EVOLUTION

These articles explore evolution - the changes seen in the inherited traits of a population from one generation to the next. Evolution is one of the great mysteries of biology, since it is a slow process and difficult to study.
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How do humans evolve?

The day our human ancestors figured out fire must have been a pretty exciting one. Through the years, we've changed in so many ways, from growing bigger brains to burying our dead. But how did we get from there to here?

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  • 10 Worst Adaptations in the Animal Kingdom

    10 Worst Adaptations in the Animal Kingdom

    Humans can certainly claim some of these, but sloths, giraffes and pandas wanted a piece of the action, too. The hyena adaptation, however, may just blow your mind. See more »

  • Are humans really descended from apes?

    Are humans really descended from apes?

    Since Charles Darwin published the theory of evolution by means of natural selection, myths and misinterpretations have eroded public understanding of his ideas. Ready to take another look at one of the related questions that just won't die? See more »

  • Are people without wisdom teeth more highly evolved?

    Are people without wisdom teeth more highly evolved?

    If wisdom teeth are so wise, why do they keep sprouting in the gums of people who don't need them anymore? Should a lack of wisdom teeth give you bragging rights as a highly evolved human? See more »

  • Are there evolutionary roots to human obesity?

    Are there evolutionary roots to human obesity?

    Thanks to our big brains, we humans have figured out ways to make food easily accessible (all 24 hours of the day). But in this era of obesity, can we pinpoint the very beginnings of when we started packing on the pounds -- and is it further back in time than the rise of fast food? See more »

  • Are we all descended from a common female ancestor?

    Are we all descended from a common female ancestor?

    According to DNA research, we may all have a common ancestor, an African woman who lived thousands of years ago. How did scientists reach this conclusion? Is it even possible? See more »

  • Are we at the beginning of the end of Western civilization?

    Are we at the beginning of the end of Western civilization?

    Depending on whom and when you ask, everything from same-sex smooching to punk music portends the end of Western civilization. Do any of these cultural commentators have a case? See more »

  • Are we entering the sixth major extinction on Earth?

    Are we entering the sixth major extinction on Earth?

    Over the past few years, scientists have noted thousands of species disappearing from the face of the planet. Are we undergoing another mass extinction? What's causing it? Can it be stopped? See more »

  • Did human intelligence peak thousands of years ago?

    Did human intelligence peak thousands of years ago?

    Comic books and pulps rot our brains, television is a vast wasteland and the Internet scatters our senses. Has the heyday of human intelligence passed? See more »

  • Do species converge or diverge as they evolve?

    Do species converge or diverge as they evolve?

    Maybe you've noticed that a lot of unrelated marine animals have a torpedo-like body -- a dolphin may not be related to a small fish, but the shape of both species gets each one through the water quickly. On the other hand, two similar species can evolve into entirely different species. So what's going on here: convergent or divergent evolution? See more »

  • Fact or Fiction: Evolution Quiz

    Fact or Fiction: Evolution Quiz

    Evolution! Since its inception, the theory has spread both controversy and a new way of viewing our role on the planet. Where do the facts end and the fictions begin? See more »

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