Behavior is receptor-mediated

June 15, 2014 | James Kohl

Mechanism explains complex brain wiring

Excerpt: “How neurons are created and integrate with each other is one of biology’s greatest riddles.”

My comment: The biology of behavior is receptor-mediated. If you can convince people it is not receptor-mediated, you can probably convince them that the different morphological and behavioral phenotypes of species from microbes to man somehow evolved via mutations and natural selection. However, without the nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes, ecological variation could not possibly result in the ecological adaptations some people think are the result of mutation-driven evolution.

Yesterday, the arch-enemy of scientific pursuits, Jay R. Feireman, who is moderator of ISHE, the International Society of Human Ethology’s yahoo discussion group, decided to end my participation unless I answered a question that arose during discussion of ecological (diet-driven) niche construction. I attempted to address nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological niche construction in a thread about wolves.

I wrote (and Feierman edited …)

Excerpt: Emerging evidence suggests that ecological heterogeneity across space can influence the genetic structure of populations, including that of long-distance dispersers such as large carnivores.

My comment: Indeed, the emerging evidence actually refutes all the neo-Darwinian nonsense of population genetics . . . etc., etc.

Feierman then wrote[MODERATOR NOTE: I'm not going to post more from Kohl until he answers the very direct and simple question posed to him by anon, which is whether he (Kohl) believes that RNA splicing can change DNA.]

I had written:  Serious scientists understand how miRNA processing uses alternative splicing to manipulate the levels of different clustered intronic miRNAs and have specifically shown how miRNAs of the miR-106b-25 cluster, which are involved in the inhibition of several apoptotic pathways, can be differentially expressed. Inhibiting apoptosis is one way to enable the experience-dependent de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes and olfactory receptor neurons.

This was misrepresented by an anonymous participant who wrote: “This is about your insistence that splicing creates new genes.”

In my detailed model: Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations: from atoms to ecosystems, I covered every aspect of de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes that I could imagine, but had not yet read this article, which established the fact that de novo gene creation was experience dependent. See:

Odor memories regulate olfactory receptor expression in the sensory periphery

Excerpt 1)  “…the molecular basis of odor detection in the periphery of the olfactory system changes with experience…”

Excerpt 2) “…the mechanism underlying this plasticity might involve non-coding RNAs such as micro-RNAs predicted to target Or151 [miR-97-1, miR-985, miR-6002, miR-6039 and miR-6058 (Chen et al., 2010; Liu et al., 2012; A.S. Cristino, personal observation)]. This potential micro-RNA activity might be linked to molecular events associated with synaptic changes in the feedback circuit.”

My comment: It is not likely to become clearer that conserved molecular mechanisms enable the sensing of nutrients and their metabolism to species-specific pheromones that control the physiology of reproduction. The involvement of the nutrient-dependent microRNA/messenger RNA balance is not likely to become clearer.

However, until evolutionary theorists admit that mutations, which perturb protein folding, cannot also create functional new genes in the context of biophysically-constrained intercellular signaling that links the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA via de novo gene creation, no scientific progress can be made that might otherwise make sense of how ecological variation results in ecological adaptations. The ecological adaptations will be offered to others as examples of evolution.

For comparison, see our award-winning 2001 review: Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology and note this comment from the president of the International Society for Physiological Sciences: “If you learnt evolutionary biology and genetics a decade or more ago you need to be aware that those debates have moved on very considerably, as has the experimental and field work on which they are based.

Evolutionary theorists, and other social scientists who have failed to support their ideas with experimental evidence of biologically-based cause and effect can only continue to link meaningless data that they meaningfully interpret to mutations, natural selection, and evolution. That is precisely what several members of ISHE will soon be doing, as evidenced by the presentations by human ethologists on olfaction and behavior, which are scheduled during a forthcoming conference. Keep in mind that without the link from odors to the de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes, each of these presentations will be framed in the context the theories touted at the time neo-Darwinism was invented by population geneticists. The presentations will not accurately represent what is currently known about how ecological variation enables ecological adaptations via the creation of new genes. The presentations will incorporate only the knowledge that we integrated into our 2001 review, nothing new.

