Model Organisms

Jay R. Feierman

In his posts that I have linked below, Jay R. Feierman takes us from random mutations on which natural selection acts to natural selection for phenotypes and changes in the brain that lead to increased reproductive success. According to him, the change in the brain can be called an adaptation. In my model, ecological variation and nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled epigenetically-effected ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction enable organismal complexity of the human brain. Ecological variation links the epigenetic landscape to…

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Pulses of olfactory/pheromonal input

Signal and noise: Spike correlations in the olfactory system by John Hewitt Excerpt: “The olfactory system is not so much a hard-wired telephone network where channels can be instantaneously specified and connected by number codes, and then used to transmit further codes. There is significant overgrowth and back-pruning in olfactory networks during development, and some ongoing cell replacement, but once etched, many of its larger features remain stable.” My comment: This comparison is meaningful: “…any message can not stand out…

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Your comment is awaiting moderation

After I posted 5 of the 14 comments to the National Geographic site during discussion of Mercenary Ants Protect Farmers With Chemical Weapons by Ed Yong, I got the message: “Your comment is awaiting “moderation” Typically, that means I will not be allowed to continue participation in the discussion I started, which is why I am blog-posting my comment here. Perhaps I have been too harsh in my responses to people who keep politely telling me I am WRONG. Perhaps,…

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Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled stickleback evolution

Sexual imprinting on ecologically divergent traits leads to sexual isolation in sticklebacks Excerpt: “Odour differences may be owing to pleiotropic effects of adaptive differences in diet [18], habitat [12] and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) alleles selected by parasite differences [19,20].” Excerpt: “…imprinting has turned odour and nuptial coloration into magic traits.” My comment: In my model, natural odour production in vertebrates is not a magic trait. It results from the role of food odours in nutrient-dependent RNA-mediated ecological niche construction.…

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A thought experiment

I may be confused about proximate and ultimate cause, especially if the role of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance is not central to the extended evolutionary synthesis. Isn’t transgenerational epigenetic inheritance the problem that led Dickins and Rahman to suggest a thought experiment; one where epigenetic mechanisms introduce shifts in learning bias for certain associations as would endocrine functioning? If so, my model (Kohl, 2012), which combines the epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals and pheromones with biased endocrine functioning and adaptive evolution,…

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  • What Darwin proved: there’s no such thing as a species
    GENETICS As Animals Mingle, a Baffling Genetic Barrier A short stretch of DNA is challenging what it means to be a species. By: Emily Singer August 5, 2014 Excerpt: “Scientists have dubbed such regions of the genome “islands of speciation.” The persistence of such islands is a phenomenon that has been observed in a variety of […]
  • Randomness and Divine Providence
    A Q&A on randomness and God’s providence …the main goal is to really put together a collection of scholarly studies of these issues: physicists, biologists, mathematicians, statisticians, philosophers and theologians. replaced: Randomness and Divine Providence Supported by the John Templeton...Read more