I’m beginning to count on Carl Zimmer to misrepresent current research results soon after I have posted my correct representations here. He has a much wider audience, nonetheless, and blocks my comments about his posts elsewhere.
For another example of his misrepresentations, see: Our Speckled Brains 11/4/13
Excerpt: “Scientists have started to shift their attention from disease to health, and they’re finding that we can have a surprisingly large amount of variation with no apparent ill effect. In the latest issue of Science, Fred Gage of Salk Institute for Biological Studies and his colleagues provide a deep look into the mosaic nature of healthy brains.”
My comment: I addressed this in my 11/1/13 post on neuronal copy number variation (CNV) and the brain. Clearly, the mosaic nature of healthy brains cannot be approached via Carl Zimmer’s typical way of always incorporating mutation-initiated natural selection. Thus, when he says “Scientists have started to shift their attention from disease to health…” he is also admitting that he has been forced to abandon the ridiculous idea of mutation-driven evolution — even if he does not yet know that.
For several years, the focus of research has been on how cells develop in healthy unicellular and healthy multicellular organisms. Invariably, the research shows that health is nutrient-dependent, which would be common knowledge to anyone who learned about biologically-based cause and effect that was not falsely attributed to mutations that cause disease. Non-random experience-dependent adaptive evolution is thermodynamically controlled in all organisms. Altered nutrient uptake perturbs that thermodynamic control, which is why cancerous tissue can sometimes be identified as a hot spot (i.e., tissue that uses more glucose than surrounding tissue. It’s also why some cancers can be controlled merely by eliminating the flow of blood that provides nutrients for growth to the mutated cells in specific isolated tissues. Use of chemotherapy or radiation therapy, as must sometimes be done, damages healthy tissue as cancerous cells are killed.
We know that some cancers also seem to have a biological basis that is less obvious to evolutionary theorists and science journalists than it should be. What is obvious to biologists is that starvation or excess nutrients can cause nutrient stress that epigenetically effects the typical or atypical thermodynamics of intercellular signaling in species from microbes to man. It is equally obvious to biologists that social stress alters seemingly futile cycles of protein biosynthesis and degradation that is required for typical organism-level thermoregulation. Seemingly futile cycles of nutrient-dependent, thermodynamically-controlled, organism-level thermoregulation are controlled by the metabolism of nutrients to species-specific pheromones. Pheromones are social odors that control the physiology of reproduction in species from microbes to man. Thus, it is the nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled physiology of reproduction that typically eliminates cancer from showing up in the context of transgenerational epigenetic effects, until recently that is.
Experiments with unicellur yeasts are now beginning to show how nutrient stress alters methylation and also histone-mediated changes in protein structure. We already know that protein biosynthesis and degradation is nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled in species from microbes to man, but the message in the 40-minute video representation (see below) of epigenetic cause and effect is probably too technical to be considered by theorists, philosophers, or science journalists. I’ve included the link to the video, however, as a record of what will soon force social scientists and science journalists to update their knowledge base and make biologically based cause and effect the central theme of whatever they claim. If others do that, we won’t be seeing so many ridiculous misrepresentations of cause and effect during the next year compared to those we’ve seen in the past few weeks. See for example: Snakes on the Brain and Naming Our Ancestors and Creating Life As We Don’t Know It.
Clearly, not all the ridiculous misrepresentations of de novo creation and control of mutations come from Carl Zimmer. The problem is rampant because most journalists have been taught only about mutations and many people have accepted concepts like snake-centric evolution of the human brain because they think the science journalists are well-informed. I’ve seen little evidence of that, and there is no experimental evidence that supports the idea of mutation-driven evolution. All experimental evidence tells us that adaptations to the environment are nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled in all species via conserved molecular mechanisms. See for example in yeast: Signaling Crosstalk: Integrating Nutrient Availability and Sex.
Watch a few minutes of this video, and ask yourself how theorists and science journalists got their signals crossed and started touting mutation-driven natural selection in the context of mutation-driven evolution.
They should stop that so that scientific progress can be made sans the nonsense of evolutionary theory.