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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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Fossil evidence of common ancestor to Great Apes and Humans

Where can I find documentation of fossil findings about ancient human anscestors, even down to the point of believed divergence between great apes and humans? I heard a skeleton has been found earlier ...
Fraser's user avatar
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Who came up with the Darwinian demon?

I know of Maxwell's, Descartes' and Laplace's demons but I recently found out that there is Darwinian one. I do not think that this demon appears in the works of Charles Darwin. Do you know who may ...
Mauricio's user avatar
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What were Gregor Mendel's and Darwin's views on evolution?

Mendel's laws (like the laws of segregation or inheritance) became known to a wider publis decades after he discovered these laws. He assumed trait particles in operation that were responible for his ...
Deschele Schilder's user avatar
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What was considered Evolutionary Science or Biology proper in 1880-1890 in the US?

I have a question that is more related to the history of evolutionary biology rather than the science itself, namely I am interested in knowing what might have been considered the 'orthodoxy' of the ...
user42582's user avatar
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Did Einstein oppose evolution? [closed]

According to the laws of nature progression is always downward. One of these laws is the Second Law of Thermodynamics which says that isolated systems cannot increase in complexity. For example, a ...
Turk Hill's user avatar
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Did Darwin say that the human menstrual cycle length was influenced by the tides?

According to this article from the BBC's Science Focus Charles Darwin thought that the 28-day human menstrual cycle was evidence that our ancestors lived on the seashore and needed to ...
Josh Friedlander's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
Mars's user avatar
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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 ...
mart's user avatar
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How was Mendel's work rediscovered after being forgotten for 45 years?

According to Melanie Mitchell's book, Complexity: A Guided Tour [PDF], Mendel's model [...] was published in a rather obscure journal and was not appreciated as being of great importance until 1900, ...
Ooker's user avatar
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7 votes
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458 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 ...
Gottfried William's user avatar
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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 ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
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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 ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
Larry Harson's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
Quantum spaghettification's user avatar
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2 answers
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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 ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
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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 ...
John's user avatar
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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?
Geremia's user avatar
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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, ...
plannapus's user avatar
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29 votes
7 answers
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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. ...
StackExchange What The Heck's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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