Evolution: innovations may have non-adaptive origins (sans mutations)

Q & A: Evolution Makes Do By Chris Palmer Evolutionary biologist Andreas Wagner argues that many evolutionary innovations may have non-adaptive origins. Excerpt: “If exaptations are pervasive, then natural selection—which few doubt is critical for the preservation and spreading of traits—may not be that important for the origin of innovations in life’s history.” See also: Rapid detection of positive selection in genes and genomes through variation clusters Excerpt: “They occur in well-defined domains of a protein’s tertiary structure and show…

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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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