The science of genes, heredity, and variation in living organisms.

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4
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1answer
325 views

Are red-heads going extinct?

There is a widely-held belief that there will no longer be humans with red hair in the future (sometimes cited by 2060 or 2100). For example, these Facebook groups: "Save the ginger kids, there ...
4
votes
1answer
236 views

Did Homo sapiens have children with Neanderthals?

One of my friends told me that Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals had children together when the homo sapiens came to Europe about 50 000 BC. But is it possible that Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals had ...
87
votes
1answer
12k views

Is 8% of human DNA from viruses?

According to 23andme's Twitter Image reads, Approximately 8% of DNA is originally from viruses, which infected your ancestors and became integrated into their cells.
12
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1answer
536 views

Is this chart of eye colour inheritance accurate?

This image is circulating on social media (e.g. Pinterest). It implies that if you have green eyes, then you can't possibly have one biological parent with blue eyes and the other with brown. The ...
2
votes
0answers
90 views

Ethnoreligions: what religions explicitly claim heritability? [closed]

Several SE/SO questions (e.g., this) address what is often claimed to be (often correctly) confusion between ethnicity and religion. Certainly (IIUC, ICBW) most modern religions tend to be avowedly ...
6
votes
1answer
389 views

Are Ashkenazi Jews genetically more European than Semitic?

Referring to this article Surprise: Ashkenazi Jews Are Genetically European. But a new study suggests that at least their (Ashkenazi Jews) maternal lineage may derive largely from Europe. ...
0
votes
1answer
374 views

Are Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen fraternal twins?

Wikipedia claims that American actors Mary Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen are fraternal twins. They have also both claimed this. Other sources claim the same: Washington Post, St. Petersburg Times, and ...
3
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0answers
1k views

Did Neanderthals keep Cro-Magnons as sex-slaves?

Some time ago, it was thought that modern people came from Cro-Magnons, and Neanderthals became extinct. But after the Neanderthal genome project, we found that modern people have from 1% to 4% of ...
4
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0answers
377 views

Is approximately 80% of a child's intelligence acquired from the mother?

Uberfacts, a Twitter account with 9.43M followers claims that 80% of a child's intelligence is acquired from the mother. How true is this? Gizmodo doesn't do a very good job of debunking this: ...
4
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1answer
235 views

Is height about as heritable as obesity?

The Thin Privilege FAQ explains: Weight is about 50% - 80% heritable (sources disagree, but here’s a study that shows it to be 77% heritable). Height, for comparison, isn’t 100% heritable (I’ve ...
8
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0answers
1k views

Do the mother's genes almost exclusively determine the sons' intelligence? [closed]

According to this paper: Intelligence and the X chromosome[1] by Gillian Turner, published by The Lancet (a highly regarded medical journal) in 1996, the X chromosome is dominantly responsible for ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Have scientists successfully cloned a dinosaur?

An article makes a claim that scientists have cloned a baby Apatosaurus. From Article: Scientists at Liverpool’s John Moore University have successfully cloned a dinosaur, a spokesman from the ...
8
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0answers
277 views

Is it possible for ingested dsRNA (or other genetic materials) to affect human gene expression?

I am usually pretty skeptical about claims on the danger of genetically modified crops because the issue of health for me logically breaks down to: Do the genes altered produce toxic chemicals in a ...
9
votes
1answer
571 views

Do races/ethnicities have different odors?

This is a serious question and not intended to demean any ethnic group or racial group. I'm Caucasian and have dated Asian (Chinese), black and South Asian (Indian and Pakistani) men. I have noticed ...
4
votes
1answer
466 views

Does speciation occur?

I am not questioning the theory of comment descent, but I am skeptical about the evolutionary mechanisms proposed for speciation. Have we ever observed in detail how speciation occurs? We can take ...
3
votes
1answer
432 views

Did the Lenski experiments result in additional genetic information?

In the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham on Feburary 4, 2014, Ham claimed the Richard Lenski experiments added no new genetic data. He went on to show a clip from Dr. Andrew J. Fabiach, a ...
-1
votes
1answer
382 views

Do Jews mostly descend from Shem, son of Noah?

