Excerpt: “It is easy to see that if an eye did develop, one could select for better and better eyes – but the origin of novelty is more challenging. So Darwinian evolution is clearly a good mechanism for improving things – but it is not necessarily a good mechanism for generating novelty.”
Excerpt 2: “…mechanisms of evolvability build on mechanisms that are used to generate physiological adaptability – that is, the processes that are used by the body to adapt to environmental conditions or growth or changes in nutrition.”
My comment: The evolution of evolvability is misrepresented in this article. Beyond Darwin: evolvability and the generation of novelty
It is not simply a byproduct of the evolution of physiological adaptability.
The evolution of evolvability is nutrient-dependent and adaptive evolution is enabled by the metabolism of nutrients to species-specific pheromones that control the physiology of reproduction. That means the evolution of physiological adaptability is secondary to the evolution of molecular mechanisms that enable nutrient uptake in all organisms of all species. How did the conserved molecular mechanisms of nutrient uptake evolve?
If de novo creation of novel olfactory receptor genes that enable novel nutrients to enter cells does not occur, the de novo creation of species-specific blends of pheromones that control the physiology of reproduction does not occur. Thus, the evolution of evolvability is clearly nutrient-dependent from the bottom-up and pheromone-controlled from the top-down. Attempts to make evolvability a byproduct of anything are attempts to simply say that the evolution of evolvability “just happens.”
If automagical evolvability “just happens,” it can occur outside the context of seemingly futile cycles of thermodynamically controlled protein biosynthesis and degradation that enable organism-level thermoregulation in ever-changing ecological niches and social niches via de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes and the de novo creation of species-specific blends of pheromones..
The nutrient-dependent accumulation of natural genetic variation in any population of cells or organisms enables the variety of responses to pheromones that result in optimal thermodynamically controlled protein folding, monoallelic olfactory receptor genes that facilitate nutrient uptake, and the metabolism of nutrients to pheromones that control the physiology of reproduction associated with organism-level theromoregulation and pheromonal signals of reproductive fitness in species from microbes to man.