Questions tagged [human-evolution]

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

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What factors led to the evolution of humans in Africa rather than the New World?

I learnt at the zoo that the ancestor of monkeys existed in the Africa/South America supercontinent, but then took different paths once the two continents diverged: Old World monkeys lost their ...
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Why are there multiple eye colors?

Human eyes vary in color between people. Why are there multiple colors? Any continuous property of the body, like arm length, varies during the evolution, there are changes between it's value of a ...
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Has human intelligence evolved as a costly male signal?

In this video at 42:06, Daniel Dennett posits that our big brains are: The human artifice or version of the peacock's tail. Peacocks have sexual dimorphism - it's males who exhibit the costly ...
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What is the scientific consensus on whether humans were monogamous during the period of evolutionary adaptedness?

The book The Mating Mind by Geoffrey Miller asserts, as part of its thesis, that humans were not monogamous in the environment of evolutionary adaptedness. I found the book vivid and persuasive, but ...
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Does Japan have an ageing population? [closed]

I often hear Japan has a declining/ageing population. It seems to be the prime example for this kind of thought. Yet after moving to Japan and after having been there for travel several times already. ...
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Does eating hard food really cause wisdom teeth to erupt properly?

According to the article Bad molars? The origins of wisdom teeth, in our evolutionary history, people were eating harder food like nuts and had unimpacted wisdom teeth. Later, that article appears to ...
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117 views

Why do women process oxygen faster than men?

https://www.newsweek.com/women-are-better-athletes-men-study-about-gender-fitness-says-736047 is the source that I use. Is it reliable? What's the evolutionary advantage to women being naturally more ...
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Do pale skinned people show other low light adaptations?

So, pale skin is, fundamentally, an adaptation to living in low light conditions. Pros: reduce energy spent on producing melanin, increase vitamin D production. Cons: more vulnerable to sunburns and ...
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Brain capacity of Cro-magnon man vs Modern man

Cranial capacity of Cromagnon man was about 1650cc whereas average cranial capacity in modern human is 1450cc. My question is, why during the course of evolution, a reduction in cranial capacity is ...
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Human evolutionary innovation for rapidly restoring glycogen, and link to cardiovascular disease?

I'm a physicist, not a biologist, but I'm interested in human evolution and its link to the physiology of endurance sports. Circa August 2019, I read an article in the newspaper whose contents I'll ...
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What are the genetic basis for further classification of human beings? [closed]

According to anthropology, human race further gets divided in Caucasians, Mongoloids, Aboriginals, Eskimos, Red Indidians and Negro's. How far, is this classification, though maybe anthropologically ...
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Does it make sense to classify all humans in a single species?

For what biological reasons do we consider that all human beings belong to the same species? A Thai and a Nigerian share a common ancestor that is 140,000 years old (see Gravel et al. 2010 and this ...
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What are the evolutionary reasons behind men being taller than women?

Human men and women are sexually dimorphic: there are some phenotypic differences between men and women. Men being taller than women is an accurate stereotype. Overall, men are on average 13 ...
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What are the sufficient criteria that make an entity a living homo sapiens? [closed]

When I say criteria I mean like x biological functions or y genetics. If it were to be appearance,anatomy. A corpse completely looks like a man. Moreover a person who has had their 4 limbs amputated, ...
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1answer
59 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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250 views

Sex and human's sexual urge.

Why is it necessary for humans to feel pleasure while having sex? Why is it that other animals don't need to experience it? Is it evolutionary ? Why do we mate for pleasure when it's so energy wasting/...
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101 views

Is the Lucy fossil really what scientists claim it is?

The New Scientist has an article talking about how a baboon bone was found in the Lucy skeleton. Creationist sites like this, https://christiannews.net/2015/04/23/evolutionary-embarrassment-part-of-...
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Is there a name for survival of the fittest in a single family? [closed]

Imagine a case where the children of a bird each have a 50% chance of being born blind. But the bird always has on average 4 chicks. So on average 2 will be blind and 2 sighted. (Perhaps this could ...
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Why has reproduction evolved as a choice? [closed]

From an evolutionary perspective, the purpose of an organism is to pass along its genes through reproduction. However, as humans we have a choice if we want to reproduce or not. The good feeling from ...
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Have humans evolved to live longer?

Do people live longer only because of better hygiene, medicine, society etc or also because they're slowly evolving to live longer under same circumstances?
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Is it tautological that all living humans descended from a single male and single female human ancestor?

Many popular science articles cite high sequence conservation of mitochondrial DNA and the Y chromosome among living people as evidence that all humans are descended from a single male and single ...
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Rationale behind Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA)?

My main question is this - I heard Richard Dawkins say in a video that after 1000s of years, any given individual alive today will be either an ancestor to ALL of the humans (in that future time) or ...
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Books about human evolution [closed]

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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Why do we develop addiction? [duplicate]

Recently, while on the train, I saw a person not holding the handrails on purpose. He decided that playing a game with no outcome whatsoever was more important than his safety. In fact, he bumped into ...
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Why are (some) human men sexually attracted to female breasts?

