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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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 ...
5
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1answer
148 views

Probability of Extinction under Genetic Drift

Here is the Wright-Fisher model of genetic drift: $$\frac{(2N)!}{k!(2N-k)!}p^kq^{2N-k} \Leftrightarrow \binom{2N}{k}p^kq^{2N-k}$$ where $\binom{2N}{k}$ is the binomial coefficient. This formula ...
2
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1answer
53 views

Who was the first to talk about evolvability?

"Evolvability is the capacity of a system for adaptive evolution." (source) There are several other definitions though: Who was the first person to use the word "evolvability"? Who was the first to ...
2
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1answer
87 views

The concepts of relatedness - Hamilton's rule and kin selection

Here is a quotation from this wikipedia page The relatedness parameter (r) in Hamilton's rule was introduced in 1922 by Sewall Wright as a coefficient of relationship that gives the ...
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0answers
107 views

What are the ESSs among hawks, doves, retaliators, bully and prober retaliators?

In his book "The Selfish Gene", Richard Dawkins says that retaliator emerges as an evolutionary stable strategy. But I think dove is also a kind of retaliator and so if dove increases, the hawks and ...
3
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1answer
89 views

Evolutionary Cell Structuring

I'm a total novice when it comes to biology, and I'm really just looking for an answer to a question that has been posed to me by people who deny evolution fervently. Evolution dictates that we've ...
5
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1answer
142 views

Empirical evidence for species selection

Do we have any empirical evidence in favor of species (or lineage) selection? Do we know some cases that can only be explained (or seem to be only explained) by lineage selection? What are today the ...
4
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1answer
52 views

How much can you learn about species variation from a skeleton?

I just read about the discovery of the 1.8-million-year-old human skull in Georgia, and how it suggests that early humans were all one species instead of distinct ones. Would an archaeologist ...
3
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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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2answers
114 views

Won't natural selection miss the overall minimum of a function?

Suppose we have a population of about 1000 with an environment that does not change a lot (e.g. the atmosphere is more or less the same) and we leave this population to evolve. From what I understand ...
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1answer
78 views

What are uses of fossils? [closed]

What are the geological uses of fossils and how could it be utilised? From The Institute for Creation Science: Fossils are typically found in sedimentary rock, almost all of which were originally ...
5
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2answers
188 views

Why are humans and almost every species on earth symmetrical?

I admit I'm not very learned on the subject of evolution, I just started researching it for myself about a week ago. One of the things that I don't understand is why humans and almost every other ...
2
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1answer
30 views

Phenoptosis, behavior evolved for good of species?

I was reading this and felt like the argument is being made that organisms die for the good of species. Isn't this nonsense? This especially bugged me: "'Age-induced, soft, or slow phenoptosis'" ...
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2answers
597 views

Genetically speaking, are dogs exactly similar to humans and chimps both?

Richard Dawkins mentions in his book The Greatest Show on Earth that dogs are exactly similar to both humans and chimps. Supposing that a cell contains the genetic similarity between 2 species, he ...
2
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0answers
46 views

Natural selection and the Galapagos Islands [closed]

Woodpeckers found on the South American mainland are able to peck insects from the bark of trees. Would the woodpecker finch have been able to survive if woodpeckers had found their way to the ...
6
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2answers
510 views

Why do most mammals have long snouts?

It seems like most mammals, e.g. dogs, have long snouts. My pet dog's snout would seem to me like an evolutionary disadvantage, since her canine teeth are way out at the end of her jaw, which acts as ...
2
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3answers
927 views

What if rB=C in hamilton's rule?

Hamilton's rule states that if rB>C then a gene giving altruistic behaviour will increase in frequency in the population. What would happen if rB=C? Will an individual perform the altruistic act?
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3answers
664 views

Does Darwin's Theory of Evolution refute Terence McKenna theory “Stoned Ape” theory of human evolution?

I haven't read it but I'm asking for a quick answer. As far as I know, Terence McKenna's theory of evolution in humans main concept is that a hominid has tried in their diet psilocybin mushrooms, and ...
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5answers
240 views

Is evolution true as Darwin said? [closed]

I was telling the theory of evolution to my friends. But they asked me for the proof. They said, we are not seeing any such transition species at present. Neither we have such evidence for evolution. ...
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1answer
70 views

Rate of Evolution of population of long lived individuals

Is it necessary that rate of evolution of longer lived trees will be lesser than that of annuals ? I understand that new individuals will come up faster in annuals and it may adapt to varying ...
2
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1answer
118 views

Why are urban birds still scared of humans?

I understand that animals are naturally scared of humans because we basically slaughtered every living thing we found in our way for millennia. How long does it take for them to genetically 'forget' ...
4
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1answer
182 views

Variations in Genome Sizes

Why is there wide variation in genome size amongst groups of protists, insects, amphibians and plants, but less variation within groups of mammals and reptiles?
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1answer
33 views

Variation in MHC in humans

What evolutionary process lead to so much variation in MHC? What is the advantage of having such variation?
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2answers
100 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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2answers
70 views

How did viruses learn to utilize the workings of a cell?

