ...
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1answer
21 views

How do beneficial features evolve in species without progressing through detrimental stages?

I'm thinking in particular of wings on birds that would - I'm guessing - have to progress through stages during which they confer no particular advantage. Or is it that all evolved features must have ...
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2answers
332 views

Why does sexual selection evolve beautiful features?

First question here. I have a very raw understanding of sexual selection: Say a group of females of a certain species "likes" some feature of a certain groups of males; by "like" I mean some ...
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0answers
28 views

How did the roar evolve from snort?

When Lions roar, or Dogs show aggression, they do that snort-roar thing. They're producing sound while inhaling. How did that come to be when all (?) other forms of sound involve exhaling? Humans do ...
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3answers
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Evolutionally speaking, why do humans have 46 chromosomes

In humans, each cell normally contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, for a total of 46. Monkeys, chimpanzees, and Apes have 24 pairs (twenty-four pairs), for a total of 48. What caused humans to have 46? ...
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1answer
180 views

What is needed for a G-matrix?

I have been doing a lot of reading on quantitative genetics and the G- (and B-) matrix lately. I get the principle behind performing the analysis now but I am still not sure how to do it. I'd like to ...
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0answers
37 views

Effective population size and overlapping generations

From this book; If generations overlap, then the effective population size $N_e$ does not equal the population size $N$. I know mathematical formulations in order to find the effective population ...
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3answers
140 views

Evolution (Reductionism)

My recent post was tagged as unclear so I wanted to re frame my question. Though I am a layman, I would love to read books and find the stuff, if I get an overall picture of intelligence factor. My ...
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2answers
1k views

Is there an advantage to linear chromosomes?

The DNA copying enzymes have a hard time working to the end of a chromosome. For circular chromosomes this is not a problem, since there is not a sharp 'end'. However, for a linear chromosome, without ...
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1answer
33 views

Effective population size when the population sizes varies from season to season

Let's think of a species which has four generations per year and which population size changes from season to season so that the population size is 100 in summer, 200 in spring, 50 in autumn and 20 in ...
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1answer
59 views

Evolution of Homo Erectus to Homo Sapiens

I just read an article on Wikipedia and noticed that some similarities between Homo Erectus and Homo Sapiens in the "Comparative table of Homo species". My question is; Is it possible to say that ...
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2answers
55 views

What is the evolutionary purpose of the topology of the human ear?

What is the evolutionary purpose of the topology of human ears? I understand why the ears may have a funnel-like shape but if the various "hills and valleys" do not amplify incoming sound, what ...
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1answer
62 views

Is Natural Selection like a Copy Editor?

I am stuck on a Homework Question. It says: Evaluate the following statement: “Natural selection works like a copy editor; it works only with what is already present in a population.” (Note: ...
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1answer
247 views

When does weak selection produce qualitatively different results from strong selection?

In evolutionary game theory, it is typical to model organisms as having a base fitness that is modified slightly by the game interaction. The ratio of the game effect versus the base fitness ...
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78 views

Evolution in fruits

So, I saw a video on YouTube that says the banana we eat today is not what a banana looked like years ago. Since the banana has been genetically modified over the years, does that qualify as ...
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2answers
77 views

Why ducklings are yellow?

Why ducklings are yellow, what the evolutionary background for this? How could it help to survive? UPDATE I agree with comment below, I did remember then that ducks are wild animals too (when I ...
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2answers
75 views

How would constantly growing nails have aided early human?

Nails grow rapidly and constantly, such that without constant artificial trimming they would reach lengths difficult to manage. How did this benefit early humans, say 200kya? Were they used like ...
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4answers
57 views

What evidence do we have to derive a rate of evolution?

When analyzing how the human species evolved and will continue to evolve over time, what evidence and tools (theory/models) do we have available to derive the rate at which this happens? Is it even ...
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2answers
50 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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2answers
507 views

Why do humans find baby animals cute?

Why do humans find baby animals like cats, dogs, ... so cute? As these are potential competitors or even natural enemies (like e.g. tigers, leopards, ..), the protection instinct (reasonable for the ...
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1answer
137 views

Parasitism and mimicry

I was reading this article which states this: Classical Batesian mimicry, in which an undefended mimic evolves to look like a toxic model, is a parasitic relationship in which the mimic gains ...
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Beginning of the urogenital system

Are any invertebrate nephridia (proto/meta) homologous with vertebrate kidneys in the sense that embryologically they also begin together with the genital system? When did the embryologic association ...
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4answers
215 views

Biodiversity is restricted by genome combinatorics?

Me and some friends are interested in opinions for the following: Conjecture The maximum number of species must be limited by the maximum combinatorial/permutational space that can be occupied ...
4
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1answer
75 views

Assumptions of Hamilton's rule

Which elements of the following list are assumptions of the Hamilton's rule? Population structure (non-panmictic population) Additivity = Fitness of the heterozygote equals the mean of the ...
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0answers
32 views

Visualisation of phylogeography

I am working on phylogeography on one model species and I am a beginner. You can imagine one species that came on locality more than 5 mya (million years ago). It was a good environment, so the ...
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1answer
2k views

Why do we grow so much hair on our heads compared to our bodies?

I've been wondering about head hair, facial hair in particular. Human males can grow very extensive beards should they choose to not shave - however you do not really see this in our chimpanzee ...
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1answer
129 views

Genetic Drift: Models, assumptions and empirical observations

There two main mathematical models to describe the process of genetic drift are Moran model and Wright-Fisher model. My questions concern the assumptions of these models, the existence of other ...
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2answers
58 views

Is there any evidence of increased life expectancy for animal species?

Life expectancy for human has significantly increased during the last century or so. We all know that there are many reasons that are not linked with "evolution", but I am wondering if such change in ...
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3answers
501 views

Why are there no organisms with metal body parts, like weapons, bones, and armour? (Or are there?)

Reading this question, Why are there no wheeled animals?, I wondered why no organisms seem to make use of the tensile and other strengths of metal, as we do in metal tools and constructions. I am ...
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1answer
23 views

What indices can we use to describe fitness landscapes?

We usually talk of smooth or rugged fitness landscape. Are there any (standard) indices to measure the "structure" of fitness landscapes? For example, one might consider the mean epistatic ...
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3answers
65 views

Phylogenetic tree

I want to find the conventional phylogenetic tree of human, mouse, C elegans and drosophila, without all the other organisms. Do you know where can I get it? thanks, Noga
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0answers
60 views

Model for fluctuating selection

Is there any mathematical model to predict the behaviour and long-term consequence of counter-acting selection at different time scale? For example, let's consider the bi-allelic gene $A$, with ...
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0answers
133 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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0answers
29 views

comparing conventional phylogenetic tree to phylogenetic trees which are based on enzymes

I built trees (for 4 organisms: mouse, human, drosophila and C-elegans) for different enzymes family, compared them to the conventional tree, and try to explain them. how would you explain these ...
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2answers
51 views

Aren't current explanations for the evolution of human cooperation a little too reductionist?

Lately, I've become a believer in the limits of reductionist explanations especially in areas like complex systems and biology. So, without wasting any more time, I'll get to my question.. Whenever ...
3
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1answer
41 views

Mutation rate in viruses

Mutation rate is a phenotypic trait that evolves. The process of evolution of such kind of traits are often referred to as evolvability. I am wondering about the evolution of the mutation rates in ...