Is the International Society for Human Ethology (ISHE) HBES lite?

August 18, 2013 | James Kohl

From what Feierman wrote about HBES and ISHE, which includes his opinion that  “…ISHE is “HBES Lite,”…” it became clear that the second time he asked “What about birds?” — after I provided him with an extensive explanation of my mammalian model — was at the ISHE meeting in 1998. The first time was at a conference we both attended in 1995 in Minot ND, which was also attended by Feierman’s uncle, and co-author of the 1996 review article that incorporated my model from a 1995 book.

In his additional comments, Feireman’s promotion of HBES is consistent with his “Random mutations are the substrates…” and “mutations are A substrate upon which natural selection acts.” positions. However, Feierman’s changing positions are not consistent with what I’ve seen presented (and what I presented) at the ISHE 2010 meeting or at the ISHE 2013 Summer Institute earlier this month. For example, see

I addressed this publication in comments on Peter’s presentation at the ISHE 2013 Summer Institute, and received no response (see below).

1. “This perspective viewed natural selection as the key mechanism for the evolution of new life forms from within-species variation generated principally from random mutations of structural DNA, the sole biological agent involved in heritability. Fifty years later momentum would build for a new paradigm that would call into question and eventually overturn this dominant paradigm.”

Feierman seems to be stuck with the overturned paradigm.

2. “…environmentally induced traits may be immediately recurrent because of the prevalence of the inducing feature of the environment, and more likely to spread than mutations that can be quickly eliminated by natural selection.”

The inducing features of the environment include nutrients and pheromones.

3. “Rather than relying primarily on mutations to structural genes within the DNA, evolution more often simply rearranges developmental regulatory genes to create novel structures…”

Epigenetic effects of nutrients and pheromones control de novo structures called olfactory receptor genes, which enable nutrient uptake via receptor mediated thermodynamics and organism-level thermoregulation in all organisms.

If Feierman were an active member of ISHE who attended meetings, or if he merely paid attention to the titles or abstracts of presentations, I don’t think he would still be touting theory, or referring to ISHE as “HBES lite” — long after the issues of avian visual primacy were resolved. Those issues were resolved simply by checking to see if birds might be responding to olfactory/pheromonal input that — in my model — controls the adaptively evolved behavior of species from microbes to man.

We may never know why evolutionary theorists didn’t bother to evaluate the sense of smell in birds, but continued to advance theories of their visual primacy along with theories of visual primacy in primates.  We can only be sure that Feierman has not addressed the content of presentations to ISHE that have clarified the errors made by evolutionary theorists who seem to never have considered the role of physiology in adaptive evolution, which is why Physiology is rocking the foundations of evolutionary biology.

See for example, the misrepresentation of adaptive evolution in finches in How Evolution Works.

See also, the correct representation in:  Forget Plumage, Birds Sniff Out Good Mates



James Vaughn Kohl

James Vaughn Kohl

James Vaughn Kohl was the first to accurately conceptualize human pheromones, and began presenting his findings to the scientific community in 1992. He continues to present to, and publish for, diverse scientific and lay audiences, while constantly monitoring the scientific presses for new information that is relevant to the development of his initial and ongoing conceptualization of human pheromones.