Many human men are sexually attracted to female breasts. Is there an evolutionary reason for this?
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What proportion of the people who lived 1000 years ago have genetic descendants alive today?

For context, I've been wondering about this for a paper I'm writing (in philosophy). Really, I want to figure out the chances that someone alive today will end up still having descendants 1000 years ...
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How to interpret a phenotypic frequency density plot

I just read a paper that ran an evolutionary agent-based simulations aimed to test how genetic preparedness and social learning affect survival in various environmental conditions (changing ...
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Why has the human eye evolved to become sensitive only to the visible light? [duplicate]

The human eye has evolved to become sensitive only to visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Why? Why is infrared vision disfavoured for us by evolution but not for some other animals? I am not ...
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How do crossbreeding with Neanderthals affect the genetic difference between ethnic groups?

I do not know exactly how much Neanderhtal/Denisova DNA non-subsaharan peoples carry around today, but I have heard figures of less than two percent in Europe, up to three percent in East Asia and ...
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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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Why does it seem like there is very little disparity between races in regards to intelligence

There is numerous biological difference between human races, from height to average BMI to various organ size. Oddly however there is very little disparity in regards to intelligence (when accounting ...
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Is the “freeze response” really a remain of our reptilian past?

I'm looking for any reliable sources relating the common-known human reaction on a stressful situation, humans sometimes freeze and can not move. From some materials found on the internet I got that ...
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102 views

Evolution versus Creationism [closed]

If nature, or any aspects of it, are intelligently designed, how could we tell? How would we be able to test that hypothesis?
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Are genes for producing heterozygotic twins sweeping?

The tendency for a woman to ovulate two or more eggs at once, which may results in a heterozygotic multiple births is the way I understand it at least to some part genetic. At least since the ...
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why is multiple blunt end repairs for one sample necessary

when is it necessary to prepare more than one blunt end repair library from an ancient DNA Extract? and what does it achieve?
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Have humans finished evolving?

I thought that massive changes among organisms are over long periods of time. This is caused by, to my knowledge: Evolutionary pressure Natural/artificial selection Mutations Genetic drift Will ...
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Why do humans grow taller than their ancestors?

I'm taking the Introduction to Genetics And Evolution course and in the first lecture it was said that: Evolution in a biological sense is simply a change through time. And very importantly, that ...
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Are humans the only species who drink milk as adults?

I was drinking a glass of milk the other day and that got me thinking that no other animal to my knowledge drinks milk past their infant stages. One could argue that cats might but it isn't good for ...
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Is evolution a fact? [closed]

Richard Dawkins in one of his videos says that Evolution is a fact and not just a theory. He goes on to say that man and chimpanzees both evolve from apes. Is this correct (Is evolution a fact and ...
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How could humans have interbred with Neanderthals if we're a different species?

To be clear, I'm not doubting that homo sapiens and homo neanderthalensis did interbreed: of that much I'm convinced. Within the past few years I've seen an upcropping of pop-sci articles discussing ...
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If an ethnic group holds nearly 100% of a particular haplogroup, does it means that people who have this haplogroup are their descendants?

Let me give you a hypothetical example. If the Egyptians were 100% E3b1, and the Levantines 50%, and the Anatolians 25%. Does this indicate that the Levantines and Anatolians are descended from ...
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Online phylogenetic tree of human lineages

I am looking for a source of information about the diversity of human lineages and their relationships. With a quick google search it is easy to find this type of tree A perfect online resource ...
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Do the normal in vivo spatial growth controls, not apply to hair follicles?

The common changes in hair growth are linked to changes in the size enlarging anagen follicles achieve. According to the accepted science in tissue physiology, the in vivo growth of the anagen ...
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135 views

Would prehistoric humans have been considered negroid or australoid by modern standards? [closed]

What are your thoughts about this? For myself I think that the subject statement is rather obvious isn’t it, since Africans, & especially Australian Aboriginals, have the most archaic features &...
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Why do some people have a fear of depths?

I'm asking this question on this website because I want an evolutionary reason rather than a reason of how the human brain works. In one episode of "The Nature of Things," I heard David Suzuki say he ...
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Does natural selection in humans work out in “best outcomes” or do e.g. subjective biases affect it?

Does natural selection in humans work out in "best outcomes" or do subjective biases affect it? That is, how much is natural selection "guided by nature" and "guided by humans"? E.g. given "fully ...
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If mammals evolved to be nocturnal, then how did we get so staunchly diurnal in such short time?

Much of human health revolves around sleeping well through the night. We know about circadian and body temperature rhythms which make us sleepy at night, peak melatonin production in the middle of ...
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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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How can skull size difference alone explain behavioral differences using evolutionary theory?

I just started Robert Sapolsky lectures series on Youtube on Human behavior biology, and on the second lecture, at this point, he is explaining how evolutionary biology can be used to predict lots of ...