Category Theory

Read more about the English scientist Charles Darwin, who discovered evolution by natural selection.

What are bottlenecks and founder effects?

Population bottlenecks occur when a population’s size is reduced for at least one generation. Because genetic drift acts more quickly to reduce genetic variation in small populations, undergoing a bottleneck can reduce a population’s genetic variation by a lot, even if the bottleneck doesn’t last for very many generations.

What is an allele?

Alleles are matching genes; one from our biological mother, one from our biological father. We have two copies of every gene (strings of code that drive some biological function on our chromosomes)

What are the forces of evolution?

In biology, evolution is the change in the characteristics of a species over several generations and relies on the process of natural selection. The forces that cause these characteristic changes are mutation, gene flow and genetic drift.

What is Lamarckism?

Lamarckism or Lamarckian evolution refers to the once widely accepted idea that an organism can pass on characteristics that it acquired during its lifetime to its offspring (also known as based on heritability of acquired characteristics or "soft inheritance")

What is natural selection?

Natural selection (aka survival of the fittest) is a mechanism of evolution. Organisms that are more adapted to their environment are more likely to survive and pass on the genes that aided their success. This process causes species to change and diverge over time.

What is divergent evolution?

Convergent evolution is when different organisms independently evolve similar traits.  For example, sharks and dolphins look relatively similar despite being entirely unrelated. Sharks (opens in new tab) are egg-laying fish with the deadly ability to sniff out blood in the water, while dolphins are curious mammals that navigate by making clicking sounds and listening for their echoes. Those differences aren't too surprising, considering that the duo's last common ancestor swam the seas some 290 million years ago. .