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Questions tagged [human-evolution]

The study of evolution with a particular focus on questions about the evolution of modern humans.

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How valid are Koestler’s criticism of evolutionary theory?

I recently read Arthur Koestler's 1967 book The Ghost in the Machine. In it, Koestler criticises the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution—beneficial random mutations preserved by natural seleciton—as ...
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1answer
60 views

Why would pedophilia exist?

From an evolutionary perspective, why would anyone ever be sexually exited by small children who could not possibly have started puberty? Is it a confusion between some combination of sexual and non-...
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Is Race Really a Social Construct? [duplicate]

It is a well known fact that eugenics before it was done away with tippy toed around the pseudo-science abyss. Yet, the hidden rule to only seek to prove how similar humans are seems to me as a way to ...
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1answer
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Skin Colour in “Northern” Regions of The earth

Question: Netflix has recently produced a two-part miniseries, The Evolution of US, that examines the evolution of "man". The topic of of human skin colour was covered and it was stated that 'lighter ...
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Why is the sperm treated as a foreign object by the female's body?

I've always had this doubt, isn't it an evolutionary disadvantage that the sperm is treated as a foreign object by the uterus of the woman, and that immune responses are initiated against the sperm? ...
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Evolutionary pressure related to social structures as opposed to natural selection

I'm interested in the effect social structures and dynamics have on evolutionary pressure, as opposed to natural selection. Has any research been published about the evolutionary effect of social ...
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1answer
36 views

Why is melanin black? [duplicate]

I understand that the function of melanin is to protect individuals from sunlight, and that people living in sun exposed areas are darker due to increased production of melanin. But why is the melanin ...
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2answers
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quadrupedalism in human [closed]

Recently I saw a BBC documentary on a family from a remote village in turkey where one couple has 18 children and out of which 5 are walking on four legs. These children are 28-34 yr old & have ...
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1answer
27 views

Does drying meat in the sun make digesting it easier?

I was looking into the relationships between man, fire, brain size, evolution, etc. and I learned about other methods of food preparation that eased digestion, but did not use fire. Then, this ...
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What is the evolutionary advantage of getting hard nipples when being aroused? Why can they even be stimulated sexually?

I try to understand the evolutionary advantages of the body reactions of nipples and penises/vaginas. I'm confused, because I can explain the evolutionary advantage in a logical & consistent way ...
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2answers
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Why don't vegetables taste good despite being healthful?

This is more a question about the evolution of taste than about the chemical composition of vegetables. Why don't vegetables taste good despite being healthful?
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2answers
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What is meant by “50% related to sibling” versus “95% related to chimpanzee”?

Obviously I am more related to my sister than to a chimpanzee, so what do these different percentages actually refer to? Here is my preliminary research: https://genetics.thetech.org/ask-a-...
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What makes red meat less healthy than seafood, after millennia of evolving to eat meat? [closed]

We are told that red meat is carcinogen; fish and white meat are not. What make us not "compatible" to red meat after thousands of years of evolution and meat eating, and yet seafood is opposite ?
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Are mosquitoes actually louder than similar flying insects, or have we evolved to hear them?

I've come across many flying insects smaller than the common housefly, but (anecdotally) the only such species that I can hear from an appreciable distance away is the mosquito, with its distinctive ...
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Why do we have a protruding nose?

What is the evolutionary reason behind a protruding nose ? And why don't monkeys and chimpanzees, for example, have it? Some say that the large brain in the skull kicks out the nose. But why do we ...
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What is the occipital bun, precisely (in Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens)?

I've read that the occipital bun is an anatomical feature of the Neanderthals, and only because modern humans (except sub-Saharan Africans) carry a few percent of Neanderthal DNA due to ...
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Is Rh factor an evidence for human evolution from primates?

The Rhesus Factor is an important blood antigen that is found on Rhesus macaque and human being. So is this an evidence for human evolution from monkeys. ???
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Are there any open phylogenetic projects that don't require coding to make a contribution

I am stay at home learner, not pursuing education formal education and currently doing a part time job. I've however completed masters in biotechnology and I'm studying to pursue PhD in molecular ...
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Does natural selection in humans work out in “best outcomes” or do subjective irrational biases affect it?

Does natural selection in humans work out in "best outcomes" or do subjective irrational biases affect it? That is, given "fully rational" reproducers, the gene pool would get increasingly better and ...
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Why does the right bundle branch not have any terminal filaments in the IVS of the human heart?

Dubin's "Rapid Interpretation of EKG's" briefly describes this part of human physiology but doesn't explain the reason behind it. Is there a specific advantage of the human heart having this ...
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1answer
45 views

Can the environment affect genes and adaptation in offspring?

I recently read several articles that believe that environment can affect gene expression and this change will transfer down to the children. Some theorists believe that random mutations are more rare ...
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1answer
75 views

Will humans ever evolve to cope with the rising temperature of our planet? [closed]

I am a complete layman of this field(Biology).I went through an article about global temperature rise and i wanted to ask this question. Federal science agencies announced Wednesday that 2016 was ...
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0answers
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Why do humans enjoy spices? [duplicate]

It seems that many flavor and food preferences can be explained in the context of regulating feeding behavior. Generally, organisms tend to enjoy those foods which are optimal for them to feed on and ...
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2answers
101 views

Is happiness or pleasure an evolutionary programming for survival?

