by Carl Zimmer 2/27/14
Excerpt: “The evolution of learning remains a puzzle for scientists. A smart animal can learn how to find more food or how to avoid predators. But if learning were such an unalloyed good, then one might expect all animals to be as smart as we are.”
My comment: Pseudoscience and monogamy are consistently paired in the context of evolutionary theory. Other animals learn to respond to odors associated with nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations via conserved molecular mechanisms. The conserved molecular mechanisms are manifested in species from microbes to man. Experience-dependent alternative splicings of pre-mRNA in insects and mammals determine which odor receptor genes are created and/or expressed, and which genes become pseudogenes when they are no longer needed in the context of experience-dependent differentiation of cell types in individuals of different species.
Framing the conserved molecular mechanisms of how ecological variation results in experience-dependent cell type ecological adaptations in the context of the evolution of learning, which somehow occurs, prevents the understanding of this biological fact: Learning is required for ecological adaptations and species diversification to occur via ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction.
There is a model of niche construction and increasing organismal complexity that can be compared to the theory of mutation-driven evolution, but it has not been compared because most science journalists continue to frame their reports in the context of theory, not biologically based facts. In this report, we see how the epigenetic effect of the odor on learning is casually dismissed as if nothing was known about how ecological adaptations lead to hormone-organized and hormone-activated invertebrate and vertebrate behavior.
Could monogamy have made us too stupid to recognize conserved molecular mechanisms, or have we been taught by evolutionary theorists to ignore biological facts?
Kohl (2013) “In flies, ecological and social niche construction can be linked to molecular-level cause and effect at the cellular and organismal levels via nutrient-dependent changes in mitochondrial tRNA and a nuclear-encoded tRNA synthetase. The enzyme enables attachment of an appropriate amino acid, which facilitates the reaction required for efficient and accurate protein synthesis (Meiklejohn et al., 2013).”