Tagged Questions

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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1answer
66 views

Do species which have a closer common ancestor to humans tend to be more intelligent?

Q: Do species which have a closer common ancestor to humans tend to be more intelligent? Our closest living relative, the chimpanzee, seems to be regarded as intelligent: Chimpanzees make ...
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0answers
44 views

Odds of Fusion of Chromosome #2

There is strong evidence that chromosome 2 in humans is a fusion of two chimp chromosomes (i.e. common ancestor of chimps and humans) as explained at wikipedia here The question is what are the odds ...
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1answer
97 views

Soft and Hard selection

Seems to me that these two sources (M. Whitlock, B. Wallace) use different definitions of soft and hard selection. M. Whitlock: Soft selection occurs when the relative fitness of an individual is ...
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1answer
372 views

Why are men stronger than women?

What are the evolutionary explanations for why women are weaker than men (on average), and is this difference adaptive? See figure one here. I suppose that something puts pressure on men to be ...
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1answer
102 views

Are there any cases of observed extreme speciation [closed]

Is there an observed (direct not indirect) speciation on record showing a species shift within the span of history of recorded science?
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3answers
133 views

Theoretically, is domestication of (virtually) any animal possible?

Looking at ones that manage well alongside us human animals, such as dogs and cats, we see that this is possible for evolved, distant animals to have heritable, preferable traits around people. ...
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1answer
76 views

Has any creature ever devolved to be cold blooded? [closed]

Is this even possible? Because I have a non-scientific gut feeling that it is irreversible. Whales and dolphins are evolved from land mammals, and they've remained warm blooded while it doesn't give ...
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0answers
71 views

Can human change its morphology or anatomy due to ecological changes?

According to Charles Darwin, as the surrounding environment changes, so changes the anatomy or morphology of a specific organism. But nowadays, humans have become very advanced in the technology and ...
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1answer
77 views

Senescence, immortality and evolution?

Many have heard about the fabled "immortal" jellyfish, Turritopsis dohrnii, which doesn't die from aging (senescence) and can revert the aging process indefinitely. It is rather remarkable that only ...
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2answers
131 views

On evolution statistics [closed]

This basic evolution theory question has been haunting me since childhood and I'm kind of embarrassed that I can't explain it yet: Consider a butterfly. It's wings have evolved to look like the eyes ...
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2answers
89 views

What is doubling of genetic material invented in flowering plants?

David Attenborough in his Kingdom of Plants 3D said, that flowering plants made two inventions: (1) doubling of genetic material and (2) symbiosis with animals. What was meant by "doubling of genetic ...
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1answer
136 views

A question about the intersection of evolution and thermodynamics

From this 2014 article in Quanta magazine by Natalie Wolchover there is a quote from a physicist with an intriguing idea about evolution: “You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine ...
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1answer
73 views

Why are hens so different from other birds? [closed]

Hens lay many eggs during their lifetime (at least, I don't know of one which can lay more eggs) and they can't fly. Compared to other domestic animals it seems to me they are the least capable of ...
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0answers
40 views

Does healthcare and therapy affect natural selection adversely? [duplicate]

In the last 200 years or so, healthcare and therapy has been revolutionized. Mortality rates are going down everywhere. Even if the disease is terminal, medicine can prolong life for quite a while. ...
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3answers
148 views

Why are there no tree-like plants that grow in lakes?

Looking at aerial photos of boreal forests, with dense woods clear-cut by quiet lakes, I wondered why exactly are the woods so clear-cut at the edge of water? Why won't trees develop adaptations that ...
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2answers
264 views

Have we ever observed two drosophila lineages that evolved reproductive isolation in labs?

Background The standard definition of species refers to the concept of reproductive isolation. If two lineages are found to be reproductively isolated, then we consider these two lineages to belong ...
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1answer
30 views

Assumptions of the models for haploid and diploid selection

For a bi-allelic locus, the model for haploid Natural Selection is: $$\frac{dp}{dt} = \frac{pW_A}{pW_A + (1-p)W_B}$$ , where $p$ is the frequency of the allele $A$, which relative fitness is $W_A$. ...
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1answer
42 views

$F_{ST}$ when considering a multi-allelic locus

Sewall Wright defined the $F_{ST}$ in a metapopulation as being: $$F_{ST} = \frac{\text{Var}(p)}{\bar p (1-\bar p)}$$ , where $p$ is a vector of frequencies of a given allele and $\bar p$ and ...
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0answers
43 views

$F_{ST}$ and the genetic variance in metapopulations

From this video (21'15''), the speaker gives the following formulae in order to calculate the between and among populations genetic variance from the $F_{ST}$: $$V_{Among Pop} = 2 F_{ST}V_G$$ ...
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5answers
139 views

What are some examples of evolving networks in biology?

I'm a master student working on networks analysis in general. A network is something that has nodes and there are links between the nodes. Nodes and links could have attributes. An evolving network is ...
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4answers
157 views

Bad Eyesight and Evolution

Why do many humans have bad eyesight, such as near-sightedness, which hampers performance in a wide variety of tasks? Shouldn't there be evolutionary pressure towards better eyesight?
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1answer
79 views

What is the evolutionary reason behind human preference for salty foods?

