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Human pheromones and the aquatic ape theory

Posted on April 28, 2013 by James Kohl.

Big brains, no fur, sinuses … are these clues to our ancestors’ lives as ‘aquatic apes’?

Controversial theory that [sans human pheromones] seeks to explain one of the great leaps of human evolution finds new support but still divides scientists. by Robin McKie, The Observer,

Excerpt: “Our brain biochemistry is also revealing. “Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid that is found in large amounts in seafood,” said Dr Michael Crawford, of Imperial College London.

“It boosts brain growth in mammals. That is why a dolphin has a much bigger brain than a zebra, though they have roughly the same body sizes. The dolphin has a diet rich in DHA. The crucial point is that without a high DHA diet from seafood we could not have developed our big brains. We got smart from eating fish and living in water.”

My comment: Dr. Crawford advocates nutrient-dependent adaptive evolution of the human brain, specifically via DHA  in non-human primates to humans. With co-authors, he recently noted that: “…random mutation and selection for survival have little predictive power. However, Darwin’s “Conditions of Existence” has powerful predictive power. It predicts dependence of human neural evolution on DHA.”

Thus, we again arrive at the nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution of the human brain as detailed in my model of ecological niche construction and social niche construction, but now with the likelihood of DHA-linked neurogenic niche construction leading to socio-cognitive niche construction (sans mutations theory). Natural Selection occurs after Darwin’s “Conditions of Existence” have been met. In my model the existence of any species is nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled.  Natural selection is for nutrients that metabolize to the species specific pheromones that control reproduction.

Unlike Crawford et al., I prefer to use dietary choline and an invertebrate-to-mouse-to- human model of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution. My preference is due to the fact that the data for comparison of single amino acid substitutions became available prior to the time I resubmitted a paper that’s in its second round of peer review. However, my point is not so much whether its DHA, choline, iron or any other nutrient that is responsible for the amino acid substitutions required for species diversity. My point is that the required substitutions are,  of course, nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled, which means that random mutations have nothing whatsoever to do with adaptive evolution.

I had hoped to hear from Crawford after communication about biological facts with David Marsh proved fruitful. Perhaps the problem is that anyone working with biological facts that refute the ridiculous mutations theory is too busy to help put the pieces together via collaboration with others who are also busy trying to get evolutionary theorists to look at facts.

In any case, I’m certain that Human Evolution: Past, Present and Future will help others who are clinging to theory to face reality, with few exceptions. Some people may never accept the reality of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution. But at least there are others now touting its nutrient dependence.

I specifically like Crawford’s approach via DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), since I included it in the article I published last year: “For example, pheromones and nutrition could alter levels of maternal hormones, gestational events, and postnatal outcomes via their direct effect on maternal GnRH and the placenta. The outcomes might not always be positive, which means the possible effects should not be ignored. That would be like ignoring the likely effects of docosahexaenoic acid in the maternal and postnatal diet on LH and on neuronal development in the mammalian brain (Lassek & Gaulin, 2011).”

I think the difference between my approach and the approach of those who will attend the Human Evolution: Past, Present and Future symposium is my focus on pheromone-controlled reproduction. I see no indication that pheromones will be mentioned during the symposium, but hope I am wrong about that.



James Kohl
Retired medical laboratory scientist

James Kohl

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James Kohl owns, and he has published books and award-winning research journal articles about human pheromones. With colleagues he was the first to show that a mixture of human pheromones increases the flirtatious behaviors of women, and increases their level of attraction to the man wearing the mixture - during a real-life social circumstance lasting 15 minutes.

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What is the vomeronasal organ (VNO)?

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