I mean, I am not exactly a creationist. However, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shem How come we have a race called "semite" as in anti-semite? It's as if people think that those people are descendant ...
4
votes
1answer
283 views

Can phobias be genetic, but created in one generation and not by natural selection?

I have seen this article floating around http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/10486479/Phobias-may-be-memories-passed-down-in-genes-from-ancestors.html Pretty much they state that if a ...
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vote
0answers
114 views

Is homosexuality primarily genetic? [duplicate]

It seems to me that, evolutionarily speaking, the fitness of a purely homosexual animal or human is much lower than that of a heterosexual one, and therefore would be strongly selected against. Thus I ...
4
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0answers
12k views

Is 80% of childs intelligence acquired from mother?

Several articles on internet claim that 80% of child's intelligence is acquired from mother. however not providing any scientific publications. Is it really true? source: ...
3
votes
1answer
476 views

Could the Australian Aborigines have Descended from Three People?

My anthropology professor claimed that certain genetic simulations showed that the Australian Aborigines could have descended from a population of only one man and two women. Those three people and ...
16
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4answers
2k views

Does homosexuality preserve the species?

From The Huffington Post: For even without a causal link established between homosexuality and population management, the obvious reduction in population growth attributable to homosexuality by ...
23
votes
1answer
1k views

Did drinking milk cause an evolutionary change in the human genome?

In a recent Slate article "The Most Spectacular Mutation in Recent Human History. How did milk help found Western civilization?" (October 23, 2012), a claim was made that: [Around 10,000 B.C.] a ...
6
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2answers
620 views

Could obligatory screening for Thalassemia in Cyprus violate the bioethical rules?

Stefan Beck, a visiting assistant professor at the University of California at Berkeley, claimed: “The obligatory screening and counseling for Thalassemia in Cyprus is one of the most successful ...
8
votes
1answer
46k views

Do humans share 99% of their DNA with rats?

I keep hearing this claim that a lab "rat has 99% of the DNA of a human?" Is that so? What exactly does this mean? One source for this claim seems to CNN which only says, "About 99 percent of ...
2
votes
1answer
199 views

Does a gene predict the time of day one dies?

In this article from the Huffington Post it is mentioned that a certain gene can predict what time one will die (of natural causes). Not the date, but the time of the day. "This particular ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Is intelligence declining due to the lack of selection pressure?

I have read lately that human intelligence has already peaked and that it will slowly decline over time because humans are no longer naturally selected for intelligence (Darwin award winners aside). ...
16
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2answers
1k views

Are Ashkenazi Jews largely descended from Khazars?

There is an obvious ethnic subdivision within Jews, between the Sephardic and the Ashkenazi. In several vaguely antisemitic websites (see for instance, here, here, and here ), but also in a completely ...
14
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1answer
742 views

Do corporations own human DNA sequences?

I came across the claim that Human DNA sequences are now owned by corporations: FACT: HUMAN DNA SEQUENCES ARE NOW OWNED BY CORPORATIONS Is this true? If so, what does this mean? (I realise ...
13
votes
1answer
798 views

Can a twin perceive that the other is in trouble?

There are many stories about twins being able to "feel" each other even when they are apart. Typically a twin would say that they felt that an accident or some other calamity happened to the other one ...
15
votes
2answers
9k views

Is there more genetic difference between men and women than men and monkeys?

I got into trouble with someone yesterday for poo-pooing this idea as it smelled of apples and oranges to me. The specific statistic was that genetically there is a 5% difference between men and ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Have scientists demonstrated an absent protein can cause chicks to be born with scales rather than feathers (as well as reptile scales to feathers)?

While researching and educating myself about evolution, I've come across an interesting claim that I'd like to learn more about, but so far, I've only been able to find the claim and no sources or ...
9
votes
1answer
430 views

Was Charles Darwin's family adversely affected by inbreeding?

