Ecological variation and niche construction: 1, 2, 3

By: James V. Kohl | Published on: September 27, 2014

Part 1

From its most basic expression in grazing and predatory nematodes with differences in morphological and behavioral phenotypes, neurogenic niche construction is nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled. One of these two worms has teeth. It also recognizes self vs other differences and eats other worms. “The patterns of synaptic connections perfectly mirror the fundamental differences in the feeding behaviours of P. pacificus and C. elegans”, Ralf Sommer concludes.
Evolutionary theorists concluded and continue to claim that “…without mutation, evolution would not be possible. This is because mutations provide the “raw material” upon which the mechanisms of natural selection can act.”  That suggests the differences in synaptic connectivity and differences in behavior in P. pacificus arose via mutations in C.elegans that led to natural selection and the evolution of predatory behavior associated with the evolution of teeth.
For contrast, Starvation-Induced Transgenerational Inheritance of Small RNAs in C. elegans and everything currently known about differences in the immune systems of animals suggests ecological variation led from nutrient-dependent RNA-directed DNA methylation to RNA-mediated events and amino acid substitutions that differentiate the cell types of the two nematodes. All other experimental evidence of biologically-based cause and effect attests to the fact that RNA-mediated events link ecological variation to ecological adaptations manifested in the morphological and behavioral phenotypes of species from microbes to man via conserved molecular mechanisms.
Suzanne Clancy, who stated that “…without mutation, evolution would not be possible”,  should try to explain how she arrived at that conclusion in the context of explaining that “… the alteration of a single nucleotide in the gene for the beta chain of the hemoglobin protein (the oxygen-carrying protein that makes blood red) is all it takes to turn a normal hemoglobin gene into a sickle-cell hemoglobin gene. This single nucleotide change alters only one amino acid in the protein chain, but the results are devastating.”
What happens when the result of altering one amino acid in the protein change are not devastating?
Clancy (2008) wrote that “Beta hemoglobin (beta globin) is a single chain of 147 amino acids.” Thirty-five years earlier, Dobzhansky (1973) wrote that “…the so-called alpha chains of hemoglobin have identical sequences of amino acids in man and the chimpanzee, but they differ in a single amino acid (out of 141) in the gorilla.
1) One altered amino acid of the chain in beta hemoglobin causes an inherited disease in some populations of modern humans. (per Clancy)
2) One altered amino acid of the chain in alpha hemoglobin causes species-wide differences in all populations of 3 different primates. (per Dobzhansky)
Five questions arise:
1) If the 3 different primates were two different nematodes, would they starve to death or mutate into a new species with a change in their diet.
2) Who is teaching others, like Jay R. Feierman, to believe that “Random mutations are the substrates upon which directional natural selection acts.” (
3) Why does any intelligent person believe “…that if you showed this statement to any professor of biology or genetics in any accredited university anywhere in the world that 100% of them would say that “Random mutations are the substrate upon which directional natural selection acts” is a correct and true statement.”
4) Similarly, why does any intelligent person believe they can tell me that  “Variation is not nutrient availability and the something that is doing the selecting is not the individual organism. A feature of an educated person is to realize what they do not know. Sadly, you don’t know that you have an incorrect understanding Darwinian biological evolution.”
5) Does anyone else think other intelligent people are not going to ask how nutrients could not be the substrates that enable Darwinian biodiversity when someone claims that random mutations are the substrates on which directional natural selection acts?

Part 2

All 5 questions from Part 1 have been addressed in the context of three articles published in Science, which were reported yesterday in an “In Depth” perspective by Elizabeth Pennisi on a “metabolic shift” linked to the immune system, which is required for self vs other recognition. See my comment: Metabolic shift may train immune cells. All three articles attest to the requirement for a link from ecological variation to ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction via the gene-cell-tissue-organ-organ system pathway. Clearly, increasing organismal complexity arises via this established pathway that links embryonic development to adult development of morphological and behavioral phenotypes in vertebrates.
I have detailed a link in conjunction with details about the pathway from the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genomes of different species from microbes to man in Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model. I included the examples of the two nematodes and an example of a primate population (i.e., modern humans in central China). Here is information about neurogenic niche construction in another model organism:

Sensory-specific modulation of adult neurogenesis in sensory structures is associated with the type of stem cell present in the neurogenic niche of the zebrafish brain

Excerpt: “…modality-specific stimulation at distinct stages in the process of adult neurogenesis – chemosensory niches at the level of neuronal survival and visual niches in the size of the stem/progenitor population” are linked to the origins of niche construction in the embryo via conserved molecular mechanisms of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in nematodes. Can anyone explain how niche construction evolved?
Obviously, there are many researchers who still think “…mutations provide the “raw material” upon which the mechanisms of natural selection can act.” Does anyone know how mutations and natural selection led to the evolution of niche construction and the nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled biodiversity manifested in the morphological and behavioral phenotypes of species from microbes to man — and to sensory specific modulation of adult vertebrate brain development in vertebrates? If so, mutations and natural selection could lead from the evolution of pheromones to….

