Molecular mechanisms of burrowing behavior

Profiles in Science | Hopi E. Hoekstra Digging Deep in the DNA By JAMES GORMAN Published: January 28, 2013 “New York Times”

Excerpt: “Decades ago the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins suggested that one could study the evolution and genetics of behavior just the way one studies the evolution of body shape: concentrate on what animals build — birds’s nests, beaver dams, termite mounds — and treat them like beak length or coat color.”

My comment: Is Dawkins aware that “Reproductive isolation evidently can arise with little or no morphological differentiation.“–Dobzhansky (1972). Beak length, coat color, and what animals build have nothing to do with the evolution and genetics of behavior.  For contrast, also mentioned in this article is Cori Bargmann, who is likely to be aware of how molecular epigenetics contribute to nutrient-dependent speciation in “predatory” worms compared to “grazing” worms. Speciation is pheromone-controlled.

This brings us to the comment by Gene Robinson, who is an expert on nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled hormone-organized and hormone-activated behavior in honeybees.  He indicates it will be hard to find the genes for differences in the burrowing behavior of the mammals Hopi Hoekstra is studying.

Clearly, adaptive evolution is nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled which makes it non-random. It is controlled from the bottom up by nutrients, and from the top-down by the metabolism of the nutrients to species-specific pheromones. The molecular mechanisms of adaptive evolution, which are clear to Bargmann and to Robinson, exemplify a point-of-attack that should be used to counter Dawkin’s nonsensical theoretical approach. Something went horribly wrong in the context of adaptive evolution when Dawkins suggested it was driven by phenotypic expression (morphology) or that it could be studied via examination of what animals build.

What’s wrong with this article is that molecular biology is mixed with nonsensical theory in a disturbing mess of facts and factoids. We might otherwise have learned that the differences in the burrowing behavior will obviously turn out to be nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled via epigenetic effects on genetically predisposed behaviors as occurs with speciation from microbes to man.   Instead, someone might get the idea that the study of beak length and coat color will lead us to a better understanding of how random mutations cause adaptive evolution at a time when most people know that adaptive evolution is nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled.

See also: Blind Mole Rats Show Evolution in Action

by Colin Barras on 28 January 2013, 3:00 PM

Excerpt: “He has preliminary evidence that female and male mole rats taken from one soil type prefer to mate with each other even in the presence of mole rats from the other soil type—although he says more work must be done to show that this preference is strong enough to explain the genetic differences.”

My comment: A slight difference in glucose uptake in microbes is sufficient to cause pheromone-controlled speciation and sex differences at the advent of sexual reproduction in yeasts.


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