- Marcel M. Lambrechts added an answer:74What is your definition of 'fitness'?
It's all in the question
Can a culture or cultural aspect be more or less fit or reflect fitness, independent from genetic transmission? E.g. the relative contribution of culture types (e.g. the word OK versus another rarely used word versus a popular or non popular song) in the next generation might be fast and huge? Do culture types have higher fitness than genotypes given that culture transmitted to following generations involve both vertical (via biology-based family relationships) and horizontal transmission (not via biology-based family relationships)?Following
- Mark Andrew Chapman added an answer:7When did rat and mouse diverge?
22.6 MYA is the average according to multiple studies. See http://www.timetree.org/ and type in Mus and RattusFollowing
- 22Why 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?
Hi Claudia, I seem to have missed your answer of Oct.29, sorry about that. I'm correspondig with a few geologists & cavers on naledi's fossilisation. They all say that deliberate burial is very unlikely (of course), and one of them wrote that there's (geological?) evidence of wetlands in the region in the Pliocene. The mudstone indicates that naledi fossilised in stagnant water. Based on comparative anatomy (naledi's curved hand-bones = vertical climbing, & flat humanlike feet = wading and/or swimming), I have no doubt that naledi lived in swamp forests and/or wetlands, parttime wading bipedally, surface-swimming-floating, climbing vertically, I guess like bonobos wading for waterlilies etc., but more frequently. Google e.g. "bonobo wading" & "aquarboreal".Following
- Ravi Ananth added an answer:24Is there any research on the evolution of species (including homo-sapiens) based on their survival need of shelter?
(recent edit: separating the original notes into separated distinct questions to put process of thoughts in a list)
There is an evolution of species from genetics, bone structure, environmental influences on biological needs (i.e. Darwin's finches) but what about the instinct or choice to build or nest shelters?
What would cause a built instinct to build in a specific matter for offspring?
What would the evidence be of humans?
Apes don't dig shelters but nest, did humans nest?
What environmental change cause nomadic and moving colonies of apes to solitary nomadic humans who could not survive without some instinct. Caves were used but what inspired them?
Why not some other evolutionary instinct?
If we went to caves, then what inspired our neolithic ancestors to build domes?, straight walls? geometric and mathematical sciences?
Why do we have the same standards but the evidence does not go far enough back to discuss our ancient architecture?
You can also consider the work and survival rate needed to build. Maternal or Paternal instinct to make a shelter?
Is there any research similar that I could receive?
I like the topic and the guilt free questions. The participants are swell as well. So I will indulge. But first you all need to contribute to the issue below as well. It is obtusely related :-)
I have a lot of reading and reviewing to do before commenting. I'd like to avoid the veritable "foot in the mouth" syndrome if possible. LOL :-)Following
- Ranjith Raj Vasam asked a question:NewHow does evolutionary selection act on the three regulation edges in the FFL ?
FFL = Feed Forward LoopFollowing
- Prabhu Mani added an answer:4Can anyone please detail me the steps of calculation in CO2 evolution, study in the laboratory by using soil?
Soil scientist, microbiologist and agronomist
Thank you very much Dr. Murray HartFollowing
- Franco Manni added an answer:42Is there evidence that humans are slowly evolving beyond religion, particularly fundamentalist approaches to religion?
While there are obvious differences, There seems to be similarities between fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Muslims. Both see their scriptures (Bible, Quran) as without error and both interpret them literally, even the parts encouraging violence against outside groups. Fundamentalist devotees also seem vulnerable to political exploitation.
On the other hand, moderate, contempletive and progressive groups in both religions teach and encourage peace, non-violence, compassion and inclusion. Progressives groups find increasing common ground with agnostics and atheists. They also seem more independent.
Religion helps many people, but more and more people seem to be finding similar help outside traditional religion. Is humanity slowly evolving beyond traditional approaches to religion, and is that a good thing, overall?
not beyond religion (Nietzsche, Marx and Freud were wrong when they thought to be able to foresee this development)... whereas I think that teher is much historical evidence about a process of overcoming religious fundamentalism...Following
- 18Why did we develop different from other species?
There are many theories about homo sapiens development compared to others. And I know why but it´s not so easy to Google I have notice.
So my question is how many know this, and is logically simple but it´s not so easy like we learned to use tools.
THERMAL ENERGY, AND WE GET MORE TIME TO DO OTHER THING´S.
Diego, you say: "If we compare mankind with other animals, by mere inspection we find out that we are different." Of course, we're different, but so are elephants, or naked mole-rats, or star-nosed moles, or... And as I said, if we analyse human features into smaller units (anatomical features), and compare these with other animals, we're not so different: human locomotion is unique in its combinations (2-legged as in birds or kangaroos + very long legs, not bent as in indris, but stretched as in flamingoes + plantigrady as in many rodents + vertical spine as in gibbons or spider-monkeys + etc.), but each of these elements is not unique. If we combine all these, the most parsimonious evolution is: arboreal (primate) -> aquarboreal (hominoid, google) -> littoral (Homo) -> wading (early sapiens) -> walking (us).Following
- Veena H. F. Ammanna added an answer:9Do survival strategies in animals require insight into evolutionary biology?Understanding the evolution appears to be important.
Please refer "Survival Strategies - Cooperation and Conflict in Animal Societies" by Raghavendra Gadagkar, Harvard University Press, 1997Following
- Mohammad Israr Khan added an answer:12Why is it that old becomes gold?
What are the reasons or explanations for the persons becoming very fond of the past. Though the present may be better, on many measurable counts, but the past seems more better in memories. How is it and what are the benefits of this phenomenon?
Dear Rohit Sir,
You are a treasure trove of many golden experiences.
