143 votes
Accepted

Is 8% of human DNA from viruses?

Normal viruses infect cells in order to take advantage of cellular mechanisms to reproduce themselves. A class of viruses known as "retroviruses" have a slightly peculiar mechanism to achieve this - ...
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  • 6,598
88 votes

Do humans share 50% of their DNA with bananas?

Finally, a question covering my nominal area of expertise. To answer this question meaningfully we'll need to define some concepts but first. Yes, sort of. The statement is factually correct for ...
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  • 9,406
87 votes
Accepted

Did a 'Black History Month website' call white people ‘genetically defective descendants of albino mutants’?

It is indeed the site that you found. The article was entitled "Frances Cress Welsing: Melanin Theory". Frances Cress Welsing was a homophobic black supremacist writer. She claimed that the ...
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  • 39.4k
42 votes

Did a 'Black History Month website' call white people ‘genetically defective descendants of albino mutants’?

Here's a cache'd snippet from Duck Duck Go pointing to this article. https://www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk/article/section/science-and-medicine/frances-cress-welsing-melanin-theory/ This now 404's ...
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  • 521
31 votes

Do humans share 50% of their DNA with bananas?

The claim that we share 50% of our DNA is likely a misquote of an older claim, that we share 50% of our genes with bananas. Both claims, as best I can tell, are false. I'll address each claim in turn. ...
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22 votes
Accepted

Have scientists successfully cloned a dinosaur?

This article has already been well-covered on the Internet. dinosaurs.about.com says "a complete hoax, albeit a very entertaining one." Snopes says "False" and explains the image is a kangaroo. Hoax-...
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  • 133k
17 votes
Accepted

Are humans descended from chimp-pig hybrids?

The hypothesis that humans descended from chimp-pig hybrids can be denied on the following points. Hybrids between different orders of mammals are very rare due to the genetic differences and ...
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  • 22.5k
12 votes

Did a 'Black History Month website' call white people ‘genetically defective descendants of albino mutants’?

It's not limited to one Black history website. The site "Black Then: Discovering Our History" says: Dr. Frances Cress Welsing is a psychiatrist who is noted for the “Cress Theory of Color ...
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  • 98.2k
11 votes

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

No, this grossly summarised version of the paper overstates its conclusions. The quoted media reports suggest that the mother's genes account for all of the (variation) in intelligence of male ...
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  • 133k
10 votes

Do the hemoglobin genotypes of a couple affect whether their offspring will get Sickle Cell Disease?

Yes, this is accurate. The Wikipedia article has a good summary of the science, and you can also read this leaflet from the NHS in the UK. Your question about why this matters so much is a good one, ...
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  • 15.7k
10 votes

Of all humans ever born, did most men not become fathers?

This is not my area of scientific expertise. I cannot say if this study by Wilder et al is correct or not, but I can read the study and compare their conclusions to Baumeister's. Wilder et al ...
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10 votes

Is this image of eye colour inheritance accurate?

According to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) (emphasis added): Researchers used to think that eye color was determined by a single gene and followed a simple inheritance pattern in which ...
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9 votes

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

This question has remained unanswered yet not closed, so I'll give it a go. First of all, a clarification regarding the title. If phobias are genetic, by definition they can't be created in a ...
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  • 1,566
8 votes

Is 8% of human DNA from viruses?

I wish to add to the above answer. Approximately 9% of the genome is viral in origin, but current research suggests there is less of 'you' than there are other viral related sequences. Here is a very ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Are crocodiles more closely related to birds than lizards and snakes?

While it is certainly not obvious to the eye, the fact that the closest relatives of crocodiles are birds appears to be well-established. These two clades are the only living members of a group known ...
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  • 11.1k
6 votes

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

The BBC produced a programme called "No More Boys and Girls", where they tried to do the opposite of most studies which attempt to measure the amount of gendered behaviour in infants or monkeys. The ...
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6 votes

Are humans descended from chimp-pig hybrids?

There is evidence of the opposite. Here are some comprehensive references that based on genetic evidence show how actual human evolution probably happened. Some basics: Pääbo, 2003. Stringer, 2012 ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Are new genes created through duplication?

Gene duplication is a very important way of creating new genes and hence it helps organisms to evolve. Once a gene is duplicated, the "spare" copy of the gene is effectively not needed by the cell, ...
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  • 5,861
5 votes

Fewer shared immune genes in a couple correlate with (or even cause) more female orgasms?

The correlation is observable. Despite the ongoing replication crisis, this statistical effect is reported relatively often. But the correlation is small, the effect size is small and the explanatory ...
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  • 43.4k
5 votes

Did Homo sapiens have children with Neanderthals?

There's a significant body of evidence for this claim. Eg: an analysis of a first draft of the Neanderthal genome by the same team released in May 2010 indicates interbreeding may have occurred.1,2 ...
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5 votes

Is height about as heritable as obesity?

It looks like for young people (20's) both height and adiposity hover around .80. But as people get older genetic factors become less important for adiposity but remain somewhat stable (around .80) ...
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  • 2,005
5 votes

Does inbreeding cause severe birth defects?

In general terms, inbreeding is dangerous because it increases the chances of homozygosity. This means that for a particular gene, identical alleles of the gene are present on both homologous ...
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  • 1,566
4 votes

Do races/ethnicities have different odors?

Different populations may have different odors since earwax type and armpit odor may be correlated in certain select populations. Populations with dry earwax, such from East Asia, tend to sweat less ...
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  • 22.5k
4 votes

Do Jews mostly descend from Shem, son of Noah?

Ironically, the answer itself lies in anti-semitism. "Semite" itself does indeed come from "Shem"; according to the Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization, "August Ludwig von Schlözer is generally ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Are Ashkenazi Jews genetically more European than Semitic?

Per Shai Carmi et.al. in 2014, "Ashkenazi Jews have an even admixture of European and Middle Eastern origins." Modelling of ancient histories for AJ and European populations using their joint ...
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  • 22.5k
3 votes

Was Charles Darwin's family adversely affected by inbreeding?

Related question with some general info about inbreeding: Does inbreeding cause severe birth defects? Inbreeding is dangerous because it increases the chances of homozygosity, which means that ...
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  • 1,566
3 votes

Is Y-chromosomal Adam younger than Mitochondrial Eve?

No, most recent studies give an equal or slightly older date for the Y Chromosome. An African American Paternal Lineage Adds an Extremely Ancient Root to the Human Y Chromosome Phylogenetic Tree (...
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  • 2,005
2 votes

Has increased computer use led to increased myopia?

I think Oliver had it right with respect to the most influential environmental factor (light intensity). I was a bit skeptical because near-work was a long-time favorite environmental hypothesis and ...
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  • 49.6k
2 votes

Have more than a million people had their whole genomes sequenced by the end of 2018?

Probably but it's hard to be certain. It's hard to say exactly because not all whole human genome sequencing data goes into research databases, there's a number of national databases and many research ...
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  • 9,406

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