Part 3

Roles for learning in mammalian chemosensory responses

Excerpt 1) “When Karlson and Lüscher first proposed their definition of a pheromone they envisaged that their definition would be redefined and updated over time (Karlson and Lüscher, 1959).”
My comment: Their definition was clear. ”Pheromones are defined as substances which are secreted to the outside by an individual and received by a second individual of the same species, in which they release a specific reaction, for example, a definite behavior, or a developmental process.”
Excerpt 2) “… it still forms the core of most accepted definitions, such as the recent, slightly modified definition by Wyatt, “molecules that are evolved signals…” (Wyatt, 2014).
My comment: Portraying pheromones as if they are evolved signals, is not a slightly modified definition. Wyatt (2014) took pheromones from the context of ecological variation and nutrient-dependent ecological adaptations in insects and defined pheromones in the context of evolution. He bastardized the definition to make it fit what population geneticists invented and defined, which is now called neo-Darwinism. The population geneticists defined Darwin’s nutrient-dependent ‘conditions of life’ in terms of mutations, natural selection, and evolution. Wyatt and others must now have “molecules that are evolved signals…” to continue their pseudoscientific nonsense, which is based on statistics not biologically-based cause and effect. Population Genetics is, however, only a statistical association between something we had to infer and something we could observe.
Dobzhansky’s (1964) accurate portrayal of the observers follows: “…the only worthwhile biology is molecular biology. All else is “bird watching” or “butterfly collecting.” Bird watching and butterfly collecting are occupations manifestly unworthy of serious scientists!”
Dobzhansky’s portrayal serves as an introduction to claims by Wyatt and others who continue the bastardization of Darwin’s works as if food odors and pheromones evolved. The perturbed reality of the observers does not include ‘conditions of life’ that are nutrient-dependent. They ignore that fact that nutrients are metabolized to species-specific pheromones that control the physiology of reproduction in species from microbes to man.
Pheromones are nutrient-dependent. Ecological adaptations are nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled. Protein biosynthesis and degradation are biophysically contrained in the context of thermodynamic cycles that must lead to the stability of DNA in the organized genomes of organisms that require nutrient-dependent metabolic shifts to enable organism-level thermoregulation.
What evolved? How? Why hasn’t anyone described a biologically-based evolutionary event? Why is Wyatt trying to convince others that pheromones evolved when their production is obviously nutrient-dependent and clearly linked from RNA-directed DNA methylation to RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions that differentiate the cell types of all cells of all individuals of all species via the conserved molecular mechanisms that enable the nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled physiology of reproduction in species from microbes to man?

Pheromones and Animal Behavior: Chemical Signals and Signatures

“A final chapter critically considers human pheromones and the importance of olfaction to human biology. Its breadth of coverage and readability make the book an unrivaled resource for students and researchers in a range of fields from chemistry, genetics, genomics, molecular biology and neuroscience to ecology, evolution and behavior.”
People like Wyatt continue to show others that if you don’t understand the Laws of Physics, you should not write books about “…a range of fields from chemistry, genetics, genomics, molecular biology and neuroscience to ecology, evolution and behavior.” Instead, you should write books that claim “…constraint-breaking mutation is the ultimate source of all biological innovations and the enormous amount of biodiversity in this world.” Alternatively, you can keep claiming that pheromones in mammals do not exist or that human pheromones don’t exist because we are too highly evolved. After all, “WHAT are we going to do if it turns out that we have pheromones? What on earth would we be doing with such things? With the richness of speech, and all our new devices for communication, why would we want to release odors into the air to convey information about anything?” — Lewis Thomas (1971) “A Fear of Pheromones” as cited in the first book about human pheromones:

The Scent of Eros: Mysteries of Odor in Human Sexuality (1995/2002).

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

[…] My comments on the most recent attempt to keep the focus on evolution via definitions with no experimental evidence of biologically-based cause and effect is here: […]

Want more on the same topic?

Swipe/Drag Left and Right To Browse Related Posts: