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On the Origin of Species

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What is the evolutionary purpose of an anus on one half of the taint opposed to the other?

Just so ya don’t shit near your sex organs?

07:12 UTC


How did wings develop in insects?

I understand that wings evolved from the upper limbs in the case of birds and bats, for instance. What about insects? Was there some kind of structure from which their wings evolved?

23:57 UTC


Calculating Observed Hardy-Weinberg Allelic Frequencies?

This is absolutely stumping me and I'm furious with myself for not being able to determine why this isn't working.

I'm in a biology lab and we did a classroom experiment where we were each given genotypes and simulated multiple generations by coinflip.

This is the end data after multiple generations and we need to extrapolate p & q:

AA individuals - 2

Aa individuals - 13

aa individuals - 5

My understanding is that the genotypic frequencies would simply be their %. So AA would be 0.1, Aa would be 0.65, and aa would be 0.25. This should mean that AA = 0.1 = p^2 and aa = 0.25 = q^2. Which should also mean that taking the square root of these numbers would give me p and q.... but they don't add up to 1. Square rooting them gives me a p value of ~0.32 and a q value of 0.5. How is this possible? Shouldn't this method work to give me p and q since I know the exact genotypic frequencies?

If anyone can clear up why this doesn't work, I would be extremely appreciative. Thank you!

22:31 UTC


Did humans have stronger jaws just a hundred years ago?

When I look at old pics from around year 1900, a lot of the people looks to have stronger jaws than is usual today. I struggle to find information on this online, because most searches takes me to articles describing jaw changes from 10,000 years ago.

I can't be the only one noticing this. Being skinny certainly helps a jaw line showing itself, but few people today have jaws as what I see in photos.

Any answers and links will be appreciated.

13:58 UTC


Siberian Worms Frozen For 42,000 Years Brought To Life. Once the worms were sufficiently thawed, they began moving and eating. Some are found living 0.8 miles (1.3 kilometers) below Earth’s surface, deeper than any other multicellular animal.

16:32 UTC


An eye for a nose

I am writing about the evolution of the nervous system. I am currently researching the changes that occurred from the olfactory-centric lower mammals (an all animals before) to vision in primates. Obviously, musculoskeletal morphology seemed to parallel these neurological changes. Early mammals still had their noses on the ground, where smells were strongest. As our bodies became more erect, olfaction became progressively less important, as vision became more. Chicken and egg argument as to whether vision drove upright posture or vice versa. Anyway, I am wondering WHY vision accelerated and evolved the way and when it did? My best guess is that foliage, fruits and nuts become a greater caloric reservoir, compared to tiny animals and insects. To acquire these more efficaciously, vision reigned superior. Appreciate any input or insight!

14:41 UTC


Worst Phylogeny by Mark Rober

In his latest video, Mark Rober embarks in an explanation on how evolution works and illustrates the phylogenetic position of an octopus compared to human. Here is a screenshot of said phylogeny. It has so many mistakes I've stopped counting. Try and spot all of them !

07:02 UTC


r/Evolution no longer takes Speculative Evolution posts

So after consulting the community and talking it over as a modteam, we've decided that from here on out speculative evolution posts will be removed and redirected to r/SpeculativeEvolution.

We absolutely recognise that speculation is a big part of science and hypothesis formulation, so we want to be clear that this applies to questions relating to fictional scenarios that could not be tested in the real world.

We've made this call because these questions often generate discussion that has no grounding in empirical, testable science. While these posts are entertaining and can be food for thought, we've found that more often than not they undermine our focus on the science of evolutionary biology.

Examples of posts that would be removed under this new rule include:

  • "What would happen if..."
  • "How could mermaids evolve?"
  • "What if humans had wings?"
  • "What if the Permian mass extinction never happened?"

Things won't fall under speculative evolution if they are:

  • Questions relating to the real world, AND are
  • Testable, directly or indirectly.

For example, questions about Stephen Jay Gould's 'rewinding the tape of life' and the empirical studies that have aimed to test the predictability of evolution would not be removed.

If you're in doubt as to whether you post something; the absolute worst case scenario is that we'll remove it and send you a link to r/SpeculativeEvolution. You will not be banned for posting a speculative evolution question here.

This is the first in a series of planned reforms of the sub rules to add clarity of purpose and moderation. If you have opinions about the sub's direction, content, or moderation, this is absolutely the time to share them.

02:48 UTC


Mark Rober slips a very concise explanation of evolution into a video about his pet octopus

1 Comment
14:29 UTC


Should I get my masters degree in Astrobiology or in Dinosaur paleobiology?