See these abstracts of accepted papers for the 2014 Belem conference . Specifically, here are the abstracts that will be presented in this symposium:

The scented ape: communication, perception and application

Jan Havlicek

Last modified: 2014-06-02

Abstract

Humans are traditionally depicted as a microsmatic species, suggesting that olfaction plays a minor role in various areas of our lives. However, humans emit numerous aromatic compounds from their bodies and adorn both themselves and their environment with extrinsically sourced aromatic compounds. The last two decades have witnessed rapidly growing interest in the possibility that the outcome of various social interactions are affected by odour. The goal of this symposium is to highlight several areas of human chemical communication and link them to the major theoretical frameworks such sexual selection theory, evolution of signalling or dual inheritance theory. It will include presentations and debate on the social significance of major axillary constituents (Roberts), communication of affective states through body odours (Fialová), effect of odours on formation of first impressions (Sorokowska), interaction between body odour and perfume (Havlíček), sex differences in odour perception (Grammer) and psychological effects of scented environments (Obrerzaucher). Studies into human semiochemistry are inherently transdisciplinary including analytical chemistry, microbiology and various branches of psychology which pose a serious challenge to researchers to understand this vast complexity. We therefore also aim to briefly introduce methods used in the relevant fields. A panel discussion following the main talks will focus on the conceptual and theoretical aspects related to chemical communication and its promise for stimulating further ethological inquiry.

Chair:

Jan Havlíček, Ph.D, e-mail: jhavlicek@natur.cuni.cz, Charles University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, Viničná 7, 128 44, Praha 2, Czech Republic

Participants:

S. Craig Roberts, Ph.D, e-mail: craig.roberts@stir.uc.uk, University of Stirling, School of Natural Sciences, Stirling, FK9 4BN, UK

Jitka Fialová, M.A., e-mail: jita.fialova@seznam.cz, Charles University, Faculty of Science, Department of Philosophy and History of Science, Viničná 7, 128 44, Praha 2, Czech Republic

Agnieszka Sorokowska, M.A., e-mail:sorokowska@gmail.com, University of Wroclaw, Institute of Psychology, ul. Brzozowa 7a/11; 52-200 Wysoka, Poland

Karl Grammer, Prof., e-mail: karl.grammer@univie.ac.at, University ofVienna, Department of Anthropology, AltanStrasse 14, A-1090, Vienna, Austria

Elisabeth Oberzaucher, Ph.D, e-mail: elisabeth.oberzaucher@univie.ac.at, University of Klagenfurt, InterdisciplinaryResearch Center for Technology, Work and Culture, Klagenfurt, Austria

Androstenes in human axillary odour reveal mate availability, not mate quality

S. Craig Roberts, Jan Christensen, Alice Murray, Jan Havlicek, Patriziad’Ettorre

Body odour influences human mate preferences, but we do not know the chemical basis of such effects. However, one possible candidate is the family of 16-androstene compounds, which are known to produce physiological and behavioural effects in humans, as well as in other mammals. In our study, we tested whether individual variation in expression of androstene compounds predicts variation in other phenotypic indicator traits, but found no evidence that they predict mate quality. However, individual odour profiles were associated with mated status, with odours comprising relatively high proportions of androstenols and androstenones and low proportions of androstadienones being characteristic of unpartnered men. In perceptual tests, axillary odours characteristic of unpartnered men were preferred over odours characteristic of partnered men, and artificial mixtures mimicking odour of unpartnered men induced more proceptive responses in women. Our results suggest that androstenes reveal mating relevant cues of a different kind to that previously believed.

Perception of emotion-related body odours in humans

Jitka Fialová and Jan Havlíček

Many socially living species are able to perceive chemical cues to the emotional states of their conspecifics. Similarly, it was shown that humans are to some extent able to recognize, distinguish and judge hedonic quality of odours of other individuals who have been experiencing various affective states predominantly in fear, happy or stressful contexts. On the other hand, often it is difficult to identify specific affective contexts in which the odour has been sampled. Furthermore, in the following studies it was found that exposure to odour samples collected in stressful situations affect cognitive functioning and behaviour (e. g., startle response and level of anxiety increase, higher risk-taking behaviour or sensory bias in the perception of another person) of people exposed to such odours, although individuals may not be aware of what the odour refers to or may be perceived on subliminal level. This is further supported by the research into the changes in the brain activity following perception of odours sampled in various affective states. Moreover, among the affective states which may influence the body odour belongs also emotions accompanying competition, more specifically, the emotions connected to winning or losing (for instance, pride, sadness etc.). The main aim of this paper is to review the current body of evidence about perception of emotion-related body odours in humans and interpret the findings of the relevant studies, point out the shortcomings in the present research (i. e., using verbal labels of the emotional states, separating and defining particular emotional states) and suggest new avenues to carry on in this promising and fruitful area(e.g. broaden the set of studied affective states and psychophysical responses of individuals exposed to these emotion-related body odours).