I was reading the Wikipedia article on Inbreeding depression when I came across this: Charles Darwin, through numerous experiments, was one of the first scientists to demonstrate the effects of ...
5
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2answers
2k views

Correlation between MAO-A gene and murderers / sex offenders

The MAO-A gene, also known as the "Warrior gene", is thought to cause increased antisocial and violent behavior patterns in people who have experienced an abusive childhood. [ref] Caspi et. al. found ...
5
votes
1answer
12k views

Are all white cats with blue eyes deaf?

I was told that all pure white cats with both eyes being blue are completely deaf, and that all pure white cats with one blue eye are deaf on the side that has the blue eye. If the cat has even a ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

Can Tifton 85 grass produce cyanide gas?

Today I read something quite unexpected: Preliminary tests revealed the Tifton 85 grass, which has been here for years, had suddenly started producing cyanide gas, poisoning the cattle. [...] ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Are Ashkenazi Jews smarter?

I just received an email entitled "Why are Jews So Smart". You can read an article here. I also found a similar article in New York Magazine. Did Jewish intelligence evolve in tandem with Jewish ...
12
votes
1answer
4k views

Does inbreeding cause severe birth defects?

I've been doing some research on breeding rabbits and saw many people mentioning that if you inbreed rabbits (father-daughter/mother-son/sister-brother) that there is only a small chance of birth ...
9
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0answers
470 views

Is it possible to hatch dinosaurs from chicken eggs?

This article is one of many articles talking about re-enabling some dinosaur features in chicken. I don't know a lot about genetics or paleontology. Most articles I've found about the subject use ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

Are Adolf Hitler's DNA samples available?

A recent report published by LePoint claims that a Frenchman named Jean-Marie Loret is Hitler's son. The evidence in favor of this claim cited by the Huffington Post includes: Hitler and Loret ...
14
votes
5answers
818 views

Has natural occuring genetic insertion ever been observed in direct offspring of some organism?

Maybe this is somewhat of an ignorant question of me, and in all honesty I haven't tried very hard to find what I'm looking for1, but I keep hearing the argument that "information" can never be added ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Are red heads more likely to be hot headed?

It's a common cliche that red heads are more likely to have a fiery personality. To quote from Wikipedia: A common belief about redheads is that they have fiery tempers and sharp tongues. In ...
48
votes
1answer
10k views

Is there any harm in forcing/re-educating a left-handed child to use their right hand?

Backstory: Many of my relatives were subjected by their parents to a "training process" to "prevent" left-hand-dominance. This method started at a very young age and basically consisted of politely ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Is Lamarckian evolution still considered credible?

I had thought that Lamarckian evolution had been essentially dismissed in favour of Darwinian evolution. Lamarckian evolution as I understand it is essentially the idea that the traits an organism ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is Y-chromosomal Adam younger than Mitochondrial Eve?

A Christian claimed to me that: the Y-chromosomal Adam is way younger than the Mitochondrial Eve. Is this true? He argued that this was consistent with the biblical account: that Noah is ...
6
votes
2answers
299 views

Can one's genetics account for x% of their weight?

I have seen statements like this in various places: "Such and such accounts for X percent of so and so". But it's not always clear what this means, how it is calculated or proven. You will see this ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

Is one in two hundred men a descendant of Genghis Khan?

I've read years ago that 8% of all Asian men and thus 0.5% of all men would be descendant of Genghis Khan. Is there any truth to this? Or was this some trick to get their paper published? EDIT: ...
55
votes
2answers
3k views

Are girls and boys pre-programmed to behave… like girls and boys?

My dad claims that even as toddlers, my sister and I knew which toys to play with. For example, I would always pick up toy guns, Action Man, and other similar toys. She would always pick up Barbie. He ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Can one be naturally better at computers than English or Maths?

I think everybody heard this claim, and its opposite, a million times. Students or teachers commonly speak about having talents for a particular subject or another. The subject is debated, for ...
24
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4answers
1k views

Is reviving an extinct species possible?

With all the science of genetics, and genetic engineering, would reviving an extinct species possible? Yes, akin the story of "Jurassic Park". Would it be possible now, with the science we have ...