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38 posts tagged with evolution and biology. (View popular tags)
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Sloppy MicroChips: Can a fair comparison be made between biological and silicon entropy?

Was reading about microchips that are designed to allow a few mistakes (known as 'Sloppy Chips'), and pondering equivalent kinds of 'coding' errors and entropy in biological systems. Can a fair comparison be made between the two? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Jun 5, 2012 - 4 answers

The modulation of our sense of smell

How and why do we become accustomed to smells? What makes some odours personally super-pungent one day and unnoticed 'background noise' later on, despite the smell remaining objectively unchanged? [more inside]
posted by peacay on May 19, 2012 - 7 answers

Why are there no lobsters the size of horses or horses the size of shrimp?

Why are there no lobsters the size of horses or horses the size of shrimp? [more inside]
posted by jeb on Apr 25, 2012 - 23 answers

Here be there no dragons.

Evolutionary biologists: I'm trying to recall the concise explanation a professor gave in an evolution and ecology course about why dragons just plain did not exist. [more inside]
posted by hegemone on Feb 6, 2012 - 13 answers

Did you hear about the biologist who had twins? She baptized one and kept the other as a control.

What are some article length studies readily available on the internets that summarize the evidence for evolution? [more inside]
posted by holdkris99 on Dec 1, 2011 - 8 answers

Why are Chimps So Strong?

How is it chimps are stronger than humans? [more inside]
posted by musofire on Nov 11, 2011 - 13 answers

Yes, I'm serious about this.

Why do humans (and most mammals) have two nostrils instead of one? Seems redundant.
posted by bardic on May 8, 2011 - 18 answers

Dear Mr. Darwin: How is babby formed?

How did sexual reproduction become evolutionarily advantageous? [more inside]
posted by AngerBoy on Apr 20, 2011 - 23 answers

Is human-level intelligence only possible in land-based mammals?

Given enough time and the right circumstances, would it be possible for non-land-based mammals to develop human levels of intelligence? What about non-mammals, land-based or otherwise? [more inside]
posted by Afroblanco on Feb 18, 2011 - 42 answers

"Guys, other teachers may glossed over this evolution thing, so today..."

What's the best way to financially support of evolution education in Kansas? [more inside]
posted by ignignokt on Dec 30, 2010 - 5 answers

I did do school biology, but...

Pretty much every cell in a organism contains the DNA for that whole organism. How does a mutation in one cell pass on so that it becomes part of the DNA of every cell or actually affects a characteristic in that organism or its child?
posted by westerly on Jun 27, 2010 - 6 answers

Why only one abiogenesis?

Why is it assumed that all forms of life evolved from a single common ancestor, instead of any number of different instances of abiogenesis?
posted by shakespeherian on Apr 8, 2010 - 25 answers

It's fun when they are fetching, and agree to see an etching, that you keep at your lily pad...

What happens to slimy amphibians during a drought? Do they shrivel up and die? [more inside]
posted by Jon_Evil on Dec 11, 2009 - 3 answers

Symmetry yrtemmyS

Evolutionary Biology Filter: Why are we symmetrical? [more inside]
posted by ecorrocio on Dec 7, 2009 - 18 answers

the ---- effect

What is the name of the effect, in evolutionary biology, whereby acquired behavioral characteristics that lead to reproductive fitness can result in the selection of predispositions toward acquiring these characteristics? [more inside]
posted by moorooka on Dec 7, 2009 - 7 answers

Getting our rocks off for four billion years

Can anyone recommend a good book about the evolution of sexual reproduction? [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian on Jul 11, 2009 - 9 answers

Did Richard Feynman have a brother?

I'd like to learn about biology. Can you recommend some books to get me started? [more inside]
posted by SamuelBowman on Jun 30, 2009 - 21 answers

There's something alive in here.

Is it possible something awful lives at the bottom of Lake Tahoe? [more inside]
posted by kbanas on Jul 21, 2008 - 19 answers

Searching for Evolution Book

Help me find a book about evolution by Kirchner. [more inside]
posted by vilcxjo_BLANKA on Mar 19, 2008 - 4 answers

Picking teams for the upcoming interspecies tournament of death...

At a cocktail party last weekend, an Anthropologist was telling me about an experiment/study where people were shown videos of various animals preying on one another, and then measured their reactions. The findings, he contends, were that humans were largely more sympathetic to the deaths of animals more similar to themselves (i.e. sharing a more recent common ancestor). What is this study, what is this area of research called, and where can I read more about it? [more inside]
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj on Jan 18, 2008 - 8 answers

Books about evolution?

