Changes in the heritable attributes of populations of organisms over time. The mechanisms of evolution are mutation, migration, drift, and selection.

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69 views

Why does the proportion of transposable elements vary so much across species?

Intuitively, transposable elements (TEs) are harmful as they may cause genome instability. However, some people argue that TEs are also sources of variations, especially regulatory sequences[1]. If ...
0
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1answer
54 views

What makes animal to continually reproduce? [closed]

I was reading about Trypophobia and reached to Surinam Toad's reproduction methods. Then I had this doubt- Why would animals want to reproduce so much? In case of humans we mostly have the offsprings ...
2
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1answer
73 views

What are some useful (starter) metrics to use on phylogenetic trees?

Im doing a computational biology project in which I simulate evolution under different inheritance rulesets and I am generating phylogenetic trees (beautifully visualised in python with ete3, which I ...
1
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0answers
32 views

Why is marginal reconstruction “more correct” than joint reconstruction in some cases?

When reconstructing the ancestral states on a phylogenetic tree given the states at the tips, there are a number of methods for performing the reconstruction. This question is about marginal and joint ...
0
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0answers
15 views

Are Betaproteobacteria more 'simple' than Gammaproteobacteria?

More generally, are all proteobacteria named in order of complexity (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon)? If so, would it be right to say that Betaproteobacteria can survive in lower nutrition / more ...
5
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3answers
478 views

3-minute long inspiring videos on evolutionary biology

What I am looking for I would like to start my teaching sessions with short emotional, awe-inspiring or exciting videos that are somehow related to evolutionary biology (incl. diversity of life, ...
0
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1answer
181 views

What are the minimum conditions required for “open-ended evolution”?

According to a paper about artificial life systems, the following four conditions have to be fulfilled for "open-ended evolution": Condition 1: A rule should be enforced that individuals must ...
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1answer
214 views

Bootstrapping (symmetry breaking) in evolution [closed]

Many fascinating phenomena in nature show different behaviours on the micro and the macro level. Here I am especially referring to phenomena that are symmetric on the micro and asymmetric on the macro ...
3
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4answers
122 views

Is an egg classified based on the species inside it, or by the species that laid it?

Basically what I'm asking is if an animal of species x were to lay an egg, and the animal inside that egg happened to be the first member of a genetically new ...
30
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4answers
8k views

If evolution is not about increased complexity, why does so much complexity evolve?

In my last question I asked why we don't see increased complexity in artificial life simulations of evolution. It seems I had fallen for a common misconception, that evolution was about improvement by ...
5
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2answers
1k views

What are we missing about the real workings of the evolutionary process? [closed]

As a scientist (and a computer scientist at that) my view is that if we cannot simulate a process we have not understood it properly. I have been following the interesting field of Artificial Life for ...
0
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1answer
88 views

Regression to the mean and evolution

I don't have a strong biological background but, in studying statistics, I met the idea of regression to the mean. e.g. children of tall parents tend to be shorter than their parents, and so on. Does ...
0
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1answer
100 views

When was the last common ancestor of pig and human?

Some religions regard pigs as unclean on the grounds that pig flesh is closest in composition to human flesh. I don't believe this for one instant, but it got me thinking, just how close is pig and ...
1
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1answer
69 views

Why do most organisms depend on water? [closed]

Most organisms depend on water for metabolisms. Even the higher organisms need to maintain their daily water intake. Why water and not something else (for example like H2S)? I know H2S is poisonous ...
4
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2answers
190 views

Do mutant alleles result from mutation of the wild type?

The allele that encodes for the most common form of a phenotype in natural population is called a wild type allele and all the rest of the alleles encoding forms other than the wild type are called ...
1
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1answer
90 views

Difference/similarity between adaptive radiation and species divergence?

I've been reading various answers on different sites but I still don't know whether adaptive radiation and species divergence are different or similar. My questions: 1) On some sites, it says that ...
5
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0answers
45 views

Is high metabolism linked to high evolutionary turnover?

