Epigenetic effects on the evolution of behavior

I watched about 1/2 of this informative video. By then I was convinced that others need only realize that it’s the pheromones associated with the maternal behavior of mammals that provide the epigenetic “driving” force for the development of adaptively evolved behavior. The epigenetic effect of nutrient chemicals is clearly important, because no mammal survives without food. The metabolism of nutrient chemicals to species-specific pheromones is even more important. No mammal survives without the epigenetic effect of pheromones on species-specific differences in behavior, including sex differences in behavior.

Evolution in Four Dimensions

Eva Jablonka

A word search via the following link to the book: Evolution in Four Dimensions: Genetic, Epigenetic, Behavioral, and Symbolic Variation in the History of Life (Life and Mind: Philosophical Issues in Biology and Psychology) provides the following results:

Pheromone: 1 result, which indicates that the pheromones of the ant queen alter the larval development of other queens

Olfactory: 1 result, which indicates the role of olfactory signs in in a complex combination with visual, vocal, and tactile signs.

Odor: 1 result, which indicates that the mother’s influence on her pups was due to her odor.

Scent: 1 result, which indicates that scent is important to courtship involving linking and dancing in flies.

Niche: 25 results, which clearly attest to the importance of niche construction in adaptive evolution.

Random: 43 results, which indicate some confusion about what “random variations”  can be attributed to “random” mutations.

Collectively, these results show how far away we are from a reality-based approach to epigenetic influences. Even those who are among the best at providing today’s students with facts have minimal explanatory power in their works. In the context of adaptive evolution, with vague and disjointed attempts to integrate chemical ecology, the failure to include both the importance of olfactory epigenetic effects and the importance of pheromonal epigenetic effects on  ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction can only continue to inhibit scientific progress. Jablonka exemplifies how much progress can be made without acknowledging the primary epigenetic effects of olfactory/pheromonal input. We are left somewhat short of a comprehensive model, which means we are still stuck with a theory for our evolved behavior in an age of neuroscientific progress that should by now have led to inclusion of facts about how epigenetic effects on genetic predisposition alter the development of behavior in species from microbes to man.


About James V. Kohl 1308 Articles
James Vaughn Kohl was the first to accurately conceptualize human pheromones, and began presenting his findings to the scientific community in 1992. He continues to present to, and publish for, diverse scientific and lay audiences, while constantly monitoring the scientific presses for new information that is relevant to the development of his initial and ongoing conceptualization of human pheromones. Recently, Kohl integrated scientific evidence that pinpoints the evolved neurophysiological mechanism that links olfactory/pheromonal input to genes in hormone-secreting cells of tissue in a specific area of the brain that is primarily involved in the sensory integration of olfactory and visual input, and in the development of human sexual preferences. His award-winning 2007 article/book chapter on multisensory integration: The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences followed an award winning 2001 publication: Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology, which was coauthored by disinguished researchers from Vienna. Rarely do researchers win awards in multiple disciplines, but Kohl’s 2001 award was for neuroscience, and his 2007 “Reiss Theory” award was for social science. Kohl has worked as a medical laboratory scientist since 1974, and he has devoted more than twenty-five years to researching the relationship between the sense of smell and the development of human sexual preferences. Unlike many researchers who work with non-human subjects, medical laboratory scientists use the latest technology from many scientific disciplines to perform a variety of specialized diagnostic medical testing on people. James V. Kohl is certified with: * American Society for Clinical Pathology * American Medical Technologists James V. Kohl is a member of: * Society for Neuroscience * Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology * Association for Chemoreception Sciences * Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality * International Society for Human Ethology * American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science * Mensa, the international high IQ society