Excerpt: “…evolution is not really predictable because too many chance events can knock it off course.”
My comment: Ecological variation predicts nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction via conserved molecular mechanisms manifested in the morphological and behavioral phenotypes of species from microbes to man.
Examples (in the birds and the bees):
Other examples: “Nutrient–dependent / pheromone–controlled adaptive evolution: a model”
Natural selection occurs for nutrients via experience induced de novo Creation of olfactory receptor genes in vertebrates and invertebrates.
What appears to be missing from evolutionary theory is any explanatory power whatsoever due to an overall lack of knowledge that must include what’s currently known about biophysically constrained nutrient-dependent amino acid substitutions and cell type differentiation in all species via an atoms to ecosystems model of biologically based cause and effect.
Theorists would rather believe in mutations and natural selection than biophysically constrained cause and effect. I think that’s because they didn’t understand biology, and will therefore never understand the physics and chemistry of molecular biology.
See also: Replace the Modern Synthesis (Neo-Darwinism): An Interview With Denis Noble. Neo-Darwinism can be replaced merely by consideration of what is currently known about biologically-based cause and effect.
Maternal nutrition at conception modulates DNA methylation of human metastable epialleles and Genetic Interactions Involving Five or More Genes Contribute to a Complex Trait in Yeast link the nutrient-dependent differentiation of cell types in individuals of all species from ecological variation to pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations via conserved molecular mechanisms of signaling and sensing, which are manifested in Chemosensory Communication of Gender through Two Human Steroids in a Sexually Dimorphic Manner.
Frugivory in bats extends nutrient-dependent base pair changes and stabilization of the genome associated with vitamin C and the pheromone-controlled physiology of mammalian reproduction from the fossil record of bats to the fossil record of humans via the conserved molecular mechanisms of olfactory/pheromonal input.
Loss of Olfactory Receptor Function in Hominin Evolution appears to have occurred as sufficient dietary intake eliminated the ongoing need to sniff out sources of vitamin C.
My comment: The predictable genetic pattern is one that links ecological variation to ecological adaptations via the nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled physiology of reproduction.
See also my comment to Science on Late Pleistocene Human Skeleton and mtDNA Link Paleoamericans and Modern Native Americans
Re: “…the differences in craniofacial form between Native Americans and their Paleoamerican predecessors are best explained as evolutionary changes…”
The fact that ‘Large Numbers of Novel miRNAs Originate from DNA Transposons and Are Coincident with a Large Species Radiation in Bats’ suggests that differences in the skull and teeth result from ecological variation, which is manifested in morphological and behavioral phenotypes as nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations.
See for example: ‘A Cluster of Olfactory Receptor Genes Linked to Frugivory in Bats’ and the model of cause and effect via conserved molecular mechanisms across all species: Nutrient–dependent / pheromone–controlled adaptive evolution: a model. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24693353