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“Just-So” stories vs scientific explanations

Posted on September 24, 2012 by James Kohl.

The Storytelling Animal

How stories make us human

by Jonathan Gottschall, Ph.D.

Defending Just-So Stories

Why science needs stories

Published on September 24, 2012 by Jonathan Gottschall, Ph.D. in The Storytelling Animal

Excerpt: “Evolution is an intrinsically story-based discipline. All evolutionists shape hypotheses in the form of historical narratives.  That is, they develop a plausible account of how some biological feature—from pair-bonding, to upright posture, to aggression–may have emerged through the evolutionary process, and then seek to test the account against information derived from a wide variety of sources.”


My comment: If, in contrast to the EP story-telling, we merely start with the brain-like architecture of the first cell that contained genes, what is currently known about molecular biology takes us all the way through to our brain’s architecture via adaptive evolution.

There are only two absolute requirements for adaptive evolution from microbes to man. 1) Nutrient chemicals enable gene duplications and use what was called “Junk DNA” to assemble new “olfactory” receptor proteins. 2) The nutrient chemicals are metabolized to pheromones that control the assembly of these new “olfactory” receptor proteins, which is how pheromones control reproduction and speciation at the same time they control species-specific nutrient chemical-dependent behaviors that are transgenerationally epigenetically inherited.

EP story-telling avoids using model organisms like the honeybee that exemplify precisely how a change in nutrient chemicals alters pheromone production in the queen, which alters everything else about the social interactions in the colony, including the neuroanatomy of the worker bee’s brains. Only by divorcing their story lines from biological facts can they offer explanations that offend Creationists — and even some scientists who have virtually no belief system, and no understanding of the basic principles of biology and levels of biological organization required to link sensory cause to gene activation in cells.

The inability to think their way through from gene activation to behavior that activates genes (e.g., in cells) results in their inability to understand eco-evolution via ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction that is obviously nutrient chemical-dependent and pheromone-controlled. But then, there’s really no reason to expect that evolutionary psychologists will ever understand the biology of behavior. Is there?

Story-telling is so much easier than explaining sensory cause and behavioral affect,and almost any story will suffice — at least for a few years, if not for two centuries or more.



James Kohl
Retired medical laboratory scientist

James Kohl

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