- Diego Sebastian Mahecha added an answer:54Are individuals "better" adapted?Is it correct to say such phenotype is better adapted? I was told that all current species are adapted to their environments, therefore, adjectives as better or less adapted are wrong. However there are a lot of researchers using such terms in the literature.
Since there is evolutionary chaos, any specie would evolve up to certain limits with unpredictable results. Also life and its characteristics appear as an emergent property of the system rather than one imposed in the system by external influences. Here I share with you a recent article of my own authorship, where it demonstrates that the probability of life tends to zero than to one and it includes more details about similar topics.Following
- Diego Sebastian Mahecha added an answer:13Origin of new speciesDoes the formation of new species require a remarkable change in the environment or surroundings?
The terrestrial genetic code existed even before the earth scenario. The new specie not necessarily would make a remarkable change in the surroundings. The code existed even before of what we can consider life, or living matter. Here I share with you a recent article of my own authorship, where it demonstrates that the probability of life tends to zero than to one and it includes more details about similar topics.Following
- Romeu Guimaraes added an answer:99+How did the genetic code evolve?I attached a page of a thought provoking book written by A. E. Wilder-Smith and published in 1981. Does anyone know, if his criticism is still valid?
Are there any convincing models, why the genetic code (in the nucleus) of all cells is almost always the same.
Shouldn't it evolve based on currently accepted models? If it does not evolve anymore, how did it evolve in the first place?
Beyond this possible rarity, it is real and some of the basic stuff is found in cosmic materials. So, at least on Earth, it is not rarity. The self-referential model for the genetic code formation seems simple enough to be seriously put to experimental test. Thanks.Following
- Thilina Nethmin De Silva added an answer:8What are the criteria for choosing the right genetic markers in different organisms?
In the research paper I am reading, they used ND3 gene and cyt-b gene to be markers for studying bird populations but used COI gene for parasitic insects, so I was wondering what the criteria for choosing the markers are.
In my experience, mitochondrial genes give better resolution between species within a genus, or in population studies. But they mess up deeper nodes. So if you're going for a generic study or above make sure that you use nuclear genes. A good consideration would be to check for availability of the gene sequences in GenBank when deciding what markers you are using. That would help you reduce effort and lower your budget. You can use sequences developed by others and work on taxa that are missing on Genbank. Hope this comment helps. Good luck!Following
- Vladimir A. Kulchitsky added an answer:21Why does the H. naledi exhibit this dental morphology?
What is the reason for size and shaped of the canines and premolars relationship compared with other hominids?
Thank you Marc for the explanation some differences in Dutch-speaking and English spelling. Because sometimes there are funny situations. As with the interpretation of the archaeological finds. For example, I know that the most valuable finds for archaeologists in the ancient dumps occur. And in regions where there were local disaster (Pompeii, for example). But no one will make a conclusion - let more landfills and disasters for future historians.Following
- Anthony G Gordon added an answer:87Darwin's Theory of Evolution: How to reconcile religious teaching with evolution? What is your view on this?Charles Robert Darwin (1809–1882) was a British naturalist and geologist, famous for his contributions to the theory of evolution. Darwin recognized that all living species have descended from common ancestors in a timely manner. Together with Alfred Russel Wallace, he released a joint publication in which he introduced his scientific theory that stipulates that such a branching pattern of evolution has been ensued from a process that he named “natural selection”.
In 1859, Darwin published his Theory of Evolution in his famous book “On the Origin of Species”, overcoming the scientific rejection pertaining to earlier concepts of transmutation of species. In the 1870s much of the scientific community and the majority of the general public had accepted evolution as a fact. However, it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis when a broad consensus developed, between the 1930s to the 1950s, and in which natural selection was accepted as the basic mechanism of evolution.
Charles Robert Darwin’s Theory of Evolution – How to reconcile religious teaching with evolution?
Any supposed conflict between religion and evolution was sorted out over two centuries ago by Darwin, Erasmus that is, in his Zoonomia. As a favor to religious persons who have problems with evolution, I published the relevant extract in Neurology.Following
- Fatemeh Farsi added an answer:4Can anybody tell me how phytoplasma can survive in two different ecological niche?
Phytoplasma can survive in insect vector and plant host. These niches seems ecologically different, I need some information about it. could you please help me?
The main information in two books may help you. Both of them have translated to Persian.
