“Evolution was defined as “changes in gene frequencies in natural populations.” The accumulation of genetic mutations was touted to be enough to change one species to another…. No, it wasn’t dishonesty. I think it was wish fulfillment and social momentum. Assumptions, made but not verified, were taught as fact.”
Sinope Diogenes claims (with my emphasis): “There is biologicaly-based and testable evidence that supports the theory that mutations happen. When this evidence is combined with other biologically based evidence about rates of mutation, models can be constructed to test the theory and probability of fixation.”
Clearly, Sinope Diogenes was taught to believe in a ridiculous theory, and I learned about biological facts. See, for example: “…competition for two carbon sources caused initially isogenic populations of the bacterium Escherichia coli to diversify into two coexisting ecotypes representing different physiological adaptations in the central carbohydrate metabolism.”
Those who have continued to tout Richard Lenski’s work as proof of mutations that lead to evolution in E. coli, don’t realize his experiments showed that the molecular mechanisms of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled reproduction are conserved in species from microbes to man. The conserved molecular mechanisms link ecological variation to ecological adaptions without the pseudoscientific nonsense of neo-Darwinian theories.
In the “Science” article, the authors claim to “…minimize complications and thus illuminate the fundamental dynamics of adaptation by natural selection in asexual populations.”
Excerpt: “The medium has one limiting resource and supports low population densities (for bacteria) to minimize the potential for crossfeeding on, or inhibition by, secreted byproducts.”
My comment: They eliminated natural selection for nutrients via the medium used to grow the organisms. This limits the metabolism of nutrients to species-specific secreted byproducts called pheromones that control the physiology of reproduction. Thus, the conserved molecular mechanisms of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution are eliminated and results are reported in terms of mutations.
This experiment was designed before researchers knew anything about molecular epigenetics. Nothing is illuminated by first eliminating variables that include the epigenetic ‘landscape,’ which becomes the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genomes of species from microbes to man that adapt to their environment.
I am surprised at attempts to explain the evolution of organismal complexity in the context of mutation-driven evolution, when no experimental evidence from model organisms in their natural or typical environments supports that idea. Instead, all experimental evidence supports nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution.