Questions tagged [evolution]

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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Is there any genetic similarity that defy evolution theory?

For example, say species A is common ancestor of B, and C. Species B is a common ancestor of D and E. We would expect that there will be more genetic similarity between D and E than D and C. And ...
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Are there genetic similarity between humans and pigs that don't exist in chimps?

Chimps are our closer relative. Any genetic similarity between humans and chimps must exist on the common ancestor. Pig branch out sooner. So, any genetic similarity between humans and pigs must be ...
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Fossils of intermediate stages?

If Humans are evolve from Monkeys, there must be stages in the evolution process, when it was 1% human and 99% monkey, 2% human and 98% monkey and so on. This is because evolution was a very slow ...
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259 views

Can epigenetic changes affect reproductive success?

This is prompted by niallhaslam's answer to this question [Since Darwinian times, has there been any striking/notable effects of evolution on humans?]. A comment by Alan Boyd asks whether epigenetic ...
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Are domesticated animals really “more intelligent,” or is that a myth/misunderstanding?

Often do I hear people speaking of how the domestic house cats are more friendly, less ferocious, less savage-like, and smarter and/or than their distinct but equivalent feline-species friends, like ...
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Expected number of SNPs in a sample of size `k`

Consider a Wright-Fisher population of constant size N. We sample k haplotypes in this population. What is the expected number ...
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344 views

Which texts are good for beginners to understand evolution on the genetic scope?

Are there good texts to study the evolution, how it works, and how mutations and changes lead to evolution of the organism ? And how does the information increase through the long time using ...
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How large is the range of 'same origin' when determining whether two organs are analogous or homologous?

The pectoral fins of a whale and a shark. Are they analogous organs? I was looking at this question, and I saw that the two answers defined the range of 'same origin' differently. One said that sharks ...
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690 views

Evolutionary elimination of recessive gene

As recessive gene is suppressed, why over millions of year of evolution have not wiped them away completely, why don't they just go extinct, as people with those genes go extinct?
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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 justify ...
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How does the introduction of clones would affect population genetics? [closed]

Since the ability to clone animals gives another way to preserve species, this could help for the breeding process. It has been noted that with the ability to clone animals, endangered species can ...
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220 views

How does natural selection explain how organisms that are poisonous evolved?

Natural selection makes perfect sense when describing the evolution of say camouflage. For example 2 bugs of the same species live on a tree. One is mutated to look slightly more like a tree, so the ...
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A better definition of ‘evolution’?

Occasionally on this site I’ve noticed the following definition of evolution being given: Evolution is a change of allele frequency through time in a population ( For example, from here) Recently ...
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521 views

Examples of creating a new animal species by humans

So recently, I was arguing with my friend who happens to be creationist. As he does not believe in the "theory of evolution" I asked him how he can explain such a big diversity in the dog Canis ...
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Infer gene frequency within a species over time

I was reading Karlsson et al. (2014) and I came into this: A selected variant that increases rapidly in frequency in the past ~250,000 years can be detected as an unusual reduction in genetic ...
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141 views

Is variation a result of Evolution?

We know that the DNA copying mechanism that replicates DNA during cellular division is not 100% accurate and the resultant errors are the source of variation in the members of a population. At the ...
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867 views

Were we able to create vitamin B12 in past?

All herbivores produce vitamin B12 de novo. Gorillas, for example, are "vegans" so I suppose some human ancestor was also herbivore. Have we ever been B12 self-producers? If so, why have we lost that ...
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Why are there no WINGED flying arachnids? [duplicate]

There seem to have been no arachnids flying WITH WINGS of any sort at any location or any time in the present or in the fossil record. Why is this? Rationale for question : If the process of ...
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269 views

Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium generalized to add inbreeding (non-random mating)

Background Quoting from Gillespie's book The level of inbreeding is measured by the inbreeding coefficient, $F_I$, which is the probability that two alleles in an individual are identity by ...
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What's the difference between evolution fitness and reproductive success?

What's the difference biological fitness and reproductive success in the biological terminology?
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Why can fish survive out of water?

Obviously, humans can survive underwater for a short while. I've assumed this is because at some point it benefited us to stop breathing momentarily, and so we evolved a respiratory system that was ...
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177 views

Does evolution only give rise to traits that confer fitness?

Does evolution only give rise to traits that confer fitness? In other words, does the existence of a trait imply it's conferring of fitness? If not, what are some counter examples?
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183 views

Reproductive isolation causing evolution

My course book says about reproductive isolation that it does not allow the interbreeding among the individuals of different species. It also says that it is a cause of evolution. How is this cause ...
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1answer
69 views

What factors make a sequence evolve non-randomly?

On the wikipedia page about Fay and Wu's H, it talks about a non-randomly evolving sequence may be due to some selection acting or a selective sweep or population expanding/contracting. My questions ...
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604 views

How is the first Triceratops born?

To clarify at first, I have very little knowledge in biology and paleontology so there might be very obvious things I overlook. According to the evolution theory, there must be a graduate evolution ...
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Junk DNA and “random” mutations [closed]

I'm somewhat irritated by "mutation" generally being described as a fully random factor in evolution: pure randomness does not seem like something that can survive in a long evolutionary process. And ...
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Why aren't all infections immune-system resistant?

It's been less than a century since the widespread use of antibotics started, and already we're seeing bacteria that have evolved immunities to the antibotics we use. On the other hand, we've been ...
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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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Location of microbes causing eliminated diseases

Do eliminated diseases like polio, smallpox etc still exist in locations they have been eliminated from or in the wild or did we just make them go extinct like the dodo?
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Simplest Biological Organism? [duplicate]

What is the simplest biological organism from which a DNA sample has been or could be obtained? Could the resulting DNA be processed and examined in such a way that the resulting information would ...
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Does a critical mass of infected individuals exist after which mutations will overtake vaccination attempts?

As we know, all organisms have a probability to undergo mutations when they replicate. For every infected individual with the Covid-19 their bodies are environments in which the SARS-CoV-2 may mutate ...
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How did the tendency to perform death rituals evolve?

Both elephants and humans perform rituals when deaths occur. However, I do not see any evolutionary benefit of this. The rituals take time, which apparently could be better spent hunting, foraging, ...
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Are humans evolving since their first appearance? [duplicate]

Is the evolution a very prolonged progress, or are we going to witness further evolution of the human species? If so, in which direction? Are there any widely predicted changes for humans?
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656 views

Have scientists ever produce a new species in laboratory by means of natural selection?

I was wondering, if scientists ever produce a more complex species from a less complex species by means of natural selection? I imagine something like, bacteria which can't photosynthesis and oxygen (...
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Is there a taxon that “adaptively” radiates faster?

It seems that there are some taxa that have a greater potential to radiate through adaptations. Off my head, I can think of birds: Darwin's finches Hawaiian honeycreepers House finches (Carpodacus ...
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If evolution is true, how do all organisms have varying amount of chromosomes? [duplicate]

I thought genetic mutation changes genes and therefore evolution happens, but it doesn't explain how chromosomes are created/removed if the first organism had a set amount and now all the organisms ...
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142 views

What is the point at which abiogenesis is complete and evolution begins? [closed]

Is the minimum criterion for life a single cell? It seems that self-replicating RNA is not enough, but I don't know. What would be the most basic cell that could fit this criterion and what cells ...
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Why can't we propose a solid theory regarding origin of life? [closed]

What information is greatly lacking which does not allow us to propose a solid theory for origin of life ?
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576 views

Have there been any macro-evolution experiements?

I'd like to start first by saying that I don't believe in creationism at all, nor any non-Darwinian-evolution explanation of the diversity of life on Earth. The theory, the fossil record, and the ...
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Will all bacteria become resistant against all antibiotics in the long term?

(I asked the same at medicalsciences beta, but I expect a quite different perspective on it here) This is about bacteria that can infect humans, and their multi-resistance. The evolution of bacteria ...
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Probability for a megafauna specimen to exhibit a gene not present in either parent

What is the rough probability for a megafauna specimen to exhibit a gene not present in either parent? I'm looking, ideally, at the chance for one specific individual to be the first in a breeding ...
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Estimate for number of genes changed in speciation between a megafauna parent and child species [closed]

At least in terms of a back-of-the-envelope calculation, what is a believable range for the number of gene changes between parent and child species to represent speciation between species of megafauna?...
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If not intelligent design, what is an alternative scientific theory to evolution? [closed]

In the popular culture, Intelligent Design is often portrayed as trying to be an alternate theory to evolution. However, as the following question points out, it is not scientific, and so cannot be ...
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are there any species that we can identify as being 'mid-way'though an evolutionary change?

I have just learned that dolphins evolved from a dog/cat like land mammal (Mesonix) that became ever-more water venturing. I understand and can visualise how the arms legs and tail slowly evolved into ...

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