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Natural Selection

Posted on March 6, 2013 by James Kohl.

In an attempt to discuss Darwinian Natural Selection, I was asked: “…do you now agree that ‘genes of large effect’ are not currently useful concepts for contradicting Darwinism?

My response: ‘Genes of large effect’ clearly contradict Darwinian Natural Selection. Nutrients epigenetically “tweak” the  “genes of large effect.” This epigenetic tweaking by nutrients that are required for life effects immense gene networks. The metabolism of the nutrients to species-specific pheromones controls their epigenetic effects on the immense gene networks.

The pheromones signal nutrient-dependent reproductive fitness, which controls species survival. The control of species survial by pheromones extends from microbial natural selection of nutrients that metabolize to pheromones to pheromones involved in sexual selection. Organisms that sexually reproduce select for sex differences in pheromones that signal nutrient-dependent reproductive fitness. That is how the metabolism of nutrients to pheromones controls reproduction in species from microbes to man. Pheromones signal nutrient-dependent reproductive fitness.

Compared to statistical representations of Darwinian Natural Selection that have no explanatory power in the context of how selection occurs, or what is selected, we now need only ask:  Do we owe our sense of smell to epigenetics?

Excerpt: “Olfactory sensory neurons – nerve cells in the nose – directly sense molecules that convey scent, then send the signals to the brain.”

Citation: Nuclear Aggregation of Olfactory Receptor Genes Governs Their Monogenic Expression

It is now clear that natural selection for nutrients in an epigenetic landscape of competition among individuals depends on de novo creation of a receptor.  Receptors allow nutrients to enter the cell. When a nutrient enters the cell it alters the thermodynamic control of the molecular mechanism that enable or prevent its metabolism. If the nutrient is successfully metabolized, the result is an alteration of the microRNA / messenger RNA balance via degradation of messenger RNA. The degradation of messenger RNA results in a nutrient-derived chemical signal that is incorporated into the blend of pheromones the cell uses to signal other cells. The pheromones indicate that closely related cells may also create de novo receptors that enable them to increase their fitness via nutrient uptake of a nutrient. This enables the molecular mechanisms common to all species to control nutrient-dependent reproductive fitness.

See also: Smell of Genes Packed Away Science 7 December 2012 (3 month ago)

“Forced expression of the lamin b receptor reversed the morphological sequestration of the olfactory receptor genes and also decreased the expression of the chosen active allele, probably because the thousands of transcription factor binding sites of the normally sequestered olfactory receptor genes were now competing for binding of activating factors.”

My comment: Forced expression of a receptor can now be compared to the genetically predisposed ability of nutrients to induce de novo receptor expression and natural selection of nutrients metabolized to pheromones that control reproduction.   No evidence suggests that the molecular mechanisms for nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled reproduction vary across species. The lack of evidence strongly suggests conservation of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled reproduction in species from microbes to man. YES, is the answer to the question Do we owe our sense of smell to epigenetics?





James Kohl
Retired medical laboratory scientist

James Kohl

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What is the vomeronasal organ (VNO)?

The vomeronasal organ (VNO) is a cone-shaped organ in the nasal cavity, which is believed to be one of the body's receptors of pheromones. More, specifically, the VNO, which is part of the accessory olfactory system in the nose, does not respond to normal scents, but may detect odorless, barely perceptible pheromones.

Other schools of thought believe that it is not the VNO but rather cells in our main olfactory system and their affects on hormones secreted by the hypothalamus that are responsible for the affects of pheromones.

Learn more about the science behind pheromones here.

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