The perfume-body odour complex: An insightful model for culture-gene coevolution?

Jan Havlíček and S. Craig Roberts

Olfaction is involved in various human social interactions, ranging from mother-offspring attachment to mate choice decisions. Psychological processes underlying such interactions are thought to be shaped by evolution. However, across many human cultures, individuals tend to manipulate their body odour by means of various fragrances and these may significantly affect the outcome of social encounters in a context-specific fashion. Here we employ the framework of dual-inheritance theory, which advocates that cultural practices should be incorporated into the analysis of evolution of human behaviour, to explore cultural means of olfactory signalling such as ethnic and status markers. Further, we review studies showing that perfumes interact with body odour in an individual fashion and that people tend to choose perfumes according to their genetic make-up. This indicates that biologically evolved chemical signalling might operate in concert with some cultural human practices. Finally, we propose two scenarios: i) how culturally based preferences and use of perfume might impact gene frequencies in individual populations, and ii) how evolved cognitive biases might affect selection of scents that are appropriate for body adornments. This, in our view, makes the perfume-body odour complex a potentially insightful model for culture-gene coevolution.

Does personality smell? An overview.

Agnieszka Sorokowska

People are able to assess some personality traits of others based on videotaped behavior, short interaction or a photograph. In a series of studies, we investigated the relationship between body odor and the Big Five personality dimensions and dominance (the correlations between scent ratings and the self-assessed personality dimensions). In Study I, sixty odor samples were assessed by 20 raters each. In Study II, we compared the accuracy of assessments performed by 150 observers on the basis of facial images and body odor of 50 individuals and we analyzed whether attractiveness of targets influenced the accuracy. In Study III, we investigated whether personality traits might be recognized using olfactory cues in contexts other than male–female interactions. 75 children and 75 young adults rated the personality traits of 50 unknown individuals based on their body odor. In Study IV, we tested differences between assessments based on natural body odor and assessments based on smell of people who were allowed to use any cosmetics based on their daily routine.100 observers assessed samples of odors of 113 odor donors (every odor donor provided two samples).The main finding of Study I was that in several personality traits, the correlation between self-assessed personality of odor donors and judgments based on their body odor (T-shirt samples) was above a chance level. The correlations were strongest for extraversion (.36), neuroticism (.34) and dominance (.29). In Study II, naive observers assessed neuroticism and dominance at above-chance levels based on samples of body odor, and they assessed extraversion (and in some cases, neuroticism) at above-chance levels based on either facial images alone or body odor and facial images presented together. In addition, facial and body odor attractiveness predicted the targets’ personalities and the assessments of their personalities. The results of this study show that the accuracy of personality assessment changes when judges assess different types of stimuli. Interestingly, the assessments of extraversion based on axillary cotton pads were less accurate than the assessments based on T-shirts in Study I. The results of Study III show that both children and adults assess neuroticism relatively accurately, whereas only adults congruently assessed dominance. The most important findings of Study IV were that correlations with self-rated neuroticism were more congruent when raters assessed natural body odor samples than in condition with use of cosmetics. Ratings of dominance were congruent in both cases, and assessments of extraversion were incongruent in both parts of this study. This suggests that cosmetics might change the impression about personality conveyed by body odor. In summary, the results of all presented studies suggest that olfaction supplements visual and auditory cues throughout our whole lives, contributing to the formation of the first impression and accuracy of certain personality traits judgements.

Situated Communication – Scented Environments

Elisabeth Oberzaucher & Susanne Schmehl

Multimodal communication integrates communicative tokens exchanged among communicators on different levels of complexity and speed, and through different sensory channels. The meaning attributed to these communicative tokens is affected by the interaction among these tokens. The word ‘yes’, for example, can adopt a large number of different meanings modulated by e.g. voice parameters, facial and bodily expressions that accompany it. Communicative tokens can convey different meanings depending on who produces them and where. The behaviour settings theory (Barker 1968) emphasises the importance of situatedness of behaviour, i.e. the specific environment where behaviour is shown. Unfortunately, communication research was not strongly affected by this idea.

