Excerpt: “… learning about evolution is not the primary function of the decision, but rather to use it as a building block for students to learn more about their ecology.”
My comment: This appears to be a blessing (e.g., in disguise) for Israeli children. The earlier they learn the difference between the teaching of pseudoscientific nonsense that population geneticists used to invent neo-Darwinism, the more rapidly they will progress in quests for experimental evidence of biologically-based cause and effect that links what they’ve learned (or will learn) about physics and chemistry from ecological variation to ecological adaptations via Darwin’s ‘conditions of life.’
I noticed two years ago, after attending the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in New Orleans, that researchers in Israel already were already consistently among those reporting experimental evidence that shows how ecological variation leads from the nutrient-dependent microRNA/messenger RNA balance to ecological adaptations. I did not know that students in Israel had not be burdened with implausible ideas about biologically-based cause and effect that population geneticists invented in their failed attempts to explain how Darwin’s ‘conditions of life’ led to biodiversity.
Now, it’s obvious that those who were not taught to believe in the pseudoscientific nonsense of neo-Darwinian evolution are among those most likely to be naturally selected to help science move forward. See for example: “Toward a combinatorial nature of microRNA regulation in human cells.” Note the difference between the explanatory power of microRNAs compared to the inexplicable automagical effects of whatever causes changes in messenger RNA and mutation-driven evolution in this report: The Effects of Codon Context on In Vivo Translation Speed.
Here’s what happens when mutation-driven evolution is then used to explain the evolution of an organ in sheep.
Editor’s summary: Sheep-specific genetic changes underlie differences in lipid metabolism between sheep and other mammals, and may have contributed to the production of wool. Jiang et al. sequenced the genome of two Texel sheep, a breed that produces high-value meat, milk, and wool. The genome information will provide an important resource for livestock production and aid in the understanding of mammalian evolution.
My comment: The connection between ecological variation and nutrient-dependent ecological adaptations manifested in the different morphological and behavioral phenotypes is short-circuited with mention of mutations that somehow cause changes in the hair of other mammals. The differences in hair are then loosely associated with mutation-driven evolution of an organ.
For contrast, in the mouse-to-human model of epigenetic effects via conserved molecular mechanisms, changes in hair, sweat glands, teeth, and mammary tissue are attributed to differences in diet. The differences in diet appear to cause a base pair change, an amino acid substitution, and receptor-mediated changes in morphology, which are clearly linked to receptor-mediated changes in behavior via the metabolism of nutrients to species-specific pheromones that control the physiology of reproduction. See for review: “Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model”
The likelihood that species-specific pheromones control the physiology of reproduction in species from microbes to man via conserved molecular mechanisms suggests that attributing the evolution of any organ to a mutation is a miss-attribution. The miss-attribution appears to support a theory invented by population geneticists to explain nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled biodiversity. But the theory explains nothing.
If the rumen is an ecological adaptation, any suggestion that it exemplifies mutation-driven evolution is one that can now be challenged by experimental evidence from the extant literature on how the nutrient-dependent microRNA/messenger RNA balance contributes to cell type differentiation in individuals of all species. Cell type differentiation links the finely-tuned balance from ecological variation to ecological adaptations and biodiversity via hormone-organized and hormone-activated behavior in sheep, all other vertebrates, and all invertebrates. See for example: “The ram as a model for behavioral neuroendocrinology”
See also, our award-winning 2001 review article: Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology and the author’s copy of my award-winning book chapter/journal article: The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences.