Excerpt 1) “When organisms find themselves in a new environment, they develop in a way that helps them cope with their new surroundings. Their descendants may acquire mutations that encode that anatomy in their genes. Eventually evolution takes them beyond where plasticity alone could take them.”
My comment: It’s time for science journalists to stop touting this nonsense (above).
Ecological variation leads from nutrient uptake in new environments to RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions. If the nutrient-dependent amino acid substitutions stabilize the DNA in organized genomes, the metabolism of nutrients leads to the controlled physiology of reproduction by species-specific pheromones.
Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations lead to biodiversity manifested in the morphological and behavioral phenotypes of species from microbes to man via conserved molecular mechanisms (“Genome Dynamics Events”).
Excerpt 2) In 2008, for example, scientists raised stickleback fish on two different diets. One group of fish ate bloodworms squirming around at the bottom of their tanks. The other fish ate shrimp scooting around in the open water. The bloodworm-eating fish had to clamp down on the blood worms to eat them, while the shrimp-eating ones just needed to sneak up on their prey and swallow them with a quick slurp.
The result of these different movements was different heads: the bloodworm-feeders had short, wide mouths, and the shrimp-feeders had long, narrow ones.
My comment: Attributing differences in morphology to “different movements” in sticklebacks fed two different diets is akin to telling people that differences in C. elegans (grazing nematodes) and P. pacificus (predatory nematodes with teeth) is due to differences in their movements.
The differences in nematodes and sticklebacks are due to nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological, social, and neurogenic niche construction in all species with neuronal networks. How else would hundreds of different species of sticklebacks arise in one lake? See for review: Advances in Ecological Speciation: an integrative approach
See also: “It’s a series of adaptations that affect many aspects of the organism: the shape of the fish, its behaviour, diet and mating preferences,” says evolutionary biologist Greg Wray at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, who was not involved in the study.”