Olfaction might be the communication channel that is affected most by environmental properties: Environmental scents can lead to habituation increasing the threshold for perception. More importantly, odorous molecules might have interactive effects, thus changing the hedonic value, or even the attributed meaning.

Scent design is of increasing interest for various businesses, aiming to affect the behaviour of people and customers. Scents are used to create brand identities, to attract customers, and to camouflage undesired odours. We will discuss the potential of scents in affecting human behaviour on a subconscious level and highlight the limitations of scent applications.

Ina Maria Rennisch, Julia Ramesmayer, Anna Schaman, Karl Grammer

Does the odor of the Maillard reaction lure men to the barbecue? SFA

Whenever a barbecue is lighted it is surrounded by men. Although this seems like common knowledge, very little is known about what is causing this phenomenon. The aim of this study is to gain insight into this topic, if it has a social cause or is induced by evolutionary reasons. We hypothesized that the preference of men handling the barbecue is due to their higher attraction to the typical volatile compounds originating from the Maillard reaction (fried meat). 114 subjects (58 men, 56 women) were asked to describe their feelings when smelling scents of different barbecued meat by rating the intensity of 25 emotional states via the Emotion and Odor Scale (EOS). Additionally, the subjects took a medical olfactory test, consisting of a threshold, discrimination and identification test and were asked about their barbecue habits. The EOS data were evaluated with a factor analysis, which results in five factors of hedonism. The factor values for the different odors enable an analysis of which sex is more attracted by the scent of barbecued meat. We could identify several volatile compounds, which emerge from frying meat which are more appreciated by men than women, although men and women report eating grilled food with equal frequency. In general, men declare themselves of handling the barbecue more often. Men also prefer grilled meat to every other barbecued food, whereas women do not specify which grilled food they like the best. This study emphasizes that men are in charge whenever a grill is involved in food preparation, and this behavior might be triggered by the volatile compounds of fried meat.

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Atomic steps of dumb happenstance?

June 15, 2014 | James Kohl

‘A Perfect and Beautiful Machine’: What Darwin’s Theory of Evolution Reveals About Artificial Intelligence

Excerpt 1): “Turing, like Darwin, broke down the mystery of intelligence (or Intelligent Design) into what we might call atomic steps of dumb happenstance, which, when accumulated by the millions, added up to a sort of pseudo-intelligence.”

My comment: Ecological speciation has since replaced mutation-initiated natural selection as the cause of ecological adaptations manifested in biodiversity. The model is based on the fact that behavior is receptor-mediated and that odors induce the de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes. Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations: from atoms to ecosystems

Excerpt 2): “Charles Darwin managed to compress his entire theory into a single summary paragraph that a layperson can readily follow.”

My comment: Unfortunately, neo-Darwinists ignored Darwin’s ‘conditions of life.’ The ability to readily follow his theory was subsequently taught in courses that should have been titled “Evolution for Dummies.”

It has been much more difficult to compress what is currently known about the conserved molecular mechanisms that allow ecological variation (‘conditions of life’) to result in the ecological adaptations manifested in the morphological and behavioral phenotypes of species from microbes to man. However, this is an example of how the summary paragraph from a model of biological facts might be used to replace a theory that any layperson could follow.

“This atoms to ecosystems model of ecological adaptations links nutrient-dependent epigenetic effects on base pairs and amino acid substitutions to pheromone-controlled changes in the microRNA / messenger RNA balance and chromosomal rearrangements. The nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled changes are required for the thermodynamic regulation of intracellular signaling, which enables biophysically constrained nutrient-dependent protein folding; experience-dependent receptor-mediated behaviors, and organism-level thermoregulation in ever-changing ecological niches and social niches. Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological, social, neurogenic and socio-cognitive niche construction are manifested in increasing organismal complexity in species from microbes to man. Species diversity is a biologically-based nutrient-dependent morphological fact and species-specific pheromones control the physiology of reproduction. The reciprocal relationships of species-typical nutrient-dependent morphological and behavioral diversity are enabled by pheromone-controlled reproduction. Ecological variations and biophysically constrained natural selection of nutrients cause the behaviors that enable ecological adaptations. Species diversity is ecologically validated proof-of-concept. Ideas from population genetics, which exclude ecological factors, are integrated with an experimental evidence-based approach that establishes what is currently known. This is known: Olfactory/pheromonal input links food odors and social odors from the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genomes of species from microbes to man during their development.”