Principles of Systematic zoology, Ernst Mayr, Harvard University.
Population, species, & Evolution, Ernst Mayr, Harvard University.Following
- Anthony G Gordon added an answer:24Why neutral theory of molecular evolution is applicable to only finite populations?Neutral theory was proposed by Kimura in contrast to Darwin's selection. Darwin claimed adaptation, but adaptation to extreme environments happens when adequate changes occur at the molecular level due to mutation. In this regard, can we consider neutral theory as an extension to Darwin's theory?
"So the smaller the population the higher the probability of a neutral (or even deleterious) mutation becoming fixed in the population (the founder effect in small populations is an example of the neutral model)."
Isn't this exactly what Wells was getting at?
See my post here on Aug 20 2013.Following
- Kevin Stoda added an answer:99+Is consciousness giving human beings an evolutionary advantage?While having the concept of Self as opposed to others or to the environment seems good for focusing the organism functions on survivability and on DNA spreading, is there any evidence that consciousness has an evolutionary advantage?
To elaborate further, here I'm talking about consciousness as the first person experience. And for "first person experience" I'm not talking about "experience OF first person": conversly, I'm specifically addressing the "experience IN first person MODALITY" (as a corollary to this question, I'm proposing that the word "consciousness" refers to too many concepts). In this view, I consider self-consciousness "experience of first person in first person modality".
If we embrace the assumption that consciousness is always consciousness of something, we still lack an explanation for the nature and the purpose ("what is/what's for" rather than "how is it") of the first person experience, and as such why evolution favored it.
In a lot of other Q/A about self and consciousness people are talking about consctructs that may function even without consciousness. Two examples:
-self: a neural network comprising semantic concepts about the world could very well include the concept of self as a non-other or non-environment, or even a concept of self as an independent organism with such and such features; why do we need consciousness to conceptualize it? Would a machine decoding all the concepts coming across the node of (or the distributed knowledge about) self be considered conscious? We do not have to attribute consciousness to the machine to explain the machine processing its concept of self.
-thinking: processing is certainly different from consciously elaborate something, as all the studies on automatic and subconscious processing show. On the other hand, this point address the free will problem: when we consciously elaborate something, does it mean we are voluntarly doing so? Or are we just experiencing a first person "show" of something already happened subconsciously (as Libet's studies suggest)? Without touching upon the ad infinitum regression problems, this poses the question if consciousness is useful without free will: if the conscious experience is just a screen on which things are projected, no free will is needed and thus what's the whole point of consciousness? As such, do we also need free will for accepting consciousness? If we are working with the least number of assumptions, it seems unlikely the we can accept consciousness.
It seems to me that the general attitude of cognitive theories in a biological information processing/computational theory of mind framework is to try to explain everything without putting consciousness in the equation. And indeed it seems to me that no one is actually putting consciousness in the equation, when explaining cognition or behaviour (at least in modern times).
All in all, it seems to me that all the above reasonings bring the suggestion that consciousness is not needed and has no evolutionary advantage over automatic non-conscious entities. Or that we should make more and more assumptions (such as accepting free will) to make sense of consciousness.
I think that asking why we have consciousness could lead us to understand it better.
I think Louis is correct to some degree that "And so no truth can be said about consciousness". However, how helpful is that in terms of studying consciousness--except to recognize limits?
There are limits in studying anything at some point. The only point passed some points is to assume that there will be a co-morbid relationship between the researcher and the phenomena.
Sundaresan's and Louis' comments also remind me that "'Use of imprecise language may lead to correspondingly imprecise thinking'". Nonetheless, I think we can proceed to explore this more.Following
- William Mayor added an answer:86Is it mathematically possible for evolution to take place given the Earth's age of 4.54 billion years?Is there a mathematical probability explaining the mutation of an amino acid or a single protein polypeptide chain or whatever is the primordial component, to organize itself so as to give the biological and genetic foundation for the diversity of life we have today, given and in consideration of the age of the earth which is about 4.54 billion years old?
