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  1. Combination of Genetic and Humanitarian (Cross-Cultural) Methods for the Identification of Human Genes Involved in the Process of Adaptation to Evolutionary New Environmental FactorsBorinskaya, S. A. - Russian Journal of Genetics, 2015 - 7 Hypotheses

    Researchers used population samples from the ALFRED database and the Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP), in conjunction with 68 populations from the Ethnographic Atlas, in an attempt to identify specific genes involved in human adaptation to environmental stimuli as a result of migration. Specifically, researchers looked at the allele frequencies for four different genes typically associated with varying subsistence forms. These four included the APOE apolipoprotein E gene (lipid transport and regulation of cholesterol), LCT lactase gene (enzyme that decomposes lactose), CCR5 chemokine receptor gene (deletion mutation that decreases immunodeficiency virus propagation), and the ADH1B alcohol dehydrogenase gene (important enzyme for alcohol metabolism). The allele frequencies were then analyzed to distinguish any possible correlation to economic-culture types using a two-sided Spearman Test. Researchers also ran a similar test to analyze allele frequencies and pathogen load, however the majority of the findings were not statistically significant. The findings suggest that there is a definite relationship between the allele frequencies and type of economy of a population.

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  2. Correlations in the population structure of music, genes and languageBrown, Steven - Proc. R. Soc. B, 2014 - 6 Hypotheses

    By testing relationships between musical, geographic, genetic, and linguistic distance among nine indigenous groups in Taiwan, the researchers aim to quantitatively evaluate a developing theory of coevolution between these traits. An especially strong correlation between musical variability and genetic distance suggests that music may possess worldwide time depth, diversity, and universality equal to or greater than that of language, and could thus serve as a complementary marker for reconstruction of long-term population shifts.

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  3. The biogeographic origins of novelty-seeking traitsGören, Erkan - Evolution and Human Behavior, 2016 - 2 Hypotheses

    The researcher looks for empirical evidence of natural selection as an explanation for worldwide variation in novelty-seeking behavior. Examining the relationship between variability in frequency of the DRD4 exon III 7-repeat allele variant (a variant theorized to stifle dopamine reception and thus encourage compensatory novelty-seeking behavior) and migratory distance from prehistoric humans' origin point in East Africa yields a positive correlation. After controlling for various biogeographic indicators, the researcher theorizes that presence of the DRD4 exon III 7-repeat variant provided an exploratory urge and evolutionary advantage to hunter-gatherers and pastoralists who migrated into unfamiliar environments.

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  4. Semes and genes in africaHewlett, Barry S. - Current Anthropology, 2002 - 4 Hypotheses

    Genetic, linguistic, and geographic data can be used to explain the distribution of cultural units ("semes") and to understand the evolutionary mechanisms of culture. Three broad models of cultural transmission attempt to explain why cultures share semes: (1) Cultural diffusion, emphasizing horizontal transmission. (2) Local adaptation, where trail-and-error learning leads to the independent adoption of semes by different peoples living in similar environments. (3) Demic diffusion, which emphasizes vertical and frequency-dependent transmission. Authors test the explanatory power of each model using cultural, genetic, linguistic and geographic data from 36 African cultures.

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  5. Phylogenetic analysis of the evolution of lactose digestion in adultsHolden, Clare - Human Biology, 1997 - 4 Hypotheses

    The ability of adults to digest lactose is common only in populations of European and circum-Mediterranean origin, a distribution thought to be a result of genetic adaptation to drinking milk from domestic livestock. Two additional hypotheses have been proposed to explain the distribution of high lactose digestion capacity: (1) supplemental calcium in high-latitude populations prone to vitamin D deficiency and (2) maintenance of water and electrolytes in the body in highly arid environments. However, these hypotheses are confounded by the shared ancestry of populations whose lactose digestion capability has been tested. Therefore, the authors test all three hypotheses using a phylogenetic comparative method for 62 cultures.

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  6. Human variation in the shape of the birth canal is significant and geographically structuredBetti, Lia - Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 2018 - 5 Hypotheses

    The 'obstetrical dilemma' postulates that human females evolved a pelvis shape that was a compromise between the needs of bipedal locomotion and the need for a wider pelvic opening. The implication is that the female pelvis should be similar across the world. Researchers examine the size and shape of the birth canal of female individuals in the Goldman and Human Origin datasets. Contrary to the 'obstetrical dilemma,' the findings reveal that there is indeed significant geographical variation in size and shape of the female birth canal. Neutral evolutionary processes, particularly genetic drift, were suggested to be influential in female canal shape whereas the predicted effects of climate on canal diversity were only minimal.

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  7. Folktale transmission in the arctic provides evidence for high bandwidth social learning among hunter–gatherer groupsRoss, Robert M. - Evolution and Human Behavior, 2016 - 4 Hypotheses

    The myths, legends, and folktales of nearby groups tend to more alike than those of more distant groups. Three competing models attempt to explain this distribution of cultural traits: (1) vertical transmission, (2) horizontal transmission, and (3) independent innovation. The authors examine 18 Arctic hunter-gatherer groups to quantify the extent to which geographic distance, cultural ancestry, and effective population size predict overlap in folktale inventories.

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  8. Comparative study of reproductive skew and pair-bond stability using genealogies from 80 small-scale human societiesEllsworth, Ryan M. - American Journal of Human Biology, 2015 - 7 Hypotheses

    Authors use genealogical data to investigate pair bond stability and reproductive skew across a sample of 80 small-scale societies. Results suggest that male reproductive skew and pair-bond stability are independent sources of cross-cultural variation in human mating patterns.

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  9. Behavioural variation in 172 small-scale societies indicates that social learning is the main mode of human adaptationMathew, Sarah - Proc. R. Soc. B, 2015 - 8 Hypotheses

    Inter-group variation is greater in humans than in any other animal, and scholars continue to debate the cause of this diversity. Two competing explanatory models of human variation emphasize either (1) ecological differences and "evoked" culture or (2) population-level effects of cultural transmission. The former emphasizes mechanisms that operate within a single generation, while the latter emphasizes cumulative cultural history operating over many generations. To test these competing models, the authors measured the relative power of ecological variables as compared to culture history to predict behavioral variation in 172 western North American tribes. Culture history is subdivided into culture phylogeny (based on language phylogeny) and spatial distance.

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  10. Kin term patterns and their distributionMurdock, George Peter - Ethnology, 1970 - 1 Hypotheses

    This paper presents a comprehensive list of kinship patterns for grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews, siblings, cross-cousins, and siblings-in-law. The author based these typologies on over 1000 kinship terminologies from around the world. The geographical distributions of kinship patterns are also included.

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