I recently read The Dinosaur Heresies by Robert T. Bakker, a 1986 popular science book presenting arguments for an active lifestyle and high metabolic rate in dinosaurs. One of the arguments that ...
0
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2answers
223 views

Why even if all requirements for natural selection are met, it may not happen?

In the book written by John Endler Natural Selection in the Wild p. 4 it says that even if condition a, b and c are met, evolution by natural selection might occur, [...] , but not necessarily, ...
6
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1answer
118 views

Effect of sex-ratio on the effective population size

As stated on this wikipedia article, the effective population size $N_e$ when the sex ratio differs from $\frac{1}{2}$ is $$N_e = \frac{4N_mN_f}{N_m+N_f}$$ I understand the biased sex-ratio ...
5
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1answer
160 views

What is the origin of prions?

We know something about the origin of the first cell. But what do we know about prions? How did they originate?
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2answers
115 views

Why human skin colour disprove natural selection? [duplicate]

Amount of melanin decides the darkness and fairness of skin. The darker the skin is, larger the heat energy it will absorb from sunlight. The lighter the skin is, less will be the heat energy ...
3
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0answers
51 views

Diffusion approximation to genetic drift

I am reading from the classical textbook Principles of Population Genetics, Hartl and Clark (pdf here). Introduction Let $f(p,x,t)$ denote the distribution of allele frequency $x$ at time $t$ ...
3
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2answers
72 views

Why was Darwin's Finch argument valid considering Weismann's argument?

According to Darwin, there was only 1 species of Finch bird in Galapagos. Then Darwin argued that due to diet adaptation and natural selection, their beak changes causing new species--which is ...
11
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5answers
344 views

Why have parasites not evolved to be harmless?

I have yet to understand why so many viruses or bacteria haven't evolved to be harmless (specifically, I don't know of any harmless virus). I think it would be greatly beneficial for a virus to ...
10
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2answers
746 views

Are fishes evolving?

As far as I know, Fishing has been one of the important occupation since early ages, and infinite number of fishes have already been captured. As the time passes, they must've developed some sort of ...
5
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0answers
146 views

What traits make mountain goats so well adapted to mountain living?

I've never really understood how mountain goats manage to survive so well in mountainous regions. I've seen them scale almost sheer cliff faces with apparent ease, and they can almost sprint ...
6
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1answer
77 views

Is addiction adaptive?

Addiction and addictive traits seem common amongst animals. A pubmed query shows it's been studied in everything from humans to worms. My personal favorite of these is: "Individual Consistency of ...
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2answers
66 views

What are the known energy capturing processes in biological systems?

I am not a biologist. I am aware that photosynthesis is the main process for capturing electromagnetic energy from the Sun. Also, I am aware that some bacteria can capture energy from boiling water ...
4
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1answer
56 views

Proof of the equivalence between two ways of defining ESS

Background Two common ways of defining what an Evolutionary Stable Strategy (ESS) are: First definition: Consider a population composed of populations playing two strategies, $\mathbf{p}$ and ...
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1answer
82 views

Why are human immune systems comparatively weaker than other animal immune systems? [closed]

Humans get sick on such a regular basis and animals will hardly ever get sick. Animals are typically exposed to the same pathogens as humans, yet a dog won't have a cold or the flu twice a year, with ...
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1answer
56 views

Difference between various evolutionary terms [closed]

Could someone kindly explain me the difference between Phylogeny, Phylogenetic Tree, Evolutionary Trees, Phylotype, Clusters, OTU (Open Taxonomic Units). Or if possible please do suggest me a ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

Development and function of spindle neurons

In his book How to Create a Mind author Ray Kurzweil makes some claims about spindle neurons that he provides no source for. Concretely he states that spindle cells: Are Involved in handling ...
3
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1answer
203 views

Does modern theory of evolution include modification of physical environment?

Does any branch of modern evolution theories include aspects of evolving organisms modifying the physical environment? An example from the evolution of life could be early stage introduction of ...
4
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2answers
133 views

Are epigenetic changes involved in evolution?

