All you wanted to know about asymmetry but were afraid to ask
Friday seminar by Stefan van Dongen
While the association between fluctuating asymmetry (FA, a measure of developmental instability) is known to be weak and highly variable among studies, the literature on human biology seems to show stronger confidence in an important role of FA in evolutionary biology. In this presentation, I will start from a meta analysis to show that also in humans, associations are weak and heterogeneous. Furthermore, there is a problem of publication bias. After correcting for this bias, the average coefficient of determination of associations between FA and stress equals merely 0.5 %. Next, the results of the meta analysis are confirmed by three case studies. Results will be contrasted against 'widely held beliefs' in the literature on the role of developmental instability in human evolutionary biology.
Stefan van Dongen