I would add in that there seems to be evidence, from the fringes of psychology, that mind seems to be independent of the material realm. If this is so, then it introduces a new factor into how evolution might have occurred.Following
- Qi Chen added an answer:82What is the scientific position on the inheritance of acquired characteristics (Lamarckism)?Scientific articles and papers in the last few years have claimed evidence for the inheritance of acquired characteristics. This evidence is certainly incompatible with the neo-Darwinism synthesis which denied acquired characteristics could be inherited. This is interesting because before the neo-Darwinian synthesis Charles Darwin and many Darwinists such as Herbert Spencer and Ernst Haeckel were also Lamarckists. (1)
There was an article entitled "A Comeback for Lamarckian Evolution?" in 2009 by Emily Singer of the Tufts University School of Medicine which provided evidence "that the effects of a mother’s early environment can be passed on to the next generation." According to the article "The findings provide support for a 200-year-old theory of evolution that has been largely dismissed: Lamarckian evolution, which states that acquired characteristics can be passed on to offspring." (2)
Most of these recent articles and papers claiming evidence for Lamarckian evolution are based on research and studies from epigenetic inheritance. This issue has now been incorporated into science textbooks. Joseph Springer and Dennis Holley have written:
"Lamarck and his ideas were ridiculed and discredited. In a strange twist of fate, Lamarck may have the last laugh. Epigenetics, an emerging field of genetics, has shown that Lamarck may have been at least partially correct all along. It seems that reversible and heritable changes can occur without a change in DNA sequence (genotype) and that such changes may be induced spontaneously or in response to environmental factors - Lamarck's "acquired traits". Determining which observed phenotypes are genetically inherited and which are environmentally induced remains an important and on going part of the study of genetics, developmental biology, and medicine." (3)
Kevin V. Morris in his article "Lamarck and the Missing Lnc" has written "Although biologists have generally considered Lamarck’s ideas to contain as much truth as Kipling’s fables, the burgeoning field of epigenetics has made some of us reconsider our ridicule." (4)
Eva Jablonka and Marion J. Lamb have suggested that epigenetic inheritance and epigenetic control mechanisms have played a key role in all the major transitions in evolution, and this challenges the tenets of the neo-Darwinian synthesis. (5)
In a recent paper on the changes in evolutionary biology (Noble, 2013) has listed case studies supportive of the inheritance of acquired characteristics in multicellular organisms, including mammals and has written there is no longer any reason for the neo-Darwinism synthesis should ignore these studies.
According to Denis Noble:
"Acquired characteristics can be inherited, and in a few but growing number of cases that inheritance has now been shown to be robust for many generations". (6)
So from this evidence, we can gather:
1. That Lamarck was correct about the inheritance of acquired characteristics.
2. The fact that acquired characteristics can be inherited has refuted a tenet of neo-Darwinism which denied the possibility that this could happen.
As the main question asks, what is the current scientific position on this? Are you in agreement about describing epigenetic inheritance as Lamarckian?
1. Peter J. Bowler. (1989). Evolution: The History of an Idea.
3. Joseph Springer, Dennis Holley. (2012). An Introduction To Zoology.
These are interesting discussions. Actually, this is a fast evolving research filed which in my belief is the forefront of epigenetic research. Gametic DNA methylation, histone modification, and RNAs are all potential information carriers for the storage of acquired traits from the ancestral exposure. I'm optimistic to see that one day we'll prove that even the smartness, happiness we obtained during our life experiences could be somehow transgenerationally inherited. I just leave this mark for future discussion.Following
- Veronika Samotskaya added an answer:7Does anybody have song recordings of African Reed Warblers (Acrocephalus baeticatus)?
I am searching for good song recordings of African Reed Warblers. The longer the better. Or maybe somebody works near the habitat of these birds and it's not a big deal to record several minutes for me :)
There are some recordings on xeno-canto.org, but they are way too short for the analysis :(
Pavel, by the way, remember to write me criteria of the recording you use so I can record you something during the next season. Also, as soon as I know, I can ask my collegues, most likely they have a lot of Yellowhammer :)Following
- Raúl E. González-Ittig added an answer:10Any software that could infer stages of hybridization, aside from NewHybrids?I am currently studying hybridization between 2 plant species using dominant genetic markers (ISSR markers), and would like to infer the stages of hybridization (infer with confidence that a certain individual is an F1 hybrid, F2, or backcross). So far the only one I have found is NewHybrids by Anderson and Thompson 2002 (http://ib.berkeley.edu/labs/slatkin/eriq/software/software.htm). Does anyone know if there are other softwares that could do a similar job, probably with a different model or inference method?
Dear Dr Wei Lung Ng
we have tried to use the program Newhybrids and we could not.
