24 votes
Accepted

Is monogamy a human innate behaviour?

Humans are believed to be mostly serial monogamists with a noticeable components of secret cheating. Serial monogamy means most will have a single partner at a time but will likely have several ...
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  • 13.1k
15 votes
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Why do we laugh?

Like so much of biology, we just don't know! I'll preface this answer by disappointing you; this answer doesn't entirely answer your question. That's because this is a pretty big mystery in research ...
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  • 11.2k
12 votes

Is monogamy a human innate behaviour?

The easy answer is simply, no. The longer answer is that it depends on whatever cultural norms that are practiced in a given area at a certain time. Often powerful men in history had multiple ...
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12 votes

What makes humans omnivores, and not herbivores?

As the answers given already point out, humans are generally considered omnivores that are able to use food sources available to them opportunistically. Apart from that, there actually is not much to ...
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  • 2,867
8 votes

Are Italians genetically separated from other Europeans?

No, Italy is not a Genetic island but Sardinia is; There is no such thing as a genetic Italy or an Italian (genetically); Italian groups (North Italians / Central Italians / South Italians / ...
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  • 81
7 votes

What makes humans omnivores, and not herbivores?

The simple answer is humans are omnivores – physiologically – because we have the capability to digest both plant and animal matter. Many humans are behavioural omnivores as well, consuming both as ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Can rigor mortis change the anatomical position in which a person died?

Rigor mortis does not cause movement. It causes rigor (Latin for stiffness.) This is only a comparison, but think of it this way. Superglue doesn't shrink or change the shape of the connection of the ...
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5 votes
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How is it known that Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis interbred?

Although this question makes some false assumptions, it is fundamentally interesting as the methodology used is neither simple or easy to understand. It is not my area, but I have found it especially ...
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  • 22.3k
5 votes
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Is it possible to breed neanderthals through selective breeding?

No, it is not. As you said only 1-4% of non-subsaharan africans' genome is from Neanderthal and it is more or less the same sequences. The entire Neanderthal genome is not present in modern day humans,...
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  • 67.5k
4 votes

Outbreeding depression in humans

Answer below is copy-pasted from the section Do we have documented cases of outbreeding depression? of my answer here. Many cases of inbreeding depression have ...
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  • 67.5k
4 votes

How much of the Neanderthal genome is living on in humans?

Even though individual humans only have around 2-5% Neanderthal genome, it's not the same 2-5% across people. In total, at least 20%, and perhaps as much as 40% of the Neanderthal genome could be ...
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  • 14.1k
4 votes

Is the ratio Brain Mass/Total Mass still considered a valid indicator of intelligence?

Short answer It is mainly synaptic connectivity that determines intelligence, rather than brain size per se. Background For a starters, Albert Einstein, considered to have been a reasonable ...
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  • 51k
4 votes
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Why should the pharyngeal cavity be essential for articulated speech?

This bit of the book Developmental Neuropsychiatry: Fundamentals describes the difference between the oral cavity in humans and other animals. It doesn't refer to Homo habilis in this context, but it ...
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  • 3,197
4 votes
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Is there a reproductive barrier between Khoisan and other humans?

Check the book "Genetic Nature/Culture: Anthropology and Science Beyond the Two-Culture Divide" edited by Alan H. Goodman, Deborah Heath, M. Susan Lindee. Page 205 states that that is a myth started ...
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4 votes
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What were the three dinosaur evolutions and do they imply that bipedalism could have evolved multiple times in hominins?

"Dinosaur", when used properly, refers to a clade. There's no way for a clade to evolve multiple times, or even to really evolve at all as something that happens; it's just a name for a ...
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  • 35.1k
3 votes

Is monogamy a human innate behaviour?

I just read a book on the Evolution of Sex and one of the questions was why primates have lost the estrous cycle. The thought was that the sexual desire of the female anytime rather then periodically ...
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  • 27
3 votes

What makes humans omnivores, and not herbivores?

There are several lines of evidence. Behavior, we regularly eat meat. This is the one that matters most, omnivore is a behavioral classification. All humans societies eat meat, a few eat little else ...
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  • 13.1k
3 votes

Why do we laugh?

It is not known for sure. But I find Hurley and Dennett's theory very convincing. Our brains are engaged full time in real-time (risky) heuristic search, generating presumtpions about what will be ...
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  • 3,268
3 votes

Many black people I've met have bigger lips than white people, why?

Regard this one as a comment I prefer to cite some text form this website instead of providing the link only (as it could be removed). In general, this pattern can be observed across the planet ...
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  • 2,340
3 votes

Is monogamy a human innate behaviour?

No, they are not. Polygyny, polyandry and group marriage are, or have been, practiced in various cultures. Polyamory and other forms of non-monogamy are practiced. There are estimates that four to ...
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  • 546
3 votes

Can canines communicate with each other using gaze direction?

It is hypothesized that the starkness of white sclera against darker colors of the pupil and iris is a unique mutation in primates that have become prevalent in human beings because it enhanced our ...
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  • 1,634
3 votes

Evolution: what were we doing for 100.000 years?

I can think of two factors that could explain why a civilization took so long to appear despite humans having fully developed their capabilities. Civilization is built into previous achievements: ...
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  • 467
2 votes

What makes humans omnivores, and not herbivores?

We are not herbivorous because our digestive system is too short. Humans do not have many of the features required to digest plant matter efficiently. We do not have a multi chamber stomach like ...
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  • 2,876
2 votes

Can canines communicate with each other using gaze direction?

A new study published in the journal PLoS One compared facial characteristics, gazing behaviors, and sociality of 26 different canid species (including wolves, bush dogs, and Arctic foxes). The ...
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2 votes

The antiquity of man

Try this article as a starting point; Stringer, Chris B., and Peter Andrews. "Genetic and fossil evidence for the origin of modern humans." Science 239.4845 (1988): 1263-1268. It is old, but it ...
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  • 4,970
2 votes

Why do we laugh?

Why do we laugh? The leading research on why we laugh is done by Robert Provine. He has even written several books on the topic. His theory is that laughter was a primitve form of communication that ...
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  • 3,049
2 votes

What is the closest species to humans in animal kingdom?

As someone has mentioned in this question, the closest species not directly linked to the Homo genus are the chimpanzees and the bonobos. Around 6 million years ago, humans diverged from both chimps ...
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  • 243
2 votes

Implications of what the discovery of Naia means

The discovery strengthens the bering strait land bridge hypothesis because if I remember right they did genetic analysis and her ancestors were almost certainly east asian. As for opposing migration ...
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  • 5,288
2 votes
Accepted

Earliest ancestor of humans who could integrate into modern society

Interesting question. The organism would have to be monogamous, that's for sure, otherwise it would be too competitive and it would be a beast - as chimps are. Chimps couldn't integrate into the ...
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2 votes

If an ethnic group holds nearly 100% of a particular haplogroup, does it means that people who have this haplogroup are their descendants?

Short answer: No. If populations A and B share a haplogroup it does not imply that population A is B's ancestor, or population B is A's ancestor. No present-day population is the descendant of any ...
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