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Pattern recognition: How rational is that?

Posted on April 27, 2012 by James Kohl.

Study suggests that analytic thinking can undermine religious belief

“Recently there’s been an emerging consensus among [researchers] … that a lot of religious beliefs are grounded in intuitive processes,” says Will Gervais, a graduate student at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, in Canada and a co-author of the new study, published today in Science.


My comments:

Pattern recognition is required of scientists who have changed the attitudes of their peers. It is also important when comparing analytical thinking to beliefs.

Here’s a pattern

Non-random mutation, as evidenced by ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ genes involved in amino-acid biosynthesis, energy metabolism , and catabolism of specific compounds (Martincorena, Seshasayee , & Luscombe, 2012) is conceptualized in a model for adaptive evolution where 1) nutrient chemicals calibrate intracellular signaling and stochastic gene expression, and 2) the metabolism of nutrients to pheromones standardizes and controls reproduction (Kohl, 2012).

The honeybee is the invertebrate model organism that extends the common molecular biology across species from microbes to man. The pattern is hard to miss, and additional support for that model can found in a recent report on a vertebrate model organism of speciation. Stickleback evolution is accelerated by the use of pre-existing genetic variation, not random mutation (Jones et al., 2012).  Although random mutation may be involved, it is pre-existing genetic variation that allows a cell to adapt to changes in the availability of nutrients from its environment. This ability appears to be programmed into the first living cells. Receptor-mediated cellular changes in the intracellular metabolism of the nutrients enables cell to cell signaling that varies with the metabolism of nutrients to pheromones that control reproduction.

This pattern can be recognized by a general audience. All scientists need to say is that food odors cause us to eat food that metabolizes to pheromones that cause us to develop preferences for other people. For example, in placental mammals, in utero nutrient chemical exchange precedes nutrient chemicals provided though lacation. These nutrient chemicals are associated with the pheromones of the mother and result in social bonding.  In this context, pheromones are social odors just as they are in bacteria, in the honeybees, in the  sticklebacks, and all other species.

The ability to recognize patterns across species helps to ensure that at some point this common thread, which involves only only food odors and social odors,  may allow analytical thinkers to use olfaction and odor receptors to follow a clear evolutionary trail from unicellular organisms to insects to humans.

Jones, F. C., Grabherr, M. G., Chan, Y. F., Russell, P., Mauceli, E., Johnson, J., et al. (2012). The genomic basis of adaptive evolution in threespine sticklebacks. Nature, 484(7392), 55-61.

Kohl, J. V. (2012). Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology , 2, 17338 – DOI: 17310.1340 2/snp.v1733 2i17330.173 38.

Martincorena, I., Seshasayee , A. S. N., & Luscombe, N. M. (2012). Evidence of non-random mutation rates suggests an evolutionary risk management strategy. Nature, advance online publicatio n, doi:10.103 8/nature109 95.



James Kohl
Retired medical laboratory scientist

James Kohl

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