I think that whenever we feel some kind of happiness or pleasure it is always related with improving our chances of survival, that might be temporarily or in long term, might be of only of an ...
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Hairlessness in humans [duplicate]

I was wondering if there is a scientific consensus about why humans have evolved to have relatively little hair in comparison to other apes. I may be conflating, but the only explanation I can come ...
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2answers
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Evolution - The ability to control ear muscles

Among animals the ability to control ear muscles is pretty common, but only a few humans have the ability. Is it because we in general lost this ability ?
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Around what time did dark skin disappear from Europe?

As Europeans gradually became lighter skinned, there would have been people that still had dark skin. Around what time period did Europeans become completely light skinned?
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2answers
108 views

Why do I have two kinds of pubic hair? [closed]

I feel silly even asking this question, but there's a quirk of my anatomy that I find interesting, and I can find nothing about it online. I am looking for information on whether this quirk is ...
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2answers
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Why haven't humans evolved to fly? [duplicate]

Why haven't we evolved the ability to fly? I mean, it is advantageous when you take into account how many predators and parasites exist on the land, and there may be less or no dangers from birds up ...
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1answer
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Is cruelty a human instinct? [closed]

I had started studying human behaviour and human instincts a few months ago, earlier the question was raised after seeing human behaviour with animals (his prey). Animals hunt their prey for eating, ...
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1answer
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Proof of Darwinism( fossil records) [closed]

What logic do anti-darwinists provide for refuting the proofs( by proof I mean the fossil records) of darwinism ? Is it the missing links? If yes then , what do they make of the fossils which are ...
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1answer
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What is the biological/evolutionary advantage to baldness? [duplicate]

Male pattern baldness is a common genetic trait. With a distinctive pattern/ density gradent (as apposed to general old age thinning as the body ages) Hair has an advantage of protection from the sun/...
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0answers
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What natural defence mechanism does the human body have against lead poisoning?

It is known that lead ion takes place of necessary ions, like calcium, in the body, but does not perform their task, hence wrecking the system. So how does the body eventually recognise this threat ...
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1answer
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Why hasn't evolution gotten rid of the appendix yet?

A figure I have recently stumbled upon suggests that about 7% of the world population will, or have, had appendicitis in their lifetime. Cutting out the appendix was impossible until very recently. ...
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Are there examples of sexual selection effecting traits in both sexes equally?

I've had an ongoing interest in the evolution of human furlessness and this appears to be a notable example of attributing a trait that effects both sexes to sexual selection. Darwin suggested it was ...
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1answer
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Evolution of the (phenotypic) facial features of the indigenous people of (west/central) Africa

I am not even remotely an expert in this field; I just got curious, so help me. First of all, let us remove all human sentimental attributes from this question (such as connotations of scientific ...
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21 views

Population size and number of generations along lineage of humans

I'm looking for estimates of the population size and number of generations at each stage of the lineage of humans. I.e., I'd like to fill out the following table. ...
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What percentage of a complete Denisovan genomes lives on in the union of the sets of overlapping pieces in extant humans

In studies like this one mapping out distributions around the world or the analysis described in this article (suggesting a contribution from a non-Denisovan but Denisovan-like unidentified hominin to ...
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ABO-antigen and winter vomiting disease

If the NON-SECRETOR phenotype of ABO-antigen is protective against winter vomiting disease, how come 80% of the European population and most of the population world-wide are SECRETORS?
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Why do humans retain two kidneys?

If one kidney can function just as well as two, why do humans have two kidneys? The cost of growing two kidneys must surely be quite high, especially since one kidney is all that is really needed.
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How did some humans evolve to be white?

It is theorized that humans originated from Africa and migrated to Europe. A recent DNA reconstruction of a skeleton from Cheddar, England states that a man had black skin. To the question of why ...
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Carbohydrate diet and dental health

I read that human started carbohydrates rich diet after adopting agriculture before that meat was main energy source which has comparatively less carbohydrate. High carbohydrate started destroying ...
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1answer
55 views

How much time does it take for an evolutionary change to take place?

I think I've read that in humans, it takes either 50,000 or 100,000 years for a mutation to fixate. But I've looked into the books I thought it mentioned it and I can't find it. I know there are ...
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Do all living humans literally descend from one ape?

In the opening chapter of Sapiens, Harari writes: Just 6 million years ago, a single female ape had two daughters. One became the ancestor of all chimpanzees, the other is our own grandmother. Is ...
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EVOLUTION OF MAN QUESTION [closed]

I have a few questions concerning man's origins . Man has 10 vital Organs and support systems. yes or no? Man needs all 10 of his vital Organs or he dies. yes or no? . Either those 10 vital organs ...
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Books about human evolution

I want to read some books about human evolution and about other extincted types of humans. The book "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" writes about history of agricultural and scientific ...
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383 views

Why don't humans typically drink human milk after infancy?

Does any human culture routinely do this? Typically taboos have some evolutionary basis. So what would that be? Does any mammal drink the milk of its own species, besides nursing?
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1answer
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Endogenous retroviral insertions as evidence for evolutionary relationships among primates

A synopsis of a 2005 paper in PlosBiology by Yohn et al. states that: Searching the genomes of a subset of apes and monkeys revealed that the retrovirus had integrated into the germline of ...
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1answer
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A missing endogenous retrovirus in humans, but present in gorillas and chimpanzees?

I have read an article about an endogenous retrovirus called PtERV1. It is present in gorillas and chimps, but is missing in humans (original study here). According to the article, this retrovirus is ...
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How many ERVs found in Lebedev's study?

There is this image from a studdy made by Lebedev. How to understand what we see in this picture? The technical language in the study is too complicated for me. But I really want to know how many ...