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Thread: Chimps 'more evolved' than humans

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    popopot's Avatar To Me, To You BT Rep: +5
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    From: http://www.newscientist.com/article/...an-humans.html

    It is time to stop thinking we are the pinnacle of evolutionary success – chimpanzees are the more highly evolved species, according to new research.

    Evolutionary geneticist Jianzhi Zhang and colleagues at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, US, compared DNA sequences for 13,888 genes shared by human, chimp and rhesus macaques.

    For each DNA letter at which the human or chimp genes differ from our shared ancestral form – inferred from the corresponding gene in macaques – researchers noted whether the change led to an altered protein. Genes that have been transformed by natural selection show an unusually high proportion of mutations leading to altered proteins.

    Zhang's team found that 233 chimp genes, compared with only 154 human ones, have been changed by selection since chimps and humans split from their common ancestor about 6 million years ago.

    This contradicts what most evolutionary biologists had assumed. "We tend to see the differences between us and our common ancestor more easily than the differences between chimps and the common ancestor," observes Zhang.

    The result makes sense, he says, because until relatively recently the human population has been smaller than that of chimps, leaving us more vulnerable to random fluctuations in gene frequencies. This prevents natural selection from having as strong an effect overall.

    Now that the macaque genome has been sequenced, biologists will be able to learn more about the differences between the apes.


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    Barbarossa's Avatar mostly harmless
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    Quote Originally Posted by popopot View Post
    The result makes sense, he says, because until relatively recently the human population has been smaller than that of chimps, leaving us more vulnerable to random fluctuations in gene frequencies. This prevents natural selection from having as strong an effect overall.
    It doesn't make sense to me

    Surely genetic mutations in a smaller population will spread faster than they will in a larger population, so natural selection will have a stronger effect overall.

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    popopot's Avatar To Me, To You BT Rep: +5
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    I guess natural selection cannot have a strong effect in a small population because there is no means of selecting the fittest individuals if there is a limited selection from which to propagate - you might have to breed with a munter if thats all that is available! Therefore, fluctuations will be greater because the 'munters' genes will cause a change in the 'fitness' landscape of the population. This all depends on how small the population is of course.


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    Barbarossa's Avatar mostly harmless
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    But natural selection cannot have a strong effect in a huge population, because there are so many more munters to breed with

    Not everyone gets to breed with Kelly Brook for example. Some of us have to make do with second best

    Therefore, if Kelly Brook contained some awesome genetic advantage, it really doesn't matter because statistically it will only get passed on to a small percentage of descendents.

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    Are we saying that countries that have a clan system are genetically further on than the rest of the World where they breed indiscriminately?
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    vidcc's Avatar there is no god
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    Natural selection /survival of the fittest/ genetic advantages works in nature where the strongest get to breed the most. Larger populations by sheer numbers make it more likely that a genetic abnormality could occur.

    Of course smaller populations have the whole inbreeding abnormalities to contend with, seldom are these abnormalities advantageous


    Humans have to a large degree removed themselves from this because of things like emotions being part of the process. Physical attraction plays a role but not everyone is attracted to the fittest and strongest.

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    JPaul's Avatar Fat Secret Agent
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    It is time to stop thinking we are the pinnacle of evolutionary success – chimpanzees are the more highly evolved species, according to new research.
    Baloney, man is the pinnacle of evolutionary success.

    Chimps may be more highly evolved, so what that doesn't make them a bigger success.

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    manker's Avatar effendi
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbarossa View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by popopot View Post
    The result makes sense, he says, because until relatively recently the human population has been smaller than that of chimps, leaving us more vulnerable to random fluctuations in gene frequencies*. This prevents natural selection from having as strong an effect overall.
    It doesn't make sense to me

    Surely genetic mutations in a smaller population will spread faster than they will in a larger population, so natural selection will have a stronger effect overall.
    *I think he'd have been better served by writing 'lower levels of' instead of 'random fluctuations in'.

    What the author probably means there is that because of the smaller population of humans, there will be lower levels of the number of alleles to interact with a compatible allele, from the other parent, which can then result in a mutation. This will thus inhibit evolution by natural selection.

    Put simply, less offspring = less chance of a mutation = less chance of an evolutionary leap.
    I plan on beating him to death with his kids. I'll use them as a bludgeon on his face. -

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    popopot's Avatar To Me, To You BT Rep: +5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPaul View Post
    It is time to stop thinking we are the pinnacle of evolutionary success – chimpanzees are the more highly evolved species, according to new research.
    Baloney, man is the pinnacle of evolutionary success.

    Chimps may be more highly evolved, so what that doesn't make them a bigger success.
    Us a success?


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    JPaul's Avatar Fat Secret Agent
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    Quote Originally Posted by popopot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JPaul View Post
    Baloney, man is the pinnacle of evolutionary success.

    Chimps may be more highly evolved, so what that doesn't make them a bigger success.
    Us a success?
    Yeah, we run the fucking place.

    If you look at what evolution and natural selection are for, we are successful beyond belief.

    Don't mix that up with a value judgement btw. I'm not saying we are good, or that what we do is laudable. However with our opposable thumbs and large surplus brain capacity we have evolved the fuck out of everything else.

    Sorry if that got too sciency and technical.

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