We put the glut32.dll file in the same folder of the program. In Windows the program opens, but when we try to use the program it crashes in the graphical interphase option.
Without the graphical interphase we can continue a little bit more; after setting the burnin and the number of iterations after that period, the program crashes with the following message:
unhandled exception: c0000005
At adress: 0040b097
We also tried to install the OpenGl v1.1 software but we couldn't.
We tried all the procedure in a Windows7-64bits computer and in a windowXP-32bits computer.
We follow the instructions of the program, but it doesn´t work
Could you please help us?
Thank you very much.
- András Bozsik added an answer:16Are there evolutionary advantages to having mild schizophrenia?If so, what are they and why might they arise?
It seems that participants and the question owner have abandoned the thread. As you put it above the connotation of this disorder is much more complicated than to arrange it with the expression of “mild schizophrenia”. By the way, I agree with your rephrasing of the question.Following
- Robert Grumbine added an answer:21What does it mean to you that the global conc. of atmospheric CO2 crossed 400 ppm mark for the first time in recorded history?What would be the consequence? Practically is there any way out? Soliciting inputs from the experts.Following
- John H. Graham added an answer:3Is there any experimental or reproducible proof sample about microevolution?
to show in the class as a simple experiment?
And, is there any receiving scientific answer or objection answer of it from the creationist approach?
It would be a bit more work, but you could have your class examine selection against a common mutational strain of Drosophila melanogaster. In my classes, we first create F1 hybrids between mutants (ebony or vestigial) and then follow the population through 5 or more generations in a large population cage. The frequencies of the ebony and vestigial alleles decline from 0.5 over time. Both traits are recessive. Allele frequencies can be estimated if one assumes Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. One can even estimate selection intensities from a long series. This would be a semester-long experiment. Otherwise the suggestion to use bacteria is a good one.Following
- Sai GOPAL D.V.R. added an answer:10Are plant viruses infectious to animals?
Phytoreo viruses are being recognized the insects and able to multiply in insects, it means plant viruses may also multiply in invertebrate animals. In the evolution of the viruses there will be a chance for the above.
Human and animal viruses are being recognized them selves, examples of Zoonotic viruses, but in the plant system it is not like that, enterogroup of viruses attach on the surface of the vegetable leaves, tubers causes the oral entry, but this is not a true transmission. Animal and human cells should recognize by the plant virus then only it become true transmission.Following
- Alexander Makhrov added an answer:7What are the main factors in gradual evolution?
sometimes, we can see ecological pressure effect in gradual evolution and sometimes, a kind of interaction gene-from-gene. Which of them is more important in gradual evolution?
A selection is single factor of gradual evolution (see, for example, famous book: Simpson, G. G. (1944) Tempo and Mode in Evolution. New York: Columbia Univ. Press).Following
- Fangluan Gao added an answer:13Is there a software that can compare two phylogenetic trees to each othe (face to face comparison)?I want to compare the results I obtained using two different phylogenetic trees. I would like to have some lines between the species in the two trees.The phylogenetic trees or the dendograms are constructed using molecular markers.
You could also use TOPD/FMTS: a new software to compare phylogenetic treesFollowing
- Edward Patrick added an answer:16Any discussion of biological evolution applied to life beyond Earth preceding Wallace in 1903?
A quick question about history of science. Alfred Wallace's 1903 book "Man's Place in the Universe" is usually considered the earliest precursor of contemporary astrobiology, since it applies the Darwinian (-Wallacean :o)) theory of biological evolution to life at large, beyond the boundaries of our planet. However, I wonder was there any previous discussion of it in the 1859-1903 period? After all, those were more than 4 decades of very vigorous scientific activity and speculation in the time when most educated people believed in life and intelligence beyond Earth. Do you know of any such reference? (I'm interested in specifically evolutionary discussions, not just any mention of extraterrestrial life, channels on Mars, etc. there were many of those.)