Excerpt 3): To this day many people cannot get their heads around the unsettling idea that a purposeless, mindless process can crank away through the eons, generating ever more subtle, efficient, and complex organisms without having the slightest whiff of understanding of what it is doing.

My comment: To this day there is no experimental evidence of biologically-based cause and effect that suggests that is possible. All experimental evidence that links physics, chemistry, and conserved molecular mechanisms to nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations suggests that organismal complexity results from amino acids substitutions that differentiate the cell types of all organisms of all species.

If everything that is not mechanistic is left out of any equations used in the past to support the population geneticists’ invention of neo-Darwinism, one is left with the most obvi0us of all molecular mechanisms, which are conserved across species because they link the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA in organized genomes. These molecular mechanisms can be understood in the context of Darwin’s ‘conditions of life.’ Every organism must eat and reproduce and those that do that best enable biodiversity via their nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled reproduction, not by mutations that randomly arise and are somehow naturally selected so that they result in the evolution of biodiversity.

Thus, any ideas about atomic steps of dumb happenstance should continue to be attached to neo-Darwinism, so that Darwin’s claims can be pursued in the light of what is currently known about molecular biology. For example, see:  Interplay between pre-mRNA splicing and microRNA biogenesis within the supraspliceosome, but do not be surprised if you cannot understand it; it’s not like “Evolution for Dummies.” This is, after all, the 21st century, which may be when ideas about evolution from the 19th and 20th centuries should be replaced with experimental evidence of cause and effect. However, even “If you learnt evolutionary biology and genetics a decade or more ago you need to be aware that those debates have moved on very considerably, as has the experimental and field work on which they are based.” — Denis Noble (2011)

 

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Late emerging epigenetic effects

June 14, 2014 | James Kohl

The effects of perinatal testosterone exposure on the DNA methylome of the mouse brain are late-emerging

Excerpt:  “…the emergence of sex differences in the brain may be a gradual process that is cemented over the organism’s life. Our data provide a new perspective by showing that most sex differences in CpG methylation are dynamic and not the result of acute modifications in response to hormones.”

My comment: My model extends epigenetic cause and effect across species of invertebrates and vertebrates to mammals.

“The mammalian model (Diamond et al., 1996) detailed here allows what we have learned from the study of invertebrates (Elekonich & Roberts, 2005; Elekonich & Robinson, 2000) to be used in attempts to understand the development of human behavior and in attempts to understand human physical disease. Those who adopted the position that mammalian pheromones do not exist, or who continue to insist that human pheromones do not exist, have for more than two decades made it seem that there was something ‘fishy’ or ‘funny’ about this model.”

“An environmental drive appears to have evolved from that of food ingestion in unicellular organisms to that of socialization in insects. In mammals, food odors and pheromones cause changes in hormones such as luteinizing hormone (LH), which has developmental affects on sexual behavior in nutrient-dependent, reproductively fit individuals across species of vertebrates (see for review and citations Kohl, 2012). These developmental affects cause the ‘biological embedding’ of responses to the signals that are most important to the survival of individuals and species (i.e. the signals from nutrients that metabolize to species-specific pheromones).”

The link from epigenetic effects of food odors and pheromones via GnRH, LH, and testosterone to affects of differences in hormone secretion on behavior has been clear since 1996. The late emerging effects have also been detailed in the context of how genetic predispositions and experience-dependent epigenetic effects on the differentiation of cell types are linked to sexual orientation.

The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences

Nutrient-dependent synthesis of serotonin, oxytocin, and vasopressin alters levels of three brain hormones that affect social behavior. For example, see: Vitamin D hormone regulates serotonin synthesis. Part 1: relevance for autism

What if late emerging epigenetic effects of the metabolism of nutrients to species-specific pheromones links nutrient stress and social stress to brain development via epigenetic effects on amino acid substitutions and on myelination during the cell type differentiation associated with genetically predisposed sexual preferences via hormone-organization and hormone-activation. Could experiences that vary across a lifetime of life history transitions be linked to the development of sexual preferences via conserved molecular mechanisms in species from microbes to man? Or would our 1996 model only apply in some species from insects to elephants?

Is Panksepp correct: “My feeling is that the social brain has many levels. If you don’t understand the foundational level, then you can do brain imaging until you’re blue in the face, but you still will not understand the process at a deep causal level.