What is a good book about modern evolutionary theories? [more inside]
posted by solistrato on Nov 14, 2007 - 15 answers

Teaching resources about racial concepts: their biological validity and various cultural expressions

I need teaching resources about race: the biology of human "races"; why "race" is not biological but social; how racial categories have shifted over time and place; and related questions on teaching about race? This is as a supplement to reading The Mismeasure of Man in a university "Critical Thinking" class. I need more science and verifiable cross-cultural examples to back up my "there are no biological races" claim. [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten on Nov 5, 2007 - 38 answers

PMS. WTF.

What is the evolutionary relevance of PMS?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Jul 2, 2007 - 49 answers

Why are there no freshwater squid?

Why are there no freshwater squid?
posted by jonesor on Mar 1, 2007 - 9 answers

A Problem of Scale: Halfway in size between an atom and the universe

"A human is halfway in size between an atom and the known universe"... This is a paraphrased quote I have come across several times. I like it. Who said it first? How true is it in the most literal sense? And, finally, what errors arrive in postulating a universe, or an atom, which can be measured AT ALL from our singular, relativistic, perspective? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Feb 18, 2007 - 14 answers

Can vaccination increase virulence?

Why can't vaccination encourage the evolution of viral potency?
posted by freebird on Oct 5, 2006 - 16 answers

Urinating from sex organs

Why do humans and animals(?) urinate from their sex organs? Are these two bodily functions in some way related? Are their examples of animals that pee & have sex with parts of their bodies that are spaced far apart? [more inside]
posted by selton on Jul 22, 2006 - 32 answers

Human vs Animal Brains:

What experiments have been carried out where animals perform better than us at particular cognitive tasks? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on May 9, 2006 - 13 answers

ToothEvolutionFilter: Why are human teeth so poorly "designed"?

ToothEvolutionFilter: Why are human teeth so poorly "designed"? [more inside]
posted by beerbajay on Mar 21, 2006 - 29 answers

Speciation and Chromosome Counts

How do species come to have different numbers of chromosomes? [more inside]
posted by luftmensch on Jan 20, 2006 - 14 answers

Examples of radioactivity in nature

Are there any animals that have evolved a use for radioactivity? If so, what ways is it used? If not, why has this not happened? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious on Nov 23, 2005 - 32 answers

Why do female penguins attempt to steal young?

Selfish penguin theory: I just saw March of the Penguins and observed the chick-stealing behavior. How is this at all adaptive? [more inside]
posted by nev on Oct 24, 2005 - 13 answers

Human avoidant prey animals and their origins.

Evolutionary Biologists: A friend and I were walking through the woods, saw a deer and started pondering our ability to survive with primitive tools. We couldn't get within 40 meters of the deer before it took off. I couldn't see myself making a missile weapon to kill it at that range even with years of experience. My friend asserted that evolutionary pressures have produced deer that are quite a bit more skittish than the deer our distant ancestors had to hunt... [more inside]
posted by cadastral on Aug 19, 2005 - 20 answers

Male vs. Female Chromosome War?

Are there really such things as "scars on chromosomes" and "X vs. Y" 'wars' between the male- and female-determining genes? [more inside]
posted by rleamon on May 8, 2005 - 15 answers

Anthropology theories: Multiregional or Out of Africa?

Multiregional or Out of Africa?
posted by four panels on Oct 28, 2004 - 13 answers

Scientific Advancement

Is there a limit to scientific advancement? If there is only a certain number of elements to the universe, will there reach a technology plateau? [more inside]
posted by the fire you left me on Jul 17, 2004 - 24 answers

How did sexual reproduction evolve?

How did we evolve separate genders? I assume it happened pretty early on, since most animals have a male and female, but wouldn't it have had to happen to lots of things at once for it to actually work?
posted by Orange Goblin on Jun 6, 2004 - 7 answers

Evolution

How do evolutionary changes occur in biology? Is there some sort of "intelligence" that helps a species adapt, or does a species have to wait for a random mutation to occur that just happens to confer an advantage (a mutation that might never even happen)? For instance, how do bacteria become resistant? And are there different theories on evolutionary changes?
posted by Tin Man on Feb 25, 2004 - 22 answers

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