Biologists have struggled for centuries to properly define what constitutes a “species.” They may have been asking the wrong question—many smaller organisms might not form species at all.
By Axel G. Rossberg, Tim Rogers, and Alan J. McKane | November 1, 2013
Excerpt: “…species formation can be interpreted as a particular instance of the general phenomenon of self-organized pattern formation. Just as a jet of water can break up into little drops, but will do so only under certain conditions, the ancestral tree of life on Earth may, near the tips of its branches, become structured into distinct species when the conditions are right.”
My comment: Darwin’s ‘conditions of life’ were the same as those required for speciation, and Darwin clearly stated that the ‘conditions of life’ must be met before natural selection occurred.
The concept of nutrient-dependent self-organized life was bastardized by the idea that random mutations caused speciation, which we now know is controlled by the metabolism of nutrients to species-specific pheromones that control reproduction, which is the second of two conditions for self-organized life. Darwin’s theory was bastardized by claims that random mutations were somehow selected to enable adaptations in the context of mutation-initiated natural selection. No matter how many times experimental evidence refutes that bastardization of Darwin’s theory, we will probably continue to see random mutations touted as the cause of mutation-driven evolution.
Clearly, when academics get an idea into their head and tout it to others as if it were an explanation of biologically-based cause and effect, there is no amount of experimental evidence or other evidence that will cause them to change their scientifically illiterate minds — or to admit that they have changed their mind to others.
My comment to “The Scientist” (posted on Nov 4, 2013)
“Ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction are unequivocally nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled in species from microbes to man. Current examples from yeasts, invertebrates, nematodes, other mammals and a human population in what is now central China, support a model of experience-dependent themodynamically-altered non-random stochastic gene expression that links the epigenetic ‘landscape’ to the physical landscape of DNA. The link is evident in the organized genome of all species via the conserved molecular mechanisms that enable their abiltiy to self-organize and maintain nutrient-dependent organism-level thermoregulation controlled by the effects of population size on the physiology of reproduction.
A recent report on Mosaic Copy Number Variation in Human Neurons incorporates what is known about nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled copy number variation in yeasts. “The mechanism by which one signaling pathway regulates a second provides insight into how cells integrate multiple stimuli to produce a coordinated response.” The signaling pathway is the gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) neuronal system in vertebrates, and the yeast alpha mating pheromone is so similar to mammalian GnRH that it elicits a luteinizing hormone (LH) response from the cultured pituitary cells of rats.
Given Darwin’s proposal that ‘conditions of life’ must be considered before moving forward to consider natural selection, and works that clearly show Feedback loops link odor and pheromone signaling with reproduction, it is amazing to see so many theorists not recognize the obvious fact that selection first occurs for nutrients that metabolize to pheromones, which control the physiology of reproduction and thus control nutrient-dependent speciation throughout ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction.
Isn’t the problem with speciation that’s addressed here the problem with portrayals that random mutations are the substrates on which natural selection acts? If so, let’s just admit there is no experimental evidence for that, instead of attempting to “reinvent the wheel” of niche construction.