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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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82
votes
5answers
26k views

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 ...
34
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7answers
12k views

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 ...
36
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1answer
7k views

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 ...
85
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6answers
29k views

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 ...
3
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1answer
130 views

In reconstructions, how are various shapes of facial features determined from skull only?

I have seen reconstructions (with skin, eyes, muscles etc) of some first humans based on skulls and skeletons. But how can the shape of nose (protruding part), shape of eyelids, shape of eyebrow, ...
2
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1answer
5k views

Why are the genomes of Humans 99.5% the same?

Human's DNA sequence is said to be roughly 99.5% equal. As far as I understand, this means that if I walked up to you and compared our DNA, the sequence of base pairs would be 99.5% the same. My ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Why are humans so variable in appearance

Most animals look almost identical to their peers. To distinguish lions we record the spots on their face; with whales we look at the blemishes on their tail or flukes. In other words, we have to try ...
9
votes
3answers
702 views

Human genetic diversity in Africa in comparison with the rest of the world

Background The claim ... Most of the genetic diversity in humans is in Africa ... is quite common. On Biology.SE, it is easy to find posts that make this claim. Consider for example: Do humans ...
4
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2answers
136 views

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-...
0
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1answer
977 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
694 views

Why don't we keep evolving until we are super-human? [duplicate]

Humans (homo sapiens) have been on the earth for thousands of generations, and we have kept evolving throughout that time. Why don't we just keep evolving so that, let's say, we live for an average of ...
2
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2answers
3k views

Why aren't there any transitional animals today?

You have probably heard this question before and in different formats. Usually, it is used as a "proof" to disprove the theory of evolution. I understand that the apes we descended from are not the ...
33
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2answers
5k views

How do we know the human species arose in Africa?

I have heard (from multiple sources) that the current scientific opinion is that the human species arose in Africa. What are the reasons for this opinion? If possible, simple and non-technical ...
11
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
13
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2answers
893 views

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 ...
9
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2answers
324 views

How was the resemblance between apes and humans explained in pre-Darwinian biology?

Humans and apes have somewhat obvious similarities, these must have been apparent to natural philosophers before the possibility of a common ancestry was first proposed in the mid-1800's. These ...
6
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1answer
2k views

Do human populations differ in core body temperature?

Human body temperature is a very complex and tightly regulated system. Hypothermia or fever of only 1-2K (i.e. changes of about 5%) already cause major symptoms and changes of 3-4K (i.e. about 10%) ...
1
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2answers
285 views

How quantitative is the theory of evolution right now? [closed]

We developed complex structures like eyes and brain, whose mechanisms rely on specific species of molecules and relevant chemical reactions. But we did not develop an enhanced night vision, the ...
23
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3answers
6k views

Why do humans suffer anxiety when they view “Trypophobia trigger images”?

When you type Trypophobia Trigger Images in google, you see a variety of images with irregular lumps and bumps among some more gory images. Many people report that these images induce phobia like ...
4
votes
1answer
855 views

Do the claims in this paper have any degree of validity?

The paper The waiting time problem in a model hominin population talks about a problem of waiting time, etc. Is the methodology of this numerical simulation, and the conclusion right or is it wrong? ...
2
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2answers
332 views

Questions about the evolution theory [closed]

I'm not sure whether I can ask those questions about evolution in one post or should separate them into multiple posts, but I am just curious about the evolutiontheory. (I am new here) Sorry for my ...
1
vote
1answer
471 views

Why do depleted blood veins seem to appear near the surface (or skin) more frequently than blood vessels and arteries?

I could be wrong, but it seems like blue veins generally exist closer to the surface of the body rather than red blood vessels and arteries. And I'm also wondering if this is evolutionary because ...
5
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1answer
553 views

What was the evolutionary reason for cross lateralization of the brain?

In the human brain the right hemisphere controls the left side of the body and the left hemisphere controls the right side of the body. What led to this development? Why doesn't the left side of the ...
5
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3answers
431 views

Is there evolution in humans since the first homo sapiens sapiens

Has the human species changed since first defined as homo sapiens sapiens? I'm asking this question partly because I'm wondering how we might evolve next.
3
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1answer
735 views

Why did evolution make people's skin dark?

Why do people living in the equator have dark skin? I know that Melanin acts as a protective biological shield against ultraviolet radiation. But doesn't black absorb all light in a way making the ...
3
votes
1answer
628 views

Fecundity per woman in early humans

The average fecundity per woman varies a lot from country to country. I call average fecundity per woman the average number of born children per woman. In Homo sapiens, what was the average fecundity ...
3
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3answers
287 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
123 views

How did people's liking of ceremonies evolve? [closed]

Habitual group activities are prevalent across many animal species, particularly in mammals, especially in primates. However, I do not see any evolutionary benefit of this. 'Ceremonies' take time, ...
2
votes
2answers
258 views

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 ...
1
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2answers
179 views

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 ...