Questions tagged [human-evolution]

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

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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 ...
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226 views

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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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65 views

Is there any strong factor against human edible plants being widespread and easy to gather?

While many habitats have plants, fruits, nuts and berries available for consumption by humans walking by, most places (if any?) seem to require significantly more effort than simply picking our food ...
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32 views

Correlation between threat and odour, taste

Is there any sort of correlation between threat and taste/smell? Are we evolved such that things which are harmful to life taste and /or smell bad and things(food) which are useful to us taste, smell ...
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54 views

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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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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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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237 views

What evolutionary reason is there for hemolytic disease?

Nowawadays we have methods which allow us to overcome hemolytic disease of newborn or to prevent it to onset. The Rh or Kell conflict, but how is it possible that it is present? Why it haven't ...
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139 views

Lengthening muscles not good from evolutional perspective? Why do we do it with explicit stretching?

Stretching has many advantages, among other things it helps us to be flexible in our movement (which is an advantage?!). But why do we need to actively stretch, it seems that the body wants to ...
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129 views

Why aren't we immune to the “cold” [duplicate]

As far as I know, people suffer from the cold since ever. Why didn't and don't we evolve to resist it?
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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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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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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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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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(secondary) human/primate advantages over other animals? [closed]

I am trying to understand the advantages that humans have over other species, besides what you could call 'sentience-critical'. What I mean by this is, the first set of answers you'll get is "more ...
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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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4k views

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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118 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 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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169 views

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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132 views

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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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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53 views

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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195 views

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 ...
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61 views

Different number of flaps in heart valves

Can anyone tell me why the different valves of heart have different number of flaps is it in any way related to evolution of homo sapiens.
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Is it possible to genetically alter human beings to see parts of the infrared? [duplicate]

Most electron transitions take place in the infrared region,The ability to see this part of the electromagnetic spectrum without reliance on sophisticated technology would have tremendous advantages. ...
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What were the Neanderthal innovations?

At some point the neanderthal and modern human lineages diverged. I'm not sure what exactly their most common recent ancestor was (I see some sources suggesting homo heidelbergensis), but in any case ...
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Why were the earliest humans hunter gatherers instead of fruit eaters living on trees?

How is it that the earliest humans who evolved from primates (who live on trees and mostly eat fruit) became hunter-gatherers (which seems like a harder, more stressful and more dangerous way to find ...
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1answer
223 views

What factors cause males to be more common than females in humans, from an evolutionary perspective? [duplicate]

Fisher's principle states that there should be a 1:1 ratio between males and females born on average for a population. However, if you look at birth statistics your find that boys are slightly more ...
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969 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 ...
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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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31 views

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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Is it possible to have a mechanism to use carbon dioxide as a source of oxygen in human body?

Is it possible to seperate O2 from CO2 and use it for energy In Human? Why Plants and not Humans can do it?
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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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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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131 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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659 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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543 views

Is Race the Result of Microevolution

I've been studying evolution for some time and was wondering whether the emergence of different races is an example of micro evolution within our species? Bonus Question: is it impossible for homo ...
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Why did many species of Homo and their ancestors evolve in East Africa?

One thing I find interesting about the theory of evolution is the idea that Homo Erectus and Habilis evolved in Africa, began to spread around the globe, then was superseded by Homo Sapiens Sapiens ...
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2k views

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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576 views

Neanderthal and modern human population sizes

Are there any estimates of both the modern human and Neanderthal population sizes over the last, say, 100 k years? Since "purebread" Neanderthals are extinct, their population has to hit zero; that ...
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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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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 &...