This is my first post here, so excuse me for its simplicity. Viruses can infiltrate a cell, overtake it and multiply. It has projecting fibers whose ends are shaped as kind of a "key" to a mobile ...
2
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2answers
394 views

What evolutionary adaptations cause trees to grow tall?

I think there are some obvious costs for trees to grow tall. Carbon and other nutrients costs, maintenance cost, energy cost (for growing, to bring water (and nutrients) up to the higher leaves, ...
2
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1answer
187 views

Molecular Evolution: Mrbayes never stops?

When I use my own data to build Bayesian phylogenetic trees using the software Mrbayes, after many generations, it never reaches stopping status (namely, the average standard deviation of split ...
3
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1answer
115 views

Are there any 6 limbed reptile fossils?

Were any 6 armed "tetrapod" fossils ever found? I've seen some lobe finned fish with two sets of shoulders in an evolutionary bio book... I'm curious because I'd like 4 limbed and 2 winged dragons to ...
6
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1answer
148 views

evolutionary reason behind sharing the same path for food and air?

What is the evolutionary reason behind sharing the same path for food and air? For example, we have a nose and lungs, yet they are linked by the pharynx, which is shared with the mouth and ...
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2answers
81 views

Why can't cell division happen the other way around?

Mitosis in eukaryotes happen in this order: DNA replicates and then the cell divides. Why doesn't it happen in reverse order (i.e., cell divides and then replicates the DNA)? I am talking about ...
2
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1answer
234 views

Is there any advantage of having a mitochondria for aerobic respiration?

If we consider the pathway of breakdown of glucose which includes glycolysis, the citric acid cycle and the electron transport chain, all these processes takes place in some prokaryotes and ...
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1answer
133 views

I think evolution has goal [closed]

Richard Dawkins says evolution doesn't have any goal. But I think evolution has one. At the end evolution creates intelligent being. If we find another earth like planet evolution sould have the same ...
7
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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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4answers
120 views

Are biological systems engineered? They are often reverse engineered at a molecular level!!

Understanding biological systems, molecular biologists need to “reverse engineer” them. Is this evidence that the systems were engineered to begin with?
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1answer
57 views

Is there any definition of complexity about gene and protein according their function?

Sorry for such a question,if it is too naive. Is there any definition of complexity about gene and protein according their function?If so,what is the relation between them?
3
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1answer
38 views

Estimation of number of species at an earlier time

The estimated number of species on Earth, as reported in this article is around 8.7 million. I am fascinated by how nature produces such a wide variety of species. As per my understanding, many ...
5
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1answer
358 views

Smallest unit on which selection can act

Traditionally, the individual was considered to be the smallest unit on which Natural Selection (NS) acts. Today, we usually consider the gene as being the unit of NS. Of course, we should also ...
3
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3answers
154 views

Is there variation of AT/CG ratio along species?

Chargaff's rules say that the number of Adenine of the number of Thymine in a genome are equal (nA=nT) and similarly nC=nG. This makes obvious sense knowing that C binds to G and A to T. But what ...
10
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2answers
247 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 ...
3
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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 ...
6
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2answers
616 views

why is AUG the initiation codon?

Is there any reason why AUG is the initiation codon ? Why is there a need for an initiation codon ? Can't translation start with different codons?
8
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1answer
58 views

What does the evidence suggest about how Neanderthals became extinct?

According to "Neanderthals: Facts About Our Extinct Human Relatives" (Szalay, 2013), Neanderthals dominated Europe during the last Ice Age, but may have died out before the arrival of Homo Sapiens ...
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1answer
137 views

Does a fully-resolved phylogenetic tree have to be dichotomous?

I read that wherever there is polytomy there is an unresolved pattern of divergence. I don't understand why this is so. When divergence takes place, is it necessary that there will be division into ...
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1answer
76 views

Why can't we propose a solid theory regarding origin of life?

What information is greatly lacking which does not allow us to propose a solid theory for origin of life ?
4
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0answers
70 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 ...
1
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0answers
28 views

How did specialized nerve-based behaviors emerge in organisms?

There are quite a lot of diversity in behaviors of animals and lesser organisms, like mating, hunting, feeding, hiding and avoiding predators. At the same time I know that many hormones like ...
3
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2answers
215 views

How can fruit flies and mice share the same gene that says to build an eye if they evolved separately?

I saw a documentary where they inserted the gene of a mouse that basically is the starting "build an eye" command into a fruit fly, and a fruit fly eye grew. My question is, if eyes of different types ...
3
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0answers
34 views

Statistics on energy consumption breakdown per biological functions across organisms?

Are there any statistics available on how much energy organisms use for each biological functions (i.e. something similar to the line of "Bacteria spend X% of energy on information processing, Y% for ...
4
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1answer
267 views

What is the evidence that australopithecines were bipedal?

Before the discovery of Australopithecus afarensis in the 1970s, most anthropologists believed that an increase in brain capacity had preceded bipedal locomotion. However, this reconstruction of the ...
4
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1answer
87 views

Was life less colorful before color vision evolved?

According to Wikipedia, we know that color-vision photopigments appeared in the common ancestors of tetrapods and fish at least 360 MY ago. Would life have been less colorful before the evolution of ...