Brain structure and function sans mutations

In the Human Brain, Size Really Isn’t Everything

By CARL ZIMMER Published: December 26, 2013

Excerpt: The emergence of the human mind might not have been a result of a vast number of mutations that altered the fine structure of the brain. Instead, a simple increase in the growth of neurons could have untethered them from their evolutionary anchors, creating the opportunity for the human mind to emerge.

My comment: Of course the human mind did not result from a vast number of mutations. This is simply a casual admission that Carl Zimmer has been wrong about everything he has ever reported in the context of mutation-driven evolution.  Why doesn’t he simply say that the human brain exemplifies how ecological variation results in nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptations? No experimental evidence ever suggested that our brain was the result of mutation-initiated natural selection.

The evolution of distributed association networks in the human brain

Excerpt 1: “Critical to function, the human brain has accumulated cell types that suggest mechanisms to integrate information over large territories of cortical input – adaptations that may have allowed our ancestors to benefit from the expansion of distributed association zones.”

Excerpt 2: “Mesulam came to a similar conclusion: ‘Neural pathways arising from sensory receptors and leading toward motor nuclei display hierarchical polarity. In contrast, the flow of information used for intermediary processing displays patterns consistent with parallel and re-entrant processing’ [41]. This form of circuit, which may be expanded in hominin evolution, is suited to functions related to top-down control and internal mentation.”

The brain structure and function of our ancestors, and every other species on this planet with a brain arose via ecological variation that enabled increasing organismal complexity via the nutrient-dependent differentiation of cell types. Nutrient-uptake alters the seemingly futile thermodynamic cycles of protein biosynthesis and degradation that results in alternative splicings of pre-mRNA and the amino acid substitutions that differentiate all cell types in all individuals of all species. The differentiation of these cell types is controlled from the top down via the metabolism of nutrients to species-specific pheromones that control the physiology of reproduction.

How could anyone ever come to the conclusion that the complexity of our brain structure and function mutated into existence? There is a clear trail of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptations that links ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction via the epigenetic effects of olfactory/pheromonal input on the de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes to the development of our brain and species-specific behaviors.

Author: James Kohl

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