niche

No understanding of biodiversity

No single explanation for biodiversity in Madagascar Excerpt: “The study is part of a larger body of research aimed at identifying the climate, geology and other features of the environment that help bring new species of plants and animals into being in an area, and then sustain once they’re there.” My comment: Like many studies, this one posits that new species automagically arise and are somehow sustained in ecological niches. Excerpt: “What governs the distribution of, say, a particular group of…

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New technique used in report of atomic-level ecological adaptations

Archaerhodopsin variants with enhanced voltage-sensitive fluorescence in mammalian and Caenorhabditis elegans neurons Directed evolution of a far-red fluorescent rhodopsin reported as: New technique uses a genetic tool and light to view and map neuronal circuits Excerpt 1): “This [directed evolution] experiment demonstrates how rapidly these remarkable bacterial proteins can evolve in response to new demands. But even more exciting is what they can do in neurons, as Viviana discovered,” says Arnold. Excerpt 2): After incorporating Archer1 into neurons that were…

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Some neuroscientists think a mutation led to human language development

Neuroscientists identify key role of language gene Excerpt: “Neuroscientists have found that a gene mutation that arose more than half a million years ago may be key to humans’ unique ability to produce and understand speech.” Excerpt: “…the gene that allowed us to speak may have something to do with a special kind of learning, The gene was first identified in a group of family members who had severe difficulties in speaking and understanding speech, and who were found to…

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Baby talk: More misrepresentations of ecological adaptations

Evolution’s Baby Steps by Carl Zimmer Excerpt 1) “When organisms find themselves in a new environment, they develop in a way that helps them cope with their new surroundings. Their descendants may acquire mutations that encode that anatomy in their genes. Eventually evolution takes them beyond where plasticity alone could take them.” My comment: It’s time for science journalists to stop touting this nonsense (above). Ecological variation leads from nutrient uptake in new environments to RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions. If…

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The quantum biology of consciousness

Everything known about quantum biology “…suggests conscious experience is intrinsically connected to the fine-scale structure of space–time geometry, and that consciousness could be deeply related to the operation of the laws of the universe.” See for review: Consciousness in the universe: A review of the ‘Orch OR’ theory. These laws of the universe might lead others to think in terms of “laws of biology” (biological laws). Indeed, many informed scientists could expect that ecological, social, and neurogenic niche construction would result…

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The wrong picture of our evolution

“We have built a picture of our evolution based on the morphology of fossils and it was wrong.” I’ve repeatedly cited the latest literature, especially in the context of Skull 5. The article linked below is another clear representation of how the wrong picture of our evolution was built via a series of misrepresentations that ignored biological constraints while theorists touted mutation-initiated natural selection. Why don’t they simply admit that they are wrong, so others can move on? Fifty years…

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Social experiences epigenetically effect gene networks

Networks of Genes Respond to Social Experiences October 13, 2013, from Searching for the Mind with Jon Lieff, M.D. Excerpt 1: “The gene networks of social experience are consistent through many animals.” My comment: Not just many animals; the gene networks of social experiences must be consistent in all animals that adaptively evolved. You cannot get from microbes to man with any consistent model of cause and effect until you realize that the molecular mechanisms that enable cause and effect…

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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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