Questions tagged [human-evolution]

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

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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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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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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 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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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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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
103 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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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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238 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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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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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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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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132 views

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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121 views

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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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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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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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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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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375 views

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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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
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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 [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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1answer
567 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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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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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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3answers
117 views

How do our sensory organs work automatically without our conscious effort? [closed]

I wonder how our different sensory organs (e.g., eyes, nose, ears, etc.) work automatically without our conscious efforts or without our command. We don't have to tell our eyes how to see, our ears ...
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Is there enough vitamin B12 in lakes, rivers and ponds, for humans not to need to take supplements?

Vegans will often say that having an animal-free diet is best for our health and is actually the diet that humans should be eating to function optimally. To which meat eaters will raise the issue of ...
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“50% of the variance in antisocial phenotypes is the result of genetic factors” means what?

How can i understand the following sentence: Overall, the conclusions reached by these studies have been highly consistent in showing that approximately 50% of the variance in antisocial phenotypes ...
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1answer
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Are genes known or at least conjectured to evolve cyclically ?

I observed recently that some people born the same year in not too distant areas (say, in the same country whose size is not too big, like France) share similar phenotypical features, for example they ...
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1answer
705 views

Why do we need to close eyes to sleep?

Out of all our sensory organs, we need to stop taking signals explicitly only from eyes in order to sleep. Even interestingly, those who are not able to receive signals from eyes (i.e., the visually ...
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Is there any evolutionary significance of downward facing nostrils in human beings?

The nostrils in apes and monkeys are almost at the front, but in humans nostrils (external nares) face downwards. Also a lot of non-primate mammals like goats have nostrils at the front. Is it the ...
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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 ...
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Why did the face of human species changed so much during the course of its evolution?

I recently watched this video which showed the evolution of facial features of the modern man https://youtu.be/-69K7E0UlBI I'm wondering what evolutionary advantage did we get by having our face ...
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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 ...
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How did ancient human deal with biting insects like mosquitos? [closed]

How did early humans, once hairless, but before clothes and ointments. I understand that hairlessness was an advantage against parasites but it it seems like a disadvantage antagonistic for mosquitos ...
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1answer
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DNA Analysis (AncestryDNA)

A recent1 AncestryDNA commercial highlights a customer who discovered that she was 26% Native American. Credit: ancestry.com/dna You can see the full commercial here. My question is, how can this ...
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Are humans getting taller, shorter, staying the same height?

This post stems from this question, and specifically this article, which was provided within a response. From what I gathered, the article attempts to make a correlation between the size of a ...
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Why do scientists hold that there is no human race? [duplicate]

It has always seemed odd to me to say that there are no human races when there are clear features that set one group of people apart from another, like skin colour and average height. It is said that ...
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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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Sub-saharan africans (Andamanese, Semang) have the ancestral hair-type, do they also have pediculus humanus capitis lice?

Do humans with the ancestral hair-type also have pediculus humanus capitis lice? Pubic hair lice, Pthirus pubis, are adapted morphologically to cling onto coarse body hair, and originates from ...
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In this poisson distribution in olfactory receptor (OR) pseudogenes neutral mutation rate, how is the mean used?

The 2005 paper A comparison of the human and chimpanzee olfactory receptor gene repertoires describes a poisson distribution, with a mean of 0.701 From that mean, how is the gene disruption rate of ...
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Why did humans get rid of their tail in the evolution?

Most mammals seem to have tails. Even human embryos start out with a tail. But here we are with nothing but a tail bone that hurts when we trip over backwards. What is it good for? Why don't humans ...
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HAR1 speedy mutation

From wiki: Human accelerated region 1 (HAR1) is a segment of the human genome found on the long arm of chromosome 20. It is a Human accelerated region. [..] These 49 regions represent parts of the ...
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Is Homo sapiens the only extant species of genus “Homo”?

Is Homo sapiens the only species of genus "Homo" that survived?
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Why do humans not have a powerful sense of smell?

It seems like a useful ability to be able to detect many different things about, say, another organism. A lot of mammals have this ability. Why not humans? Did we evolve it out or never develop it?
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Are there hyoid bones of Homo habilis in the fossil record?

Hyoid bones have been found for Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis, Australopithecus afarensis, and some more hominids. Have hyoid bones been found from Homo habilis? References: Capasso, L., E ...