Crowd Control By Cristina Luiggi | July 1, 2013
Molecules, cells, or vertebrates—when individuals move and act as a single unit, surprisingly complex behaviors arise that hint at the origins of multicellularity.
Excerpt: “…regulating fluid viscosity—a response that’s dependent on cell density and the availability of nutrients—limits the width of the colony’s branches so that the average density at any given point of the swarm matches the amount of food available in the area. Thus, via individual cell responses to the conditions of the immediate environment, communicated to other cells, the colony as a whole forms remarkably intricate patterns that change along with changing conditions.”
This exemplifies the microbial origin of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution in species from microbes to man. For other examples in model organisms see: Nutrient–dependent / pheromone–controlled adaptive evolution: a model Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 3: 20553.
Of interest may be the fact that Eshel Ben-Jacob (who is quoted in the article linked above), Greg Bear, and I were members of Howard Bloom’s Paleopsychology Project internet group. I drew from Eshel’s comments on microbes for my model, and Greg drew from my comments on pheromones for their role in his science fiction novels ‘Darwin’s Radio’ and ‘Darwin’s Children.’ I was happy to confirm his accurate portrayal.
When the likelihood became clear that HERVs are involved in primate adaptive evolution, which was the theory first incorporated into Bear’s novels, I was somewhat shocked. I had just finished reading the pre-publication manuscript of ‘Darwin’s Children’ when I realized his science ‘fiction’ had become scientifically supported fact. His facts led to a 2004 address to The American Philosophical Society and at least one follow-up presentation (see this video). Note, even in 2004, Greg Bear realized that random mutations theory was not a factual representation of how evolution occurs.
For contrast, nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution has never been anything but fact for people like Darwin, who represented this vaguely as his ‘conditions of life,’ and for people like Ben-Jacob, Bear, and me. If not for scientifically unsupported evolutionary theories, others might be more aware that random mutations do not cause nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution, because mutations cannot contribute to the social behaviors described in this article (or in any species). This fact does not seem to impact the opinions of theorists, nonetheless. Unfortunately, their opinions are typically not informed by biological facts. If the theorists were informed by biological facts, they would be discussing nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution.