Selection for mutations: unnecessary cycles
November 9, 2013 | James Kohl
“if, as affirmed by niche construction theory, phenotypically novel animals or plants can invent new modes of existence in novel settings, rather than succumbing to a struggle for survival in the niches of their origin, there is no need for cycles of selection for marginal adaptive advantage to be the default explanation for macroevolutionary change.” — Stuart A. Newman
If random mutations are the substrates on which natural selection for mutations acts (e.g., via predation) on ecologial, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction across an evolutionary continuum that links the epigenetic “landscape” to the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genomes of species from microbes to man, the human brain might have evolved to become more functional for snake detection via visual input. However, there is no experimental evidence that supports Haldane’s idea of mutation-initiated natural selection. Instead, all experimental evidence links olfactory/pheromonal input to nutrient uptake and the controlled physiology of reproduction.
That fact probably explains why random mutations theory is now touted outside the context of mutation-driven evolution and natural selection. Indeed, few people are expected to believe in snake-centric evolution sans experimental evidence. They must therefore believe that random mutations cause evolution without natural selection via something that “just happens.” Indeed, the “it just happens”model is an alternative for comparison to my model, because “Scientists are exploring how organisms can evolve elaborate structures without Darwinian selection.”— Carl Zimmer
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