- 89Darwin'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?
Both teachings are important. Through science we can understand the very origin of life, how unique it is in the universe and also how it is independent from God. Life appears as an emergent property of the system rather than one imposed in the system by external influences (I cite the article about the uniqueness of life in the universe at the bottom). We can see the independence of nature from God. In the other hand, religion gives us a way in which we may get closer to God from that independence that happened in genesis as it is for Christianity and Judaism. We can decide how to use our freedom to believe in God and His purpose for each one of us. It is our decision and for both options to belive or not, all due respect is deserved.Following
- Norbert Holstein added an answer:3How was Bactrocera invadens discriminated from its sister taxa in the B dorsalis complex? Was it properly described or done?
How was Bactrocera invadens discriminated from its sister taxa in the B dorsalis complex? Was it properly described or done?
The protologue of Bactrocera invadens is freely available here: http://www.aseanet.org/documents/invasive%20fruit%20fly%20ento_v13_n1_a10.pdf
The new species was described on morphological differences alone. Just because the chemistry of the rectal gland secrets is practically the same, does not mean automatically that the names are synonymous. It is the question if species discrimination in Bactrocera is only possible with chemical compounds in this gland. I don't have access to the Tan et al. paper, but if seems that they included a phylogeny. If their voucher(s) are correctly identified (this is important to check) and the vouchers of the two species are shuffled or nested in the phylogeny, then synonymy is quite certain. If the vouchers of the two "species" cluster within each other and are sister to each other ((Bd1,Bd2)(Bi1,Bi2)) , then Tan et al. need to show that pheromone content is the only unambiguous way to discriminate species in Bactrocera (or at least in this subclade). There might be more species barriers than pheromone chemistry alone, so it's a question of good arguments by Tan et al. and your opinion/expertise on this matter. Schutze et al.'s data seem to support Tan et al.,
- 72There are quite a few hypotheses to explain early human evolution: Are there ANY that explain the evolution of H. neand. and H. sapience?Negative answers will also be appreciated. See Anton and Snodgrass 2012, Wrangham 1999, Ungar 2006, Bunn 2007, Stanford 2001
Is Homo's brain growth +-continuous? It's seen in the fossil record since about 1.8 Ma, when H.erectus-like people dispersed intercontinentally (e.g. the Mojokerto child (possibly 1.8 Ma) is estimated to have had more than 800 cc as an adult). OTOH, late-Pleistocene H.sapiens had a somewhat smaller brain that earlier neandertals.
In other animals, dramatic brain expansions are typically seen in (semi)aquatics, e.g. porpoises, seals, otters etc have 2 or 3 times larger brains than equally large terrestrial relatives. There's no reason to think that humans were an exception among other animals: we developed larger brains when our early-Pleistocene ancestors followed the African & Eurasian coasts & rivers, dipersing intercontinentally. This might be due to the abundant brain-specific nutrients in aquatic & especially littoral foods: poly-unsaturated fatty acids (e.g. docohexaenoic acid DHA), taurine, iodine & other minerals etc. (work of D.Horrobin, M.Crawford, S.Cunnane etc.).
But then: humans (not-aquatic (any more?)) don't always have access to littoral foods, but we nevertheless have very large brains: how to explain that? I'd think that's one of the reasons why sapiens probably has a longer youth than earlier Homo species, why coastal people are often healthier & larger-brained than mountain people (esp.before the introduction of iodine in salt), why sapiens has a slightly smaller brain than neandertals, why many humans like to have their vacation at the coast (iodine), and why we (still?) like eating fish, seafood & coconuts?Following
- Nicolas Cara added an answer:11Any 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. González-Ittig,
I am using NewHybrids and I am also getting that unhandled exception.
I've tried different things (cutting out alleles or genotypes) and sometimes I make it work and sometimes not in a complete random fashion.
Did you figure out what is the source of the problem?Following
- Gregory Zurbay 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.
Relatively - absolutely.
Of course every organism has some level of consciousness - after all bacteria quorum and thereby protect their turf. This 'conscious' action is the result of a chemical signal, but that is what our systems appear to reduce down to also. Should the bacteria quorum and proliferate they are evolutionarily successful in the short term. Should they kill all the potential hosts ( environments ) success may not be long term - and the universe likely will little notice....
It is more and more a "game" of chance, atoms combine, chemicals are created, compounds form, life self assembles. None of this requires self consciousness, but seems to reflect a consciousness of some fashion on all levels.....
We look at life and by observation recognize an immense number of 'experiments' occur at every possible instant - the fact that any of these produce an advantage seems basic chance - successful until another situation prevails. Our distant water breathing ancestors trudged up the chain of this continual experiment. The simple relatives - organisms are still around. Billions in each drop of sea-water. Many more in our bodies than we did realize - or credit. More and more we understand their success is basis of ours.
Self conscious status does seem to contribute an avenue of success, and it is of the deepest folly to isolate/assume this as an 'advantage' of note. It is easy to imagine mucking about with the wrong thing - a basic component of the myriad inter-relationships necessary for life to remain in stasis. Out of stasis, - possibly out of business.
An examined self consciousness could help insure "we" maintain an evolutionary advantage - trying constantly with purpose not to drop the ball.Following
- 4EvolutionDo lamarck's theory of adaptation has any validity or acceptance? Or It is the darwin's theory of natural selection that is 100% true and valid.?
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 related details about similar topics.Following
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 87Is 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?
Here I would like to share with you a recent article that is related with probability calculus, evolutionary chaos, mathematical modeling and terraforming, among others. It also demonstrates through nonlinear evolutionary processes, the uniqueness of life and mankind in the universe.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
- 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