I have always wanted to be a paleontologist. I love dinosaurs and I don’t want a future where I am not studying them.

However, I always have this irritating feelings that paleontology will waste my talent. It’s not just about money. I love thinking about everything evolution related. What about my knowledge on genetics? Cellular and molecular biology? Biochemistry I know that I can be very successful as an astrobiologist.

If I become a paleontologist, I’ll have fulfilled all my childhood dreams. But at what cost? Paleontologist clean dirt from bones and draw cladograms all day. However, I’m at a point in my life where what I choose now will change the trajectory of my entire life. I can’t be both a Dinosaur Paleontologist and an astrobiologist working at Nasa. I can only be one of them, for the rest of my life. If I was immortal I would have studied every field in existence.

21:37 UTC


I am planning a experiment but I want to make sure it works.

I want to make a mini terrarium with a little water hole in the center of it add dirt from the woods next to my house and then after I have done that I will add three bugs of the same species into the jar and would study to see how they would adapt. Would they adapt to the environment?

00:36 UTC


How do the big changes in biological structure really work?

This might be confusing and broad… but what I can’t seem to really grasp is the body’s ability to evolve in ways like the development of the heart or the centralization of nervous systems some 500 mya. Whenever I’m reading about these big advancement they make it seem like it just happened… like one day there wasn’t any and the next where was. But what I really want to know is how on earth did the body know to do that. How did it one day decide to build a heart, create a blood cell. I understand the small evolutions, like a genome breaking or a small environmental change. Most of the time they say that it’s by accident and it either helps or hurts and when it hurts it’s gotten rid of. But stuff like that just seems way way to complex to just be coincidence. I don’t know if I’m just spewing nonsense but it’s facinating and very confusing. If anyone has anything I can read up on or videos to help explain what I’m trying to say that would be amazing.

18:01 UTC


Reading suggestions after Darwin's

Hi everyone, I am new on Reddit and this is my first question ever, so if I am not following the right procedure please don't esitate to let me know and sorry in advance.

After reading "on the origin of species" and "The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex", I am looking for something that could guide my knowledge on evolution to the next step. I am aware that a lot of mistakes are made by Darwin and I am looking for some books that could highlights them.

So, long story short: what books would you suggest to someone who is interested in a modern answer to the question "how evolution works"?

16:47 UTC


How do they know?

If this is the wrong place to ask this question I apologize.

I was watching the documentary Life on Our Planet yesterday and in the first episode it was talking about the Terror bird. It went on about how before two males would begin to fight they'd do almost like a ritual dance, displaying their body and moving together in a specific way. How do they know this without observing the behaviour?

Are they basing it on animals from today that act in a similar way?

15:15 UTC


Horseshoe crabs are said to have remained fairly visibly unchanged for millenia, while other organisms, such as ammonites or trilobites have diversified widely. Are there terms for different 'modes' of evolution? K and R selection; wind or animal pollination; what other meta-structures are there?

It's hard to ask this without anthropomorphising evolution - I understand these are patterns and feedback loops, not intention - but what are some strategies evolution employs?

I'm thinking about how the complexity of flowers enables more variation during reproduction, allowing flowers to diversify far beyond nonflowering plants like ferns and mosses. I imagine culture is playing a similar role in birds and mammals, honing and directing sexual selection.

Or the opposite scenario, like lystrosaurus in the early triassic, or azolla, or humans, where one organism became dominant across the world.

What are some other spectrums of selection?

04:36 UTC


What is wrong with my friends understanding of evolution ?

My friend who has a background in theoretical physics made these statements about evolution to me in correspondence, I’m pretty sure a lot of them are wrong but don’t have a deep enough understanding of the subject to explain why, the statements are in the comment section as they are to big to post

23:19 UTC


About "What is the evolutionary purpose of XY" questions

I often read that people are discussing all sorts of things about what evolutionary advantage this and that might have. Natural selection is treated as if it would explain the entire biological reality.

But isn't it wrong to assume that every trait has an advantage? For example blood is red, but not because it is beneficial, but because it is just the result of the chemical structure. The color of blood itself is not adaptive at all. It wouldn't matter if we had green, blue or pink blood.

Or am I wrong?

22:08 UTC


Eyespot mimicry is an eye-like marking. They are found in butterflies, reptiles and... cats

Does anyone have an evolutionary explanation for eye-like markings found in cats?

