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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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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343 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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152 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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124 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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727 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
66 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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1answer
223 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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4answers
273 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 ...
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99 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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1answer
3k 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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175 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
93 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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1answer
31 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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90 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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2answers
69 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 ...
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1answer
84 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 ...
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2answers
279 views

What modern insects are not (flying OR descended from flying ancestors)?

What modern insects are not flying or descended from flying ancestors? (I read somewhere that 99% are, so of course I instantly became curious which aren't. xD ) EDIT: Sorry, I should have been ...
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123 views

vestigial structure question

If a species has a vestigial anatomical structure that it no longer uses, would you expect this structure to disappear over many generations through the action of natural selection? Always, sometimes, ...
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1answer
41 views

Book on yeast reproduction, evolution and on the use of yeast as model organism

I am looking for a good book in: Yeast reproduction mating types Recombination mating type determination mechanism Yeast evolution Yeast as model organism and its use in experimental biology It ...
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1answer
73 views

Evolution, self organization and neuroscience

I have rudimentary knowledge of evolution, and biology in general, so bear with me if this question is a bit naive. Let's say we have a particular trait, like highly sensitive peripheral vision. ...
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0answers
48 views

Cambrian explosion and evolutionary arms race

I've seen many times mentioned in textbooks and popular articles that a reason of the Cambrian explosion is an 'evolutionary arms race' between predators and prey. But this isn't really a sufficient ...
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1answer
94 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 ...
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2answers
766 views

Are humans an eusocial species?

In the evolution of sociality among animals, different degrees are acknowledged. Some species present overlapping generations, some division of labor, and the minority present reproductive division. ...
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2answers
2k views

How many times did life emerge from the ocean?

Evolution is often mistakenly depicted as linear in popular culture. One main feature of this depiction in popular culture, but even in science popularisation, is that some ocean-dwelling animal sheds ...
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2answers
165 views

Can diploidy evolve in absence of sexual reproduction?

Theoretical question Can diploidy (or polyploidy) evolve from a haploid lineage in the absence of sexual reproduction ? For what theoretical reason? How can such evolution take place? Empirical ...
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5answers
576 views

What is meant in biology by the term “evolved”?

A student asked me this the other day and I thought that I would ask it again here. If one organism is said to be "more evolved" than another, what exactly does this mean?
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2answers
354 views

Why aren't we ambidextrous?

It seems so simple that if my brain can tell my right hand to do something, then it should be able to tell equally well to the left ? This seems like a pretty major evolutionary advantage. Why haven't ...
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191 views

Birds and Dinosaurs

This came up in an argument with some friends. I know that birds are direct descendants of dinosaurs, shown pretty clearly through the fossil record. However, is it proper to say that birds are ...
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77 views

Can nature create codes and specified complexity? [closed]

Is there an example of nature creating codes or specified complexity? It is said by Creationists that codes can only come from minds, and since DNA has a code, it was created by a mind. Is this true? ...
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70 views

What's the use of RNA editing in kinetoplast?

The genes of the mitochondrion (kinetoplast) of some Kinetoplastida - e.g. Trypanosoma brucei, the parasite which causes African sleeping sickness - are "encoded" in a way that the pre mRNA requiries ...
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2k 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?
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180 views

Why and how does complexity usually tends to increase through time?

The question of complexity is classic in the very first lectures of evolutionary biology where the teacher usually tries to tell the students that complexity does not necessary increases and that ...
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158 views

The Assumption of Weak Selection?

I was reading this question and I failed to fully understand the introductory part of it. The OP (@Artem Kaznatcheev) says: Most analytic models like to assume weak selection because it allows ...
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2answers
82 views

Could a normative population ever be non-heterosexual? [closed]

In the modern documentary called "Bi the way", one American geneticist said that if modern American youngsters may as well be functionally bisexual, then some generations ahead Americans could be ...
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1answer
1k views

What are the differences between G+ and G- bacteria?

The distinction between Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria is based upon the Gram staining method, that reflects the bacterial wall physical properties. However, this classification involves ...
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1answer
49 views

Evolutionary conservativeness

List the following proteins in the order of decreasing evolutionary conservativeness of their primary structure: Somatotropin. Catalytic subunit of a DNA – polymerase. Histone H1. ...
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2k views

Why do we assume that the first humans were dark-skinned?

According to the article Dark skin and blue eyes: How Europeans once looked: It is widely accepted that Man's oldest common forefather was dark skinned, and that people became more pale as they ...
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367 views

How did fish evolve the ability to breathe on land?

Doesn't make sense. It would be like a human evolving the ability to breathe on the moon without a spacesuit. How would the organism be able to carry out such an evolutionary adaptation, when the ...
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3answers
174 views

How should I put a large phylogeny into a scientific paper?

I've been trying to put a phylogeny tree into a scientific paper. This tree includes ~220 species, which is too too large for one page for journal articles (Letter or A4 size). But in my paper it is ...
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1answer
825 views

Evolution- Variations, adaptations and selective advantages

I am trying to understand Variations, adaptations and selective advantages and how they are all related. Feel free to add or correct me if I'm wrong- Variations are structural, functional, or ...
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1answer
106 views

Can we say that microevolution and macroevolution is fundamentally the same thing over different time scales?

This Wikipedia article states: Macroevolution is evolution on a scale of separated gene pools. Macroevolutionary studies focus on change that occurs at or above the level of species, in contrast ...
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1answer
269 views

Why do farts stink, but perfume does not?

Why is it that natural things like farts, poop, halitosis etc., from which we are always surrounded smell "bad"; whereas manufactured products, such as perfume or glue smell "good" to most of us? In ...
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1answer
230 views

Macroevolution vs. microevolution

Where is the line usually drawn between macroevolution and microevolution? I thought that, although similar processes govern both, the line was at the species level, with macroevolution being changes ...
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4answers
288 views

Are we inevitable in the evolution?

Suppose we wind time back to the instance when life emerged on Earth and let evolution start over again, will human beings or any other kind of self-conscious animals evolve ultimately, inevitably? ...
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4answers
762 views

How many times did endosymbiosis occur?

According to the endosymbiont theory, mitochondria and chloroplasts originated as bacteria which were engulfed by larger cells. How many times is it estimated that this occurred in the past? Are there ...
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1answer
138 views

Definition of “Regime of selection”

How would you define Regime of selection (or Selection regime)? In addition to a accurate definition, a developped example ...
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2answers
176 views

Book recommendations for algorithms used in evolutionary biology

Do you have recommendations for a book that presents the different algorithm used in theoretical evolutionary biology? I don't mean evolutionary or genetic algorithms (otherwise this question would ...
3
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1answer
466 views

Ka/Ks (dN/dS) analysis module for Python?

From this wiki article: In genetics, the Ka/Ks ratio (or ω, dN/dS), is the ratio of the number of Nonsynonymous substitutions per non-synonymous site (Ka) to the number of synonymous ...
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2answers
123 views

Is there theory that connects longevity, time-scale of environmental disturbance, and adaptation?

I'm thinking here about environmental disturbance or like climate change-driven warming. It seems as if there are two macroevolutionary ways to deal with environmental change: 1) Have short ...
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1answer
186 views

I believe in variation of a species but not in evolution [closed]

I can see that variation within species exists, for example birds with various size beaks adapted for specific food-gathering purposes, one may have a larger beak vs. smaller beak, OK that works for ...