Darwin’s lamentations: you got it all wrong
July 27, 2013 | James Kohl
Darwin’s lamentations include his acknowledgement of collective ignorance in the context of how permanent modifications of structure could arise independently of natural selection. Without knowing anything about genetics or about the epigenetic effects of the sensory environment (e.g., of food odors and pheromones) on gene activation, he realized that significant, sudden changes could occur. Indeed, he wrote about ‘… variations which seem to us in our ignorance to arise spontaneously. It appears that I formerly underrated the frequency and value of these latter forms of variation, as leading to permanent modifications of structure independently of natural selection’ (Origin of Species, 6th edition, Chapter XV, p. 395, emphasis added). See also: “…we may sometimes attribute importance to characters which are really of very little importance, and which have originated from quite secondary causes, independently of natural selection.”
Given the current knowledge of conserved molecular mechanisms in species from microbes to man that clearly link what organisms eat to their production of pheromones that control reproduction, why does anyone still claim that Random mutations are the substrates upon which directional natural selection acts.
Is there a model for that? I’ve seen nothing that indicates others have learned anything new about evolution since Darwin first wrote that variations leading to permanent modifications of structure could arise without natural selection. When did the idea arise that Random mutations are the substrates upon which directional natural selection acts. Whose idea was it? Was there ever any proof? If this is something that Jay R. Feierman simply made up, why doesn’t he admit it. He wrote: I am absolutely certain 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.
If it’s something that someone else made up, why isn’t it properly attributed to that person? Why would anyone attribute such utter nonsense to Darwin, who knew nothing about genetics, which probably means he knew nothing about random mutations?
Why would anyone ignore Darwin’s claims that his work had been misinterpreted as he indicated here (circa 1900)? … variation, as leading to permanent modifications of structure independently of natural selection. But as my conclusions have lately been much misrepresented, …
Typically, when someone clearly indicates their work has been misrepresented, those who are misrepresenting it stop doing so. With Darwin’s works, however, it seems that the misrepresentations of cause and effect in the context of adaptive evolution have never stopped. People still talk about mutation-driven evolution and attribute their opinions to Darwin, who had no physiological evidence whatsoever of mutational cause. Isn’t it time to put physiological evidence into the concept of adaptive evolution, and discuss it as an alternative to mutation-driven evolution? Isn’t it time to start making sense?