See https://fischerversuswomen.files.wordpress.com/2023/11/ezgif.com-optimize-33-2.gif

21:09 UTC


Interview practice

I have an interview to study Biology at Oxford coming up, are there any experts who would be willing to drill me/ have a practice interview with me about our modern understanding of evolution, including: kin selection, game theory and the extended evolutionary synthesis. Any help/ practice questions is appreciated.

19:37 UTC


Does DNA inherited from father and mother remain separated in an offspring for life?

I'm really confused because apparently the foetus inherits 1 copy of 23 chromosomes from male parent and 1 from female. As DNA resides in these chromosomes, does that mean DNA inherited from father and mother would always be separate? If so, how do we know the DNA sample we have acquired from a person is from which parent's chromosome? I'm sorry if I sound stupid.

10:27 UTC


Why is human body hair the way it is?

Our body hair much thinner than our earlier homo species counterparts. It makes sense that we have thick armpit, pubic, and eyebrow hair to protect against bacteria, friction, and sweat— but what’s the evolutionary benefit that we’re nearly hairless everywhere else? Why isn’t the hair on the face and buttocks as thick as our leg hair?

Also why does the hair on our head (and beard, for men) grow continuously? But not for our primate counterparts?

19:58 UTC


Is The Evolutionary Outcome Repeatable?

This isnt a question of whether evolution as a practicality is repeatable in a lab.

But I am wondering if you think given a million repetitions of earth exactly as it has happened for temperatures, cooling, seasons, tectonic shifting, major disasters, and all other conditions remaining equal, would it be reasonable to assume a similar evolutionary trail and special varieties? Or would outcomes be so skewed that given the trails we could not guess they had all occurred under identical conditions?

08:46 UTC


Can human invention cause speciation within human species?

Wondering any invention done by human can have the potential to divide the species into subspecies.

I can only think of social media or online gaming for now, like, people engaging with others having same mentality and interests and making their own communities and finally it becomes a inherent trait.

I understand that evolving into a whole new form takes lot of time and doesn't happen in few generations. But it really awes me to imagine that an environment/ situation created by an organism will push the same to evolve into different kinds.

Also, the mentioned example of social media may not be suitable for this since people really live out of it too. It's the only thing I can think of now. But is there anything such that it will truly isolate a group of people and their social engagements and finally divide them. Or has the similar thing happened in any other species.

19:07 UTC


Poll: Speculative Evolution

Hey there, group.

The moderator team is always looking for ways to improve the subreddit and we have a number of ideas in the pipeline. We'd like to reemphasize the importance of science in the subreddit (update/revamp the community wiki and other resources, maybe get a regular feature post going, as well some other changes) and one thing we'd like to consider are speculative evolution posts.

There is a r/SpeculativeEvolution subreddit, as well as r/worldbuilding, but as of the current moment, these sorts of posts aren't against the rules.

On the one hand, if it's an open-ended and good faith question, they can be fun thought experiments. Sometimes it's a chance to flex other science muscles to consider how would this or that would have affected life on Earth.

But on the other hand, even on a good day, they're completely devoid of science. Being able to inform a position regarding a completely untestable hypothetical with technical knowledge from science is not quite science. And a lot of these posts aren't open-ended or good-faith. They're low effort questions trying hard to challenge the assumption "no dumb questions" or the poster is fishing for validation for a creative idea and what they're looking to hear is that their idea *will work*, and so bickering often ensues. And all of this is contrary to the kind of environment we're looking to foster in the future.

If we redirect all of these posts to r/SpeculativeEvolution, it's consistent and it's fair. We're not enforcing rules based on whether we like this one or that one, and it's easy. There's no nuance to explain at all, and it gets rid of the posts we occasionally get complaints about. But then we lose out on those fun thought experiments. Reddit is a big website, it's not like we're depriving these posters of a place to go, but we're also the biggest evolution subreddit on the site. We're able to moderate these posts, it's not like it's difficult, but a lot of them are harder to enforce the rules on if someone chooses to be unreasonable and we're trying to lean on the science.

The moderator team was able to see validity in both sides of the argument. Before we pull the trigger, we'd like to pass it off to you. How would you like us to proceed?

View Poll

03:09 UTC


Evolutionary Medicine

Do any of you guys know of any physicians that study Evolutionary Medicine? (Like Randolph Neese for instance).

02:11 UTC


Someone please explain why feamle heynas evolved pseudo-penises.

OKay how did this evolve and are there any advantages to it?

01:25 UTC

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