Phylogenetics and dating with

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We are not usually talking about individuals; and we are restricting our discussion to traits which vary within the population. There is no variation on this trait in humans aside from a few outliers, to be human is to have five fingers.

phylogenetics and dating with-64

Obviously this is a more difficult proposition when speaking of humans, necessitating the ubiquitous twin studies where as much of the shared environment is controlled as possible.When someone tells you that height is 80% heritable, does that mean: a) 80% of the reason you are the height you are is due to genes b) 80% of the variation within the population on the trait of height is due to variation of the genes The answer is of course b.Unfortunately in the 5 years I’ve been blogging the conception of heritability has been rather difficult to get across, and I regularly have to browbeat readers who conflate the term with a.While someone with three fingers is abnormal, someone who is two inches shorter than the mean is simply deviated along the normal distribution of height.Heritable traits are often subject to the independent action of numerous variables of small effect, so they naturally are subject to the central limit theorem and exhibit an approximate Gaussian distribution (the “Bell Curve”).

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