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Black Queen trumps the Red Queen

June 14, 2014 | James Kohl

Earlier today, I wondered how best to note that the ridiculous misrepresentations in “Mutation-driven evolution” (2013) appeared in book publication on the same day my review article was published, which was one year ago.

This article, from “The Scientist Magazine” allowed me to vent some of my frustrations via my comments related to different hypotheses “Red Queen” and “Black Queen.”

Only the “Black Queen” hypothesis has been supported by experimental evidence of biologically-based cause and effect. The “Red Queen” hypothesis attests only to the theoretical nonsense that attests to the unwillingness of evolutionary theorists to learn about the basic principles of biology and levels of biological organization required to link sensory cause to behavioral affects via conserved molecular mechanisms in species from microbes to man.

My comment to The Scientist Magazine:

Re: “…none of us can actually tell how our experimental observations really relate to human disease, but we’re getting, all of us, closer to mechanistic insights…”

These mechanistic insights eliminate the “Red Queen” hypothesis and substitute biological facts about the molecular epigenetics of cause and effect, which can be accurately linked to the “Black Queen” hypothesis linked here. “The most likely explanation for the fitness advantage conferred by genomic and metabolic “streamlining” in both natural and experimental populations is that it reduces the amount of carbon and other limiting nutrients required to produce a new cell (12, 15, 16).

This “Black Queen” explanation of cell type differentiation and organization of the genome links the conserved molecular mechansims of sensing and signaling in species from microbes to man via the sensing of nutrients and their metabolism to pheromones that control the physiology of reproduction.

Nutrient-dependent base pair changes and amino acid substitutions link the microRNA/messenger RNA balance from alternative splicings of pre-mRNA to the de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes in invertebrates and vertebrates. The de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes enables the required receptor-mediated changes in behavior that link food acquisition and mate acquisition to biodiversity manifested in the morphological and behavioral phenotypes, which are life-support systems for their microbiomes.

Microbiome-dependent phenotypic expression shows how readily ecological variation enables the epigenetic landscape to become the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genome. (Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled phenotypic expression explains what is called the Cambrian “explosion” via the same model that explains the more recently reported differences in 500 species of fish in 15,000 years.)

In the mouse-to-human example of cell type differentiation and biodiversity of mammals, chemical ecology and one nutrient-dependent amino acid substitution link differences in hair, sweat glands, teeth, and mammary tissue from ecological variation to ecological adaptations associated with the microbiome-dependent loss of olfactory receptors in human populations. (One modern human population supposedly arose in what is now central China during the past ~30K years.)

In modern human populations, some human olfactory receptor genes are no longer needed because our gut microbes modulate the sensing of food and our skin microbes modulate the signaling of reproductive fitness that enables our biodiversity. (Also,microbiome- and nutrient-dependent ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction enabled brain development and processing power associated with the unconscious affects of odors on behavior.)

Fixation of the nutrient-dependent amino acid substitutions that stabilize the DNA in the cell types of the organized genome is obviously required. Otherwise nutrient-dependent DNA repair mechanisms would fail as they clearly do with nutrient stress and with social stress associated with mutations and pathology. Stress perturbs the thermodynamics of protein folding and organism-level thermoregulation required for ecological speciation to occur via the natural genetic engineering of protein biosynthesis and degradation.

Unfortunately, most people cannot think in terms of  “Black Queen” biological facts known to molecular biologists because they have been taught to believe in the “Red Queen” hypothesis and in mutation-driven evolution. Thankfully, ideas associated with the invention of neo-Darwinism by population geneticists are being replaced with the facts about Darwin’s ‘conditions of life,’ which he insisted must receive first consideration.

Obviously natural selection of food must occur before anything else can somehow be naturally selected, and the natural selection that was subsequently more loosely associated with mutations and evolution was a horrid misrepresentation of cause and effect. It should not have been added to Darwin’s theory, especially given his protests.

Whatever motivated population geneticists to bastardize Darwin’s theory and also motivated social scientists to continue the bastardization has confused some of the serious scientists who might otherwise have told us how their experimental observations relate to human disease via what is currently known about the physics, chemistry, and molecular biology of their mechanistic insights. These mechanistic insights eliminate the “Red Queen” hypothesis and substitute biological facts about the molecular epigenetics of cause and effect, which can be accurately linked to the “Black Queen” hypothesis.

