Diana Maria Petrosanu asked a question in an Evolutionary Psychology News discussion about Evolution’s Random Paths Lead to One Place. I’ve been very vocal in other discussions that tout ridiculous theories that have been repeatedly refuted by biological facts. My answer to her question might help others to understand the language of RNA-mediated events. That’s why I added details to my representation at Combating Evolution to Fight Disease. Whether or not the addition to my comments is published or understood in its context, I hope that repeating the additional comment and adding to it here will be helpful to others who are interested in understanding how to combat evolution and fight disease, especially those who don’t know the difference between an RNA-mediated event and an evolutionary event.
First off, so far as I know, there is no such thing as an evolutionary event! Genetically-predisposed behavior is RNA-mediated. It is not genetically determined and behavior does not arise in the context of mutations and natural selection. That means evolutionary theory cannot explain the evolution of behavior. That explains why evolutionary theorists have not explained the evolution of behavior in terms that link an evolutionary event to morphological and to behavioral diversity manifested as differences in the behavior of individuals or of species with different morphologies. For example, there are sex differences in morphology and in behavior. Evolutionary theorists have not attempted to explain how an evolutionary event might lead to those differences.
Let’s see what happens if I take an RNA-mediated egg-to-chicken approach to the dilemma of “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” In organisms with different cell types that enable sexual reproduction via internal fertilization, our 1996 review: From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior helped limit attempts to end the dilemma by inventing more ridiculous theories, which are consistently framed in the context of undisclosed evolutionary events. Clearly, the RNA-mediated behavior of the unicellular egg comes first because RNA-mediated behavior occurs in all cells of unicellular and multicellular organisms. If DNA-determined behavior were exemplified in any organism, it could be linked to the behavior of the organism’s last universal common ancestor. Simply put, the behavior of a microbe could be linked to behaviors I have exhibited as a motorcycle enthusiast and to my brothers’ behaviors.
My comment (to Science Magazine): 9/17/14 update The following comment has not yet been published but it has become more pertinent given a recent report on the evolution of teeth in sticklebacks that I detailed HERE. Obviously, the starting point is behavior that leads to the ecological adaptation manifested in the teeth of P. pacificus. However, researchers still seem to want unknown evolutionary events to lead to changes in teeth in other species like fish. Until they describe the evolutionary event that led to changes in teeth in sticklebacks, it is prudent to think that ecological variation led to RNA-mediated events and amino acid substitutions that differentiated the cell types of nematodes and sticklebacks via the conserved molecular mechanisms of ecological adapations.
“An alternative theory proposes environmentally induced change in an organism’s behavior as the starting point (1), and “phenotypic plasticity” that is inherited across generations through an unspecified process of “genetic assimilation” (2).” https://www.sciencemag.org/content/332/6034/1161.short
This is now more than merely an alternative theory of genetic assimilation. It links transgenerational epigenetic effects from nutrient uptake and RNA-mediated events to amino acid substitutions that differentiate the cell types of all cells in all individuals of all organisms. See, for example: Starvation-Induced Transgenerational Inheritance of Small RNAs in C. elegans https://www.cell.com/cell/abstract/S0092-8674(14)00806-X
The nutrient stress-induced RNA-mediated events, which link the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genomes of species from microbes to man, also link morphological and behavioral diversity via conserved molecular mechanisms exemplified in the context of biologically plausible ecological speciation in nematodes.
See: System-wide Rewiring Underlies Behavioral Differences in Predatory and Bacterial-Feeding Nematodes https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0092867412015000
A difference in their feeding behavior and in the anatomy of their mouth parts is linked from nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled feedback loops to ecological, social, and neurogenic niche construction. The change in focus from mutations, natural selection, and the evolution of biodiversity via unknown evolutionary events to nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled RNA-mediated events that differentiate cell types may be required for others to realize the difference between evolutionary theories and biologically-based facts about RNA-mediated events.
RNA-mediated events are biophysically constrained, which means they are a biologically plausible way to link the physics and chemistry of protein folding to increasing organismal complexity via molecular biology. RNA-mediated events can also be compared to any unknown evolutionary events that might arise in the context of an alternative theory about constraint-breaking mutations, or other theories that include no mention of RNA-mediated events.