I’ve spent several hours in debate with Frank Mueller about the role of mutations in natural selection and mutation-driven evolution. No matter what I have contributed to the debate, Frank cannot seem to grasp the facts that must be considered. Here they are:
Haldane “…was the first to calculate the mutational load caused by recurring mutations at a gene locus, and to introduce the idea of a “cost of natural selection“.” We now know that mutations are not fixed in the genome of C. elegans, and no evidence suggests that mutations are fixed in the DNA of any organized genome in any species. We also know that nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes allows the epigenetic landscape to become the physical landscape of DNA as evidenced by amino acid substitutions that obviously contribute to the expression of different morphologies/phenotypes in species from microbes to man.
It is the metabolism of nutrients to species-specific pheromones, which control reproduction, that makes sense of our innate responses to food odors and to social odors called pheromones. Our innate and our learned responses are associated with the phenotypic characteristics of other species and our conspecifics (self vs non-self differences).
Thus, we have Haldane’s calculation(s) to compare to the biological facts of how adaptive evolution occurs via selection for nutrients in species from microbes to man. The calculation of mutational load was wrong. Mutations are not fixed in the genome.
Frank seems to be suggesting only that others learn more about DNA and mutations (e.g., from the Berkeley site). I’m suggesting that others learn about the basic principles of biology and levels of biological organization required to link sensory cause to behavioral affect and adaptive evolution in species from microbes to man. Others could then compare the nonsense of Haldane’s “mutational load” calculations to what actually is required for adaptive evolution to occur.
For example, organisms must respond to food odors and eat and they must respond to pheromones to reproduce. They do not need to calculate mutational loads to eat, and they cannot respond to differences in mutational loads because mutations are not fixed in their genome. Thus, mutations theory has nothing to do with reproduction, which is nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled. Reproduction also is involved in adaptive evolution via clear examples of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled cause and effect.