It's been established that food palatability is related to it's caloric density. This hypothesis is used to explain why humans are partial to sugar and fat. But it is also said that humans are partial ...
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1answer
215 views

What is the difference between these terms: clade, monophyletic group and taxon?

Wikipedia definitions for these terms are pretty similar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clade http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monophyletic_group http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxon They sound like the ...
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1answer
39 views

Distribution of fitness in wild populations

If I get out in the wild observe wild populations and measure the distribution of fitness $f(w)$ in a given population. What will I find out? Will I observe a Gaussian distribution, a Poisson ...
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1answer
46 views

What is a sex-biased gene?

How do you define a male-biased gene and a female-biased gene as they are found in the abstract of this article.
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1answer
54 views

Definition of Sexual Selection?

How do you define Sexual Selection (SS)? (One might want to subdivide SS into intra- and inter- SS to answer) Is SS clearly different from Natural Selection (NS)? Is SS nested within NS or are NS ...
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3answers
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Were there any flying dinosaurs?

I've seen some articles which came in contradiction with each other. The first article was talking about flying dinosaurs, dinosaurs with feathers and so on. A couple of other articles are talking ...
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2answers
288 views

Help with the Price equation

The Price equation describes mathematically the evolution of a population of units from one generation to the next. $\bar{w}\Delta \bar{z}$ = $Cov (w_i,z_i) $+$ E(w_i\Delta z_i)$ I would like ...
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1answer
93 views

What is the evolutionary cause for various finger lengths?

Why are the lengths the way they are with middle finger the longest?
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1answer
50 views

Various Genetic Loads and their Definitions

In population genetics, we talk about several types of genetic loads (also called just loads). I am asking for a exhaustive list and a short definition. Here are for example some genetic loads that ...
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1answer
74 views

Two-fold cost of sex and r/K selection theory

This article cites a bunch of articles (I haven't been through them) that the effect of the two-fold cost of sex is "reduced" in stable environment or in K-selected environment. It says: [..] the ...
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3answers
236 views

Why do our eyes close when we sleep?

Why do our eyes close when we sleep? Is it to relax our eye muscles? How can it be explained from an evolutionary point of view?
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0answers
25 views

Series of exercices on population structure (population genetics)

I am seeking for a series of exercices (with solutions if possible) concerning population structure. I am particularly interested in exercices that involve indices such as $F_{ST}$, $F_{IT}$, ...
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1answer
72 views

Why are some scorpion species fluorescent under UV light?

It's known for some scorpion species such as Pandinus imperator, Heterometrus Petersii etc. to be shining under UV light. That makes them easier to capture and collect by humans. Is there any ...
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2answers
178 views

Is this statement in agreement with Darwin's theory of evolution?

Is the following statement in agreement with Darwin's theory of evolution? The number of offspring is not related to fitness. If so, why? This is not a homework assignment, I just want to ...
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1answer
163 views

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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3answers
140 views

Has it been enough time for evolution through simple natural selection?

Let first state that I understand natural selection. I am not asking if evolution happened. I see evolution as a fact, but I do not assume the current theory of natural selection as fact. I wonder if ...
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2answers
77 views

Is there an evolutionary explanation for the black spots around a pandas eyes?

I couldn't seem to find one elsewhere, at least not with a scientific source. It would seem as it's quite a striking feature there would be an advantage it would infer.
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0answers
73 views

Is there an evolutionary explanation for depression?

Evolutionarily speaking, depression (both clinical depression and temporary sadness) is a curious phenomenon. Since being depressed is likely to increase the chance of a person with it to commit ...
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1answer
67 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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33 views

Study case of the inheritance system of Oenothera

I've been told some interesting facts about oenothera. Apparently in this species some lineages have been through some translocations and in results to these translocations and in consequence, some ...
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1answer
89 views

“selective pressure” or “selection pressure”?

Editing a manuscript of mine, a co-author changes "selection pressure" to "selective pressure". Are those two terms interchangeable? Or are there subtle differences that I'm not aware of? The ...
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1answer
76 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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0answers
40 views

Inbreeding depression and dominance

From this article, second paragraph of the second page A classic theoretical result is that the mean of a character controlled by a single locus $i$ with two alleles $A_{i1}$ and $A_{i2}$ is only ...
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1answer
54 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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0answers
45 views

How important is the womb's environment?

- Background - Talking about one phenotypic trait, the total phenotypic variance $V_p$ is decomposed into genetic and environmental variance for this trait, represented by the symbols $V_G$ and $V_E$ ...
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0answers
42 views

Inbreeding Coefficient and Coefficient of Relationship

Wikipedia gives the following formula to calculate a "path of coefficient of relationship" between an ancestor $A$ and an offspring $O$: $$\rho_{AO} = 2^{-n} \left( \frac{1+f_A}{1+f_O} \right)^{1/2} ...
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7answers
4k 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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1answer
35 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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1answer
39 views

Book Recommendation: Complex Traits and Complex Genetic Architecture

I am looking for a book (or any good source of information) that offers an in-depth discussion and models about the evolution and analysis of complex traits and complex genetic architecture. Do you ...