Evolution leads to phenotypic changes through changes in DNA such as mutations. Mutations are transmitted to offspring. Cumulative mutational changes across many generations may cause evolution and ...
2
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1answer
49 views

What is the difference between the Modern Synthesis and the Extended Synthesis?

The NCBI talks about "Evolution beyond neo-Darwinism: a new conceptual framework." (source). What is the difference between the Modern Synthesis and the Extended Synthesis?
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1answer
121 views

Are there different species of modern day humans? [duplicate]

I've been watching nature shows on Netflix (Wildest series) and different animals of the same "family" are actually different species. e.g. Asian elephants vs African elephants. Asian elephants are ...
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0answers
25 views

Resources for similarity between embryos

Is there a scientific paper/reputable image resource out there which I can use that the embryos of different organisms (vertebrata) are similar in their early developmental stages(without falling into ...
3
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0answers
35 views

Games with non-uniform interaction rates

Background: Many models in evolutionary game theory assume uniform interaction rates. For instance, consider the $2\times 2$ game: \begin{array}{l c c} & A & B \\ A & a & b \\ ...
3
votes
2answers
167 views

What does 'direction' mean in the statement “mutations are non-directional”?

I was reading the Mutation theory of De Vries; there I encountered this following statement: Mutations are discontinuous, random & non-directional.This is in contrast to Darwinism where ...
0
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1answer
102 views

How does discontinuous distribution provide evidence for evolution?

One of the evidences for evolution is bio-geographical evidence. In it,'discontinuous distribution' is mostly cited as an evidence. For example, Alligators are found only in south-eastern US & ...
3
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1answer
157 views

Do the claims in this paper have any degree of validity?

The paper The waiting time problem in a model hominin population talks about a problem of waiting time, etc. Is the methodology of this numerical simulation, and the conclusion right or is it wrong? ...
2
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0answers
25 views

Replicator equation for mixed strategies?

The the replicator equation is usually defined for pure strategies. More specifically, the replicator eqn for $n$ strategies is given by: \begin{equation} \dot x_{i} = x_{i} \left( \sum_{j=1}^{n} ...
1
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3answers
73 views

Cancer a method for early Earth Evolution? [duplicate]

Something I have been wondering for a while is looking at cancer from an evolutionary standpoint. It's easy to conclude (from observations today) that cancer is something we would rather avoid. ...
0
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1answer
19 views

Why Can't the passage of acquired behavior be considered acquired inheritance?

While reading about a cross-fostering experiment conducted on Male California mice and Peromyscus californicus, I came across the fact that the behavior acquired by a generation of mice due to ...
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2answers
72 views

Why both sexes of the species don't show equal level of Competition? [closed]

In most species, it is seen that either males or females have evolved to be aggressive towards approaching members of the same species of the same sex and maintaining strict territorial boundaries. ...
2
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0answers
107 views

Why did humans evolve the ability to feel such a high level of heat pain? [closed]

It's probably because our ancestors were frequently around 300°C metal which badly damages flesh in a fraction of a second because they made fires to cook. I don't see why that would cause natural ...
4
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0answers
36 views

How “old” is a specific snake venom?

This is a World Building question, but it's biology specific (I think). I'm looking for an approximate answer on how long, evolutionary, a specific venom has been roughly the same. Is it pretty much ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Does the modern synthesis theory of evolution deny that acquired characteristics can be inherited? [duplicate]

The following is an wikipedia article on Lamarckism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamarckism According to Ernst Mayr, any Lamarckian theory involving the inheritance of acquired characters has ...
1
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1answer
49 views

Using evolution of bacteria against themselves

We know that mutations happen regularly in bacteria and also that one bacteria might get the mutation and become stronger than the others and thus survive, causing antibiotic resistance as well. Can ...
26
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7answers
9k views

How do we know that humans and chimpanzees evolved from a common ape ancestor? [closed]

Richard Dawkins in one of his videos says that Evolution is a fact and not just a theory. He goes on to say that man and chimpanzees both evolve from apes. Is this correct (Is evolution a fact and ...