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Mixing evolution and ecology

June 14, 2014 | James Kohl

Population genetic structure of gray wolves (Canis lupus) in a marine archipelago suggests island-mainland differentiation consistent with dietary niche

Excerpt: “Evolutionary ecology and genetic differentiation between mainland and island wolves…”

My comment: This subheading mixes two different concepts.

1) Evolution of genetic differences in cell types between mainland and island wolves.

2) Ecological variation and epigenetic effects of diet, which are directly linked from food odors and pheromones to ecological adaptations in cell type differentiation. Cell type differentiation is manifested in morphological and behavioral phenotypes of species from microbes to man.

For example, in white-throated sparrows, research has shown that a difference in uniparental or biparental feeding results in fixed amino acid substitutions and different morphological and behavioral phenotypes. That suggests differences in wolves can also be linked to amino acid substitutions, but not to mutations and natural selection.

No experimental evidence of biologically-based cause and effect in any vertebrate links mutations and natural selection to the evolution of genetic differences in cell types, or to the evolution of different morphological and behavioral phenotypes like those of birds. All experimental evidence of biophysically-constrained cell type differentiation links nutrient-uptake, fixed amino acid substitutions, and the metabolism of nutrients to species-specific pheromones to cell type differentiation via conserved molecular mechanisms that link the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genomes of the cell types of all species.

In the context of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled cell type differentiation and differences between wolves and dogs, I wrote (in Kohl, 2013):

“The epigenetic effects of nutrients on evolved differences in the diet and starch digestion of dogs and wolves (Axelsson et al., 2013) were detailed at the same time differences in the socialization of these subspecies were attributed to explorations involving only chemosensory input in 3 to 4-week-old wolf pups. For comparison, differences in starch digestion and exploration involving multisensory input in dogs begin a mere 2 weeks later (Lord, 2013). The differences in nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled socialization, however, extend across a life-time of more aggressive behavior in wolves that have not been domesticated because less digested starch from their diet genetically predisposes infants to first respond to olfactory/pheromonal cues as they initially explore their postnatal environment.”

It should be obvious that prenatal cell type differentiation is quickly followed by postnatal cell type differentiation in vertebrates such as dogs and wolves, because larval cell type differentiation is followed by life history transitions in cell type differentiation  in invertebrates.

Examples of ecological speciation continue to show that ecological adaptations are nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled. The ecological adaptations are manifested in morphological and behavioral phenotypes associated with cell type differentiation via amino acid substitutions during life history transitions.

Mixing evolution and ecology in reports on genetic differentiation manifested in populations of any species or subspecies serves only to confuse those who have not yet taken the time to learn that olfactory/pheromonal input and the conserved molecular mechanisms of cell type differentiation link the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genomes of all species. For example, a geneticist who is a research associate at the Institute for Creation Research asserted that the New Dog Genome Research Nixes Evolutionary Paradigm based in part on the report by Axelsson et al., 2013.  Continuing to mix ecology and evolution will probably add fuel to the fires of Creationist research, just as Dozahansky did in 1964 and in again in 1973.

First there was his negative comment about those who lacked understanding of molecular biology. He wrote: “The notion has gained some currency that 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!”

Then, in 1973 he published: Nothing in Biology Makes Any Sense Except in the Light of Evolution (link opens pdf), and claimed “I am a creationist and an evolutionist. Evolution is God’s, or Nature’s, method of Creation.”

In both published works he noted that amino acid substitutions differentiate the cell types of primates. We’ve since seen examples of amino acid substitutions that differentiate the cell types of species from microbes to man.

Therefore, the issues dividing the creationists and evolutionists seem to come down to experimental evidence of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled fixed amino acid substitutions that stabilize the genome. The fixed amino acid substitutions can be compared to mutations that perturb protein folding but yet are somehow supposedly linked via natural selection to the evolution of observable biodiversity.

However, the biodiversity observed by population geneticists was first used to invent neo-Darwinism. Similar observations have since continued to be used to tout its explanatory power in the absence of experimental evidence that supports any theories.

What this suggest to me is that if Dobzhansky were alive today, he would claim to be a creationist and ecologist who has always understood the fact that Darwin’s ‘conditions of life’ are nutrient dependent and pheromone controlled. He might say “I am a creationist and an ecological adaptationist!” But I think he would require experimental evidence of how mutations and natural selection result in biodiversity before again claiming “I am a creationist and an evolutionary ecologist!”  Experimental evidence always makes it more difficult to fool a serious scientist, and Dobzhansky was no fool.

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