Are mutations random? (video) The nature of the problem

Are Mutations Random

July 21, 2013 International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS) President’s Lecture by Denis Noble

The introduction by Sir Paul Nurse, starts at 6.00 minutes (below) includes a section on the importance of pulsatile signals.

Professor Noble’s comments begin with comments on random mutations at 5 minutes into his lecture.

Companion publication: Physiology is rocking the foundations of evolutionary biology Full text is free.

Published online before print April 12, 2013, doi: 10.1113/expphysiol.2012.071134

See also Nurse (2008) Life, logic and information. “…if signals are pulsed down a pathway and the changing outputs are monitored, much more complex information can be transmitted. A metaphor here would be the use of the Morse code and the telegraph to communicate messages. Pulses of information sent along the telegraph generate a code for letters and as a consequence sentences can be communicated. This converts the same signalling pathway from a simple on/off switch to a device that can transfer, for example, the works of Shakespeare. It is likely that dynamics has been exploited more generally in the evolution of biological systems for signalling purposes, allowing the communication of more complex information.”

See also: Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model published June 14, 2013


Background: The prenatal migration of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurosecretory neurons allows nutrients and human pheromones to alter GnRH pulsatility, which modulates the concurrent maturation of the neuroendocrine, reproductive, and central nervous systems, thus influencing the development of ingestive behavior, reproductive sexual behavior, and other behaviors.

Methods: This model details how chemical ecology drives adaptive evolution via: (1) ecological niche construction, (2) social niche construction, (3) neurogenic niche construction, and (4) socio-cognitive niche construction. This model exemplifies the epigenetic effects of olfactory/pheromonal conditioning, which alters genetically predisposed, nutrient-dependent, hormone-driven mammalian behavior and choices for pheromones that control reproduction via their effects on luteinizing hormone (LH) and systems biology.

Results: Nutrients are metabolized to pheromones that condition behavior in the same way that food odors condition behavior associated with food preferences. The epigenetic effects of olfactory/pheromonal input calibrate and standardize molecular mechanisms for genetically predisposed receptor-mediated changes in intracellular signaling and stochastic gene expression in GnRH neurosecretory neurons of brain tissue. For example, glucose and pheromones alter the hypothalamic secretion of GnRH and LH. A form of GnRH associated with sexual orientation in yeasts links control of the feedback loops and developmental processes required for nutrient acquisition, movement, reproduction, and the diversification of species from microbes to man.

Conclusion: An environmental drive evolved from that of nutrient ingestion in unicellular organisms to that of pheromone-controlled socialization in insects. In mammals, food odors and pheromones cause changes in hormones such as LH, which has developmental affects on pheromone-controlled sexual behavior in nutrient-dependent reproductively fit individuals across species of vertebrates.

JK: It is now perfectly clear that this statement and any statement or inference like it is WRONG: Random mutations are the substrates upon which directional natural selection acts.

Jay R. Feierman: I am absolutely certain that if you showed this statement to any professor of biology or genetics in any accredited university anywhere in the world that 100% of them would say that “Random mutations are the substrate upon which directional natural selection acts” is a correct and true statement.

The enemies of science  7/28/13

JK (New): Jay, now that it is perfectly clear — in accord with Professor Noble’s presidential address — that you (and others here with doctoral degrees) are wrong about random mutations theory, do you intend to 1) continue to ignore the biological facts; 2) attempt to refute them; or 3) simply continue to propagate the same theories and misrepresentations of Darwin’s works?

Do you think that the late Elaine Morgan was right about the “academic priesthood” that now attempts to suppress any scientific approach that challenges their infallibility as did the priesthood of the Church prior to the time of the Scientific Revolution? Have the enemies of science met and decided “it’s us” or do we need to wait until the next meeting of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (IUPS) to announce a list of enemies? I may offer to chair the nominating committee for the list of enemies depending on your answers and those of any others who are willing to discuss this (or not). Since I am not an enemy of science, I encourage discussion.

Fooled by randomness 7/28/13

Antifragility and Tinkering in Biology (and in Business) Flexibility Provides an Efficient Epigenetic Way to Manage Risk (full text is free)

Excerpt: “Evolution, then, should be reconsidered in this new light. Living systems are antifragile in that they can do much more than simply respond to the “pressure” of the environment by random mutations followed by selection; they have an in-built property that allows them to find solutions in the face of adversity.”

My comment: This in-built property is evidenced in seemingly ‘futile’ cycles of nutrient-dependent thermodynamic cycles of protein biosynthesis and degradation. The cycles result in fixation of pheromone-controlled nutrient uptake via organism-level thermoregulation in species from microbes to man. Theorists seem to have mistaken what seems to be futile as evidence for mutation-driven evolution, when it is really merely evidence that the theorists have been fooled by in-built “antifragility.”

Author: James Kohl

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