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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Haidinger's brush: Is this a by-product of the eye's physics, or are there any evolutionary grounds for it?

The human eye is, very subtly, sensitive to the polarization of light. This is an effect known as Haidinger's brush (see Wikipedia article of this name). What, if anything, is known or at least ...
3
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2answers
1k views

The number of nipples (breasts) a species has?

Only mammals have mammaries and mammary glands. What evolutionary factors determines the number of mammaries (nipples/teats/breasts) a species has? Is it always an even number?
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1answer
2k views

Cats, Dogs and Bears - how are they related?

What is the ancestral relationship between cats, dogs and bears? I presume they are more closely related to one another than other paraphyletic clades of mammal. Which came first? What did their ...
3
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1answer
78 views

Chemoautotrophy in large organisms?

The major nutritional mechanisms include chemoautotrophy, heterotrophy (including parasitism and saprotrophy) and photoautotrophy. All of these modes of nutrition developed first in prokaryotic ...
4
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1answer
220 views

Body size, what are the evolutionary trade-offs?

Background Considering just the "Kingdom Animalia" branch of organisms. It is clear that bigger does not necessarily mean better - there is large variation in body size... From the 94 µm long ...
4
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1answer
137 views

Does conjugation support gene selection?

I have already posted this on chat but haven't got any response. A recent question on group selection stimulated me to ask this here. QUESTIONS: Why should bacteria conjugate? If we consider that a ...
3
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1answer
154 views

Empirical evidence for Group Selection?

A controversial concept in Biology "Group Selection", has caused confusion and conflict amongst scientists since the since the mid 1990s. The more general realm of study is termed the "unit of ...
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269 views

Why, specifically, does each generation, on average, improve upon the design of the species rather than degrade it?

In every non-life example I can envision, a copy of a copy is always a degraded or less pure version of the original unless some outside influence acts to correct the copy back toward the ideal ...
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4answers
283 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
114 views

Natural enemies boost deep evolutionary fitness?

"Two species that reduce one another's fitness on microevolutionary (short-term) timescales can increase each other's macroevolutionary (long-term) fitness" Opinions? Intuitive Examples: ...
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1answer
222 views

What is the most recent non-primate ancestors of humans?

If we go down the evolutionary tree of humans, (Homo sapiens, Homo erectus, ...), what will be the first non-primate ancestors?
3
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1answer
52 views

Are there cannibalistic k-selectors?

My understanding of r- and k-selectors does not go deeper than the wikipedia article. I understand k-selectors to be creatures that put tendentially more effort and energy into rearing their ...
2
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1answer
62 views

Does the existence of one species imply the existence of many other?

Reading one of Sir Arthur Clarke's scifi stories, I came across a statement something to the effect of, existence of a single species automatically implies the existence of many other species. So ...
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4answers
2k views

Why would a single celled organism evolve to be multi-celled?

I read a story this week on Richard Lenski who has been 'evolving' E. coli for more than 50,000 generations now. One comment I read was from someone who doesn't accept Evolution who pointed out that ...
4
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1answer
194 views

What is the evolutionary advantage of regret?

Some motivational speakers may say that regrets are only useful to learn something from. What are the other advantages?
4
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1answer
238 views

DIfference between diversification and differentiation

In Adaptive dynamic : what is the difference between Ecological Differentiation and Ecological Divergence ?
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2answers
272 views

Why is there such an argument about evolution?

DISCLAIMER: I am a Christian, although I happen to believe that some form of guided evolution via natural selection is God's mechanism for creation. Now to my question, which is related to my ...
4
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1answer
112 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 ...
6
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1answer
76 views

Reformulation of Hamilton's rule

Who (and in which article) was the first to reformulate Hamilton's rule using the letters $B$ and $C$?. See below comments on this reformulation. Hamilton, in his 1964's article gave a mathematical ...
3
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1answer
120 views

Why insects are so small compared to mammals?

I was wondering what biological limitations make the dimension of the insects small compared to the dimension of the mammals. I know in other eras insect were bigger!
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3answers
97 views

How to define “evolution”?

The standard answer to: what is evolution? is: It is a change in allele frequency over time! I believe a complete definition should encompass the following concepts: mutations copy ...
4
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1answer
294 views

Are wild cats the same species as house cats?

I thought that the definition of species is "can interbreed" From Wikipedia: The wildcat (Felis silvestris) is a small cat found throughout most of Africa, Europe, and southwest and central ...
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2answers
151 views

Which statement about phenotypic plasticity is false?

This was a test question, and I'm not too sure about the answer. Which statement about phenotypic plasticity is false? a. Because the plasticity of a phenotypic trait may be costly to maintain, it ...
1
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1answer
272 views

Genetic variation and sensitivity of wild cabbage

1: Is it true that the genetic variation of kale plants is smaller than wild cabbage? I think so, because of human selection of the kale plants. 2: Are broccoli and cauliflower more ...
0
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1answer
93 views

Which mountain range was formed first (historically) and which the pedigree is correct?

Source 1: Source 1 shows a map of a particular area. In this map you will find the mountain ranges 1 and 2, the species P, Q and R. Two possible pedigrees of the ancestral history of the species ...
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1answer
2k views

Difference in length of Okazaki fragments

The length of Okazaki fragments in the lagging strand is about 100-200 nucleotides in eukaryotes and about 1000-2000 nucleotides in prokaryotes. What (molecular mechanism, enzyme type ) ...
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2answers
121 views

Examples of virus originated from a living system

Do you know some examples of virus or a viroid (or a prion) that originated from a known living organism? How does the virus/viroid/prion lives? Does it paratize the organism from which the virus ...
2
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1answer
488 views

Why were dinosaurs not as smart as we are?

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dinosaur, Dinosaurs were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for 135 million years. They had a lot of time to evolve. My question is: why were dinosaurs not ...
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386 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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2answers
381 views

What does fitness really mean?

Fitness is certainly the most important concept in the theory of evolution. My question does not have to do with practical measures of fitness but with the theoretical definition of it. I am a bit ...
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0answers
25 views

What is the origin of viruses? How could they get both living and non-living characteristics? [duplicate]

I read that viruses are called intermediate between living and non-living particles. Well, if so, then where did they originate from? From living or non-living? If they originated from either living ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
6
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2answers
213 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 ...
4
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1answer
65 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
125 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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2answers
314 views

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

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
129 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 ...
6
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1answer
326 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
65 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
423 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
135 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
105 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 ...
6
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2answers
335 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
51 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
1k 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
52 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 ...
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5answers
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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 ...
3
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3answers
2k 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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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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285 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. ...