evolution

Gene Expression

Tag archives for evolution

Evolutionary history reversible

At least in this case, Troglomorphism, trichobothriotaxy and typhlochactid phylogeny (Scorpiones, Chactoidea): more evidence that troglobitism is not an evolutionary dead-end: The scorpion family Typhlochactidae Mitchell, 1971 is endemic to eastern Mexico and exclusively troglomorphic. Six of the nine species in the family are hypogean (troglobitic), morphologically specialized for life in the cave environment, whereas…

National Geographic has a coverage of the Kanzawa paper. The title: Liberals, Atheists Are More Highly Evolved? I get what’s going on with terms like “highly evolved,” but I think it’s really problematic when media which serves as an interface with the public in regards to evolutionary ideas uses this sort of terminology, as it…

Evolution, genetics & behavior

Two posts for your consideration. On the Less Wrong weblog, Babies and Bunnies: A Caution About Evo-Psych. I am not one to make blanket dismissals of “evolutionary psychology.” But, there are structural problems with the strong incentives toward generating hypotheses at the equipoise of novelty and intuitive plausibility. In other words, much of the evo-psych…

The tales that the X chromosome tells

Highly Punctuated Patterns of Population Structure on the X Chromosome and Implications for African Evolutionary History: It is well known that average levels of population structure are higher on the X chromosome compared to autosomes in humans. However, there have been surprisingly few analyses on the spatial distribution of population structure along the X chromosome.…

In Bats and Whales, Convergence in Echolocation Ability Runs Deep: …”However, it is generally assumed that most of these so-called convergent traits have arisen by different genes or different mutations. Our study shows that a complex trait — echolocation — has in fact evolved by identical genetic changes in bats and dolphins.” A hearing gene…

Tiny dogs are freaks of evolution

Sometimes scientists report on research which clarifies what we already know. ‘Survival of the Cutest’ Proves Darwin Right: The study, published in The American Naturalist on January 20, 2010, compared the skull shapes of domestic dogs with those of different species across the order Carnivora, to which dogs belong along with cats, bears, weasels, civets…

People evolving to be shorter & stouter

One of the things about evolution you sometimes hear is that it has “stopped” for humans. Steve Jones, a British geneticist, is one of the more prominent public expositors of this viewpoint today. The key fact that most people latch on to is that infant and child mortality is very low, so the vast majority…

What average human heights don’t tell

The changing height of Homo erectus: Today, I think it’s fair to say that the variation of stature in Homo erectus was more or less like the variation within living people. There are short and tall populations today, varied in ecology and latitude. The average stature of young men in the Netherlands today is 184…

What Darwin Never Knew (online)

If you missed it, you can still watch it online.

Cannibalism & evolution

Cannibalism is a controversial topic. It is routine for particular societies to accuse “barbarians”, enemies, or evil mythological figures, of cannibalism. When it comes to the archaeological record some skeptics have claimed that like “sacred objects” too often human remains found in peculiar circumstances are ascribed to human sacrifice or cannibalism. In Did Adam and…