Questions tagged [evolution]

For questions about the development of evolution, including evolution before Darwin, Darwinian evolution through natural selection and Neo-Darwinism.

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3
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1answer
60 views

When and why was the symbol w introduced for biological fitness

$w$ the visually similar $\omega$ are often used to represent biological fitness in population genetics models. (Sometimes $W$ is used for absolute fitness, and $w$ for relative fitness.) These ...
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0answers
35 views

Science about population interaction with ecosystems?

I am curious in the lack of scientific field/perceived research of ecosystems and their developments, or maybe I never encountered it. Is there any such field, investigating ecosystems "start" to end ...
2
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1answer
117 views

Popper on Marx, Freud and Darwin

I've encountered the following claim: If we, as Popper apparantly did, view Marx and Freud's body of work as non-scientific because core tenets are not falsifiable and we apply the same rubic to ...
5
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1answer
123 views

How was Mendel's work rediscovered after 45 years of forgotten?

According to the book Complexity: A Guided Tour, Mendel's model "was published in a rather obscure journal and was not appreciated as being of great importance until 1900, after which several ...
7
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1answer
367 views

Who first suggested, contra the central dogma, that “junk” DNA may perform epigenetic functions?

There were in last several years papers in Science regarding DNA that does not code for any protein ("junk" DNA) as having epigenetic aspects, namely, switching on and off other genes and thus ...
5
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2answers
660 views

How important was the prediction of Neptune in 1846 for the Oxford evolution debate?

The short story is that based on Kepler's and Newton's physics, in 1846 Le Verrier mathematically predicted the existence and current location of Neptune within a single angular degree, and it was ...
10
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1answer
542 views

How did 19th century scientists estimate the age of the Earth

Let me briefly recall the "Age of the Earth controversy". Based on the hypothesis that Earth was originally hot and cools down ever since, and using the data on the gradient of temperature currently ...
2
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1answer
84 views

Who first developed the idea of conservation of information in physics?

I've recently come across the idea of the "conservation of information" in the so called Black Hole Information Paradox. Yet this article claims that: Conservation of information is a term with a ...
1
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1answer
1k views

Darwin's theory of evolution quote?

A typical quote used to explain the theory of evolution by natural selection is: "Variation is a feature of natural populations and every population produces more progeny than its environment can ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Did Darwin ever express his views on eugenics?

Although Darwin died a year before the term "eugenics" was coined by his cousin, Francis Galton, Galton had already been working on the idea of using selective breeding to improve humans genetically ...
2
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1answer
67 views

Was there a flaw with scientific thinking that theories such as geocentrism were widely accepted in the past?

Ideas such as Geocentrism were widely accepted in historic times. Models and theories were set out by some of the most prolific scientists and/or philosophers of the time. Those with opposing ideas ...
12
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1answer
125 views

How was the resemblance between apes and humans explained in pre-Darwinian biology?

How was the resemblance between apes and humans explained in pre-Darwinian biology? Who was the first biologist to note the resemblance?
9
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1answer
193 views

Theories on the beginning of photosynthesis, prior to Lynn Margulis work on symbiogenesis

Prior to the theory of symbiogenesis (heralded especially by Lynn Margulis in the late 60s), how did people explained the presence of chlorophyll in various, separate groups such as cyanobacteria, ...
28
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7answers
1k views

Was evolution ever discussed (perhaps using different terms) prior to Darwin?

It's common knowledge that Darwin is considered the father of evolution, but even humans have been breeding animals (and probably themselves) selectively for specific traits for thousands of years. ...
11
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1answer
88 views

How did Sedgwick explain the succession of species?

Adam Sedgwick was a master structural geologist and was one of the primary participants in the early days of stratigraphy - working out how rocks could be distinguished, extrapolated, etc. Although ...