Birds sniff out good mates

News like this about avian species, which have been used as examples that led to claims of visual primacy in human mate choice, deserve more than 1 Comment. The entirety of the mutation-driven evolution and visual primacy paradigm is about to fall. Will you still be clinging to theory after the journal article mentioned in this news release is published in the October issue of Animal Behaviour? Did you not see the paradigm shift coming?

2010 Abstract excerpt: “These finding suggest that songbird preen oil odors have the potential to function as chemosignals associated with mate recognition or reproductive isolation.’

2010 Article excerpt: “In conclusion, if we stay with the original definition of pheromones proposed by Karlson and Luscher (see ‘‘Introduction’’), it now seems highly probable, if not established, that such pheromones do exist in birds.”

2011 Abstract excerpt: “We conclude that songbirds are able to detect odors from preen oil as shown by their ability to distinguish odors arising from males and females.”

2013 Article excerpt: “Ecological variation is the raw material by which natural selection can drive evolutionary divergence [1–4].”  Refererences 1-4 follow (with my emphasis):

1. Darwin C. 1859 On the origin of species by means of natural selection. London, UK: John Murray.
2. Dobzhansky T. 1937 Genetics and the origin of species. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
3. Mayr E. 1942 Systematics and the origin of species. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
4. Schluter D. 2009 Evidence for ecological speciation and its alternative. Science 323, 737–741.

The #1 citation to Darwin could be interpreted as an “in your face” personal affront to evolutionary theorists who have bought into the concept of mutation-driven evolution. I mention that because correctly attributing natural selection to ecological variation is such a damning attribution. It somewhat forces evolutionary theorists to either support their oft-repeated claim that about random mutations as the substrate on which natural selection acts or hang their heads in shame for having ever accepted such a ridiculous bastardization of Darwin’s claims. What else have evolutionary theorists simply accepted without question? How many “Just-So” stories had no biological basis whatsoever?

Author: James Kohl

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