Excerpt 1) “Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past two years, you’ve heard of CRISPR/Cas9, an RNA-guided nuclease that’s redefining synthetic biology and genome engineering.”
Excerpt 2) “The authors propose several additional applications as well, including… altering pre-mRNA splicing, and transcript tracking in live cells.”
My comment: Are you an evolutionary theorist or evolutionary theist who has continued to ignore everything known about RNA-mediated events that link nutrient-uptake to altered pre-mRNA splicing and cell type differentiation via amino acid substitutions? If so, you are among many who appear to have been living under a rock for nearly two decades.
In 1996, we wrote: “Small intranuclear proteins also participate in generating alternative splicing techniques of pre-mRNA and, by this mechanism, contribute to sexual differentiation in at least two species, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans (Adler and Hajduk, 1994; de Bono, Zarkower, and Hodgkin, 1995; Ge, Zuo, and Manley, 1991; Green, 1991; Parkhurst and Meneely, 1994; Wilkins, 1995; Wolfner, 1988). That similar proteins perform functions in humans suggests the possibility that some human sex differences may arise from alternative splicings of otherwise identical genes.”
That explanation of how sex differences in cell type differentiation arise has since been extended to cell type differentiation in all cells of all individuals of all species via conserved molecular mechanisms of RNA-directed DNA methylation. RNA-mediated events link the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA via amino acid substitutions that differentiate cell types.
No biologically-based evolutionary events have been described. None will be. Mutations perturb the protein folding that is required for ecological variation to lead to ecological adaptations. Mutations cannot link natural selection to the evolution of biodiversity because protein folding is biophysically constrained (e.g., by the laws of physics).