by Ed Yong
Excerpt: In 2010, Kumar’s team, led by Ian Baldwin, raised tobacco hornworm caterpillars on genetically modified tobacco that doesn’t make much nicotine. They found that a gene called CYP6B46 was less active than usual in the guts of these insects, suggesting that it’s usually involved in resisting the effects of nicotine.
My comment: Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled developmental staging and life history changes in a moth species: Manduca sexta, takes us from the ridiculous example of what some of us were taught to believe was mutation-initiated natural selection by bird predation in the peppered moth. We now have another accurate representation of ecological adaptations during the natural history of invertebrates, which is exemplified in all species.
Kumar, Sagar, Pandit, Steppuhn & Baldwin. 2013. Natural history-driven, plant-mediated RNAi-based study reveals CYP6B46’s role in a nicotine-mediated antipredator herbivore defense.
Pay attention as facts about natural history replace stories about natural selection. In this species, olfactory associations facilitate important life-history events, which are unrelated to the immediate foraging responses. Natural selection cannot enable these association as immature larvae and caterpillars become moths. Behavior is nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled during all stages of development as best exemplified in the honeybee model organism of ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction.
Do not get caught playing the fool, as others have been.
Jay R. Feierman: I am absolutely certain that if you showed this statement to any professor of biology or genetics in any accredited university anywhere in the world that 100% of them would say that “Random mutations are the substrate upon which directional natural selection acts” is a correct and true statement.
Jay R. Feierman: Variation is not nutrient availability and the something that is doing the selecting is not the individual organism. A feature of an educated person is to realize what they do not know. Sadly, you don’t know that you have an incorrect understanding Darwinian biological evolution.
James Cantor: Is pedophilia a sexual orientation?
My comment: Of course pedophilia is not a sexual orientation. “Pedophilia is not a “sexual orientation,” and erroneous use of that phrase will be corrected soon in its new manual on mental illnesses, the American Psychiatric Association said Thursday.” No species is sexually attracted to reproductively immature conspecifics. For example, adult moths do not desire caterpillars as mates. The development of adult sexual preferences associated with sexual behavior is nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled in every species.