Oliver Sacks concludes: “Nature has employed at least two very different ways of making a brain—indeed, there are almost as many ways as there are phyla in the animal kingdom. Mind, to varying degrees, has arisen or is embodied in all of these, despite the profound biological gulf that separates them from one other, and us from them.4”
My comment: Conserved molecular mechanisms link the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genomes of species from microbes to man via experience-dependent changes that lead to the differentiation of cell types in individuals of different species. Ecological variation results in the ecological adaptations manifested in morphological and behavioral phenotypes.
Oliver Sacks attributes biologically-based cause and effect to ‘Nature” and avoids any mention whatsoever of mutations, natural selection, and evolution. Others would do well to follow his lead, since he has moved across species with examples of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations that eliminate pseudoscientific theories about evolution from any further consideration whatsoever. Clearly, it is sensing and signaling that is required for the ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction that is manifested in increasing organismal complexity. If mutations, natural selection, and evolution were the cause of increasing organismal complexity, Oliver Sacks would probably have mentioned that possibility.
The Mind’s Eye by Oliver Sacks
The Scent of Eros: Mysteries of Odor in Human Sexuality by James V. Kohl and Robert T. Francoeur