History of ethology

Researchers at the Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna have confirmed that male house mice that excel at scent-marking their territory also have more offspring.

Based on decades-old observations by human ethologists this research was reported as “The Mammalian Equivalent of Showy Plumage” even after it was reported elsewhere that Bird odour predicts reproductive success. “The long-held assumption was that birds’ preferred methods of communication and mate selection were visual and acoustic cues.” That long-held assumption was made with no experimental evidence whatsoever that might have otherwise indicated the involvement of pheromones in mate selection in birds. It’s as if the presence of beaks and absence of noses was all it took for human ethologists to decide that birds must be primarily visual and/or auditory creatures.

Feierman asks: “Are you implying that I believe that immaterial functions of the mind are proximate, contributing causes of behavior?” He has repeatedly inferred that birds are primarily visual and/or auditory creatures sans experimental evidence. He has continued to ignore biolologically-based cause and effect that integrates neuroendocrinology and ethology. See for example our award winning 2001 invited review: Human Pheromones: “Integrating Neuroendocrinology and Ethology”

If Feierman does not believe that immaterial functions of the mind are proximate, contributing causes of behavior, he needs only tell the group what he thinks are the proximate, contributing causes of behavior. In my model, for example, the proximate cause of behavior is the epigenetic effects of olfactory/pheromonal input. Proximate cause has again shown up in the context of the latest research from the Konrad Lorenz Institute of Ethology, and in virtually all reports substantiated with experimental evidence in species from microbes to man, starting with yeasts.

In our 1996 review, we started with yeasts, also, in the context of molecular epigenetics and the mechanisms conserved in species from microbes to man.

What we consistently see from the moderator of the ISHE’s human ethology group is typical of those who are stuck with the history of ethology and cannot seem to move forward to incorporate the overwhelming evidence of cause and effect that has accumulated during the past 50 years.

Author: James Kohl

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