What traits can a group of organisms possess that an individual cannot possess (e.g. a ratio of males to females)? To put it more generally: in reference to units of selection, can you cite any examples of a whole being greater than the sum of its parts (particularly the sum of its genes)? [more inside]
Looking for a chronologically sequenced, preferably animated, geographical map of human evolution [more inside]
Why are arthropods the only animals with more than four legs? [more inside]
Evolution: What would be a simple and clear way of explaining to an 8 year old how African people with dark skin, big eyes and curly hair turn into Japanese people with lighter skin, smaller eyes and straighter hair over X amount of years? [more inside]
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]
Can you help me find a decent primer on natural history, from the beginnings of grey matter and the start of the universe, through to the present - including the evolution of humans? [more inside]
What are some good books about the history or evolution of different plants or animals? Overblown metaphor aside, I really liked Michael Pollan's 'The Botany of Desire' and would be interested in learning the history of other domesticated plants like roses or oranges. Or books on evolution that get into things like insects or whales.
How do I gently but firmly steer a very misguided 14-year-old to respect science? I'm not a teacher, but I am in a mentoring role and feel I owe it to her to try. [more inside]
What's the best way to financially support of evolution education in Kansas? [more inside]
Is there a website out there where I can enter the names of two species and be given the approximate date when their last common ancestor lived? Bonus points if it tells me what sort of species this ancestor probably was, and for showing me the part of the tree of life relating to these species. Thanks!
Can't remember, need help: Work of fiction about evolution [more inside]
What sci-fi or dystopian (or even utopian) stories of the future involve a form of humanity that has outgrown the need for any corporeal manifestation in favor a completely cerebral existence? [more inside]
Why do species feel empathy and aesthetic attraction (non-sexual) toward members of other species? [more inside]
Amateur coder looking to make a "toy" Neural Net and also genetic/phenotypic DNA evolution/breeding system for a "virtual pet" game. Any tools that can make this approachable for me, preferably in Python? [more inside]
“Does natural selection evolve things to perform healthily?” [more inside]
Please help me find a (pre 2005) science book about the evolution of life. In one small section it covered the chemical composition of sea water and its similarity to the cytoplasm of mammalian cells. [more inside]
Who is out there pushing the limits of plant and animal artificial selection/domestication/bioengineering?
Who is out there pushing the whimsical/impractical limits of plant and animal artificial selection/domestication/bioengineering? Since reading about Belyaev's domesticated foxes, I'm curious to know about other ambitious programs where the desired end-product is less "stepwise cosmetic refinement" and more "3-foot-tall playful house-giraffe." [more inside]
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?
What's the real reason apes evolved to move through trees using arms rather than legs and a tail; why do they swing rather than jump? Surely not because "a tree branch can hold more weight above than it than below it" (as purported by a suspect sheet of "fun facts" at the zoo). [more inside]
Why is it assumed that all forms of life evolved from a single common ancestor, instead of any number of different instances of abiogenesis?
I'd like to watch a good educational film about the development of early man. [more inside]
What happens to slimy amphibians during a drought? Do they shrivel up and die? [more inside]
Evolutionary Biology Filter: Why are we symmetrical? [more inside]
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]
Why does it seem like men are more desirable when attached (married or taken), particularly when you are with that person? (expl. inside) [more inside]
When current/recent SCIENCE challenges Darwin, what does it say? I'm a layman interested to hear what not-Creationist, not-ID, not-paranormal challengers (or boundary-pushers) to natural selection might be exploring these days, explained for general readers… [more inside]
Why do baby teeth come in in the order they do? [more inside]
What was grandpa doing in the ice-age? [more inside]
How did we go from basic rough hand tools to the point of having really precise tools? Specifically, how do you make a better tool from the ones you have on hand? [more inside]
Can anyone recommend a good book about the evolution of sexual reproduction? [more inside]
I'd like to learn about biology. Can you recommend some books to get me started? [more inside]
Is there a word or term that expresses the following concept more accurately than "rename"? [more inside]
Ears have evolved over many many years to be perfect for us to hear with. Why have I never seen an ear shaped microphone?
Let's say, 15 million years ago, some creature on Earth got a boost and started a civilization in the span of around 100,000 years, getting to a renaissance-level society - architecture, art, philosophy, basic science, but no titanium, steel girders, nuclear waste, etc. Would they have left any evidence that we could find, or would time destroy the proof before we got here?
I'm interested in knowing more about the caveman diet, and the logic behind it. Does the reasoning behind this diet dictate that the modern Korean should eat differently from the modern Englishman? But maybe more importantly, is the reasoning indeed sound? Or is it pseudo-science? Is this really what evolutionary biology would suggest? If so, how much of it should really dictate what a modern human, Korean or English or otherwise, should or shouldn't eat?
All the big organisms on the planet need a healthy supply or oxygen, yet there are a myriad organisms at the other end of the scale that either ignore oxygen or are actively averse to it. How come none of our large scale creatures have come from this anaerobic stock? [more inside]
Evolutionary advantages of far-sightedness and partial color blindness? [more inside]
I've recently started learning more about Islam, and it intrigues me. But I had a conversation today with my muslim boyfriend in which he was adamant that he can't be muslim and believe in evolution. I'm okay with agreeing to disagree, but it's got me thinking. I've known many muslims who are scientists, and who would take no issue with evolutionary biology - how do they reconcile the two? [more inside]
Science reading for the informed layperson. [more inside]
I'm looking for the origins and exact phrasing of the quote "every fossil is a transitional fossil." [more inside]
Is there an evolutionary family tree for religions? [more inside]
Help me remember the illustrator's name who drew that original cartoon about evolution, which depicted the gradual transformation of a man starting as a monkey. [more inside]
Why isn't the process of waking up quick and pleasant for most? [more inside]
Tell me about the Thai image that shows an evolutionary progression from a rabbit to a general. [more inside]
Why are there no species that implement both halves of the photosynthesis/respiration cycle? [more inside]
Is there an alternative to evolution or intelligent design? [more inside]
Generally speaking, how long does it take for a root language to evolve into mutually incomprehensible offshoot languages? Or, conversely, how long would languages with a common root be understandable to one another's native speakers? [more inside]
Fingernails and toenails, why? They are a constant annoyance to keep clipped, and for women to do their polish and stuff. [more inside]
Is it possible something awful lives at the bottom of Lake Tahoe? [more inside]
Literary Darwinism: A relatively new field of evolutionary psychology / literary theory. What has recently been written in argument against it? [more inside]