Edgars, the chemistry that is taking place in the upper atmosphere of Titan is occurring due to two-body collisions between particles with mean free paths on the order of kilometers. This is not wet chemistry. No fluids are required. This is in free molecular flow. I'm not sure what this has to do with fluid boundaries that are prevalent, say, at the magma-ocean boundary where mid-ocean ridge basalts (MORBs) are formed and the electron donor chemistry is marvelously pumped by a limitless energy source, but the results at Titan are at pressures many orders of magnitude lower that those occurring in these submarine, fluid environments you are describing.Following
- prof V.S Muralidharan added an answer:90What do you think of MSc and PhD theses written in languages other than English?For non-native speakers it can be easier to write in their mother tongue. Moreover, pride in ones language can play a role. However, the language of science is English and writing science in other languages has, therefore, drawbacks. I wonder how this issue is navigated internationally.
i received an e mail stating thatFollowing
- Ivan V. Zmitrovich added an answer:6What are the origins of atavisms and retrograde evolution in biology and recent organisms?
I am a paleontologist interested by atavisms and retrograde evolution.
I found interesting indications in the literature concerning reverse evolution
in the limbs of snakes, eyes of ostracods, mandibles in collembola, wings in phasmids and ancestral digits of guinea pigs, but no explanations of those phenomena. Could you indicate me some papers about the origin of such retrograde evolutions?
thanks in advance and all the best
Valentin Krassilov, paleobotanist from Israel, is the author of term "retroconvergence" (there are some papers and chapters, particularly in the book "Evolutionary theory and processes: the modern horizons" dedicated to honour of Prof. Eviatar Nevo, 2004). In my book "Epimorphology and tectomorphology of higher fungi" (2010) the phenomenon of retroconvergency is associated to limited field of modules (hystiones) combinatorics.Following
- Caner Aktas added an answer:29Is there a convenient software package for drawing minimum spanning networks for phylogenetic studies?I have struggled to do this with Powerpoint, but am sure that there must be simpler, better, more efficient software programmes for this purpose. Any suggestions? How have others done this? This is a good examples: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3146880/pdf/1471-2148-11-172.pdf
My pleasure, feel free to ask further questions.Following
- Robert A D Cameron added an answer:7Why are common ancestors extinct?Look at any phylogenetic tree we will find the internal nodes. However, do we have the common ancestors which are occupying those internal nodes in the real world? Sometimes we come up with fossils of missing links. But why the common ancestors of the missing links are mostly extinct?
When we deal with terminal branches, species alive now, the question seems to me to be a matter of definition only. An ancestral species may split into two or more lineages over time. We can separate the lineages, but since we do not have the relevant data for the actual ancestor, we do not know to what extent each has changed. It is likely that the various lineages have changed to different extents, as well as in different ways, relative to their common ancestor, especially if selection has influenced which changes persist. Whether you call any terminal lineage "ancestral" depends on your assessment of the amount of change that has happened, and on your sense of how much (or how little) change permits you to regard forms as being the same or different species. And you don't have real data for the actual ancestor!Following
- Livio Provenzi added an answer:4Is there any article on Relationship between DNA Methylation and Human Evolution?
DNA methylation was involved in the evolution of duplicate genes, gene expression, miRNA network stability. Question, Is there any great article to discuss The Relationship between DNA Methylation and Human Evoluation?
- Fangluan Gao added an answer:6How to do extended Bayesian skyline plot analyses?I want to use BEAST to do EBSP analyses with two loci. I open two "input.nex" files in BEAUti to generate a "output.xml" file (In the Trees panel select Extended Bayesian skyline plot for the tree prior), and then run BEAST. I do not know if this is right and I do not know what to do next. I can not construct the trend of demographic history in Tracer just like BSP. I got one log file but two trees files (for each locus), and I do not know how to import both tree files into Tracer.
Hi Yong Shi,
I got it. Thank you for your help.Following
- Shian-Loong Bernard Lew added an answer:33Can pollution trigger evolution in some species?We are all aware of the evils of pollution and its impact on ecology. Among all the destruction it causes, is there any chance that it may actually lead to evolution of some species? Are there any examples?
If evolution implies increased complexity, then the answer is No. If evolution implies fitness to an inferior target, then the answer is Yes. As advanced by devolution hypotheses. Because genetic entropy may "discount" evolution's selection for the fittest (measured to a prior yardstick) due to pollution:
Following from which info-centric views of genetics and evolution may be used to explain:
- Pollution causing mutation in frog -devolution
- The link between pesticides and Alzheimer's-devolution
Just because somethings thrive tells us little of its fitness-.Especially if that fitness is a moving target. If we eat "heavy metal tuna" and become cognitively- impaired how fit are we compared to our ancestors, even though our average life expectancy is higher? Where are we on the global fitness landscape?Following