Scientists recreate evolution of complexity using ‘molecular time travel’

“Much of what living cells do is carried out by “molecular machines” – physical complexes of specialized proteins working together to carry out some biological function. How the minute steps of evolution produced these constructions has long puzzled scientists, and provided a favorite target for creationists.”

My comment:

Groups of molecules that happen to stick are credited with tinkering, degradation, and good luck during evolution. Does that mean each of our ancestors as far back as single-celled organisms was preserved because they helped our other ancestors to survive? If so, I have a problem with what appears to be a one-way model. For example, how does the accumulation of simple, degenerative changes over long periods of times cause speciation, which incorporates many of the complex molecular machines present in organisms today? I think the accumulation of simple, degenerative changes in different organisms must stop for one species to establish its ecological niche but I don’t see any explanation for stop-and-start degenerative changes. That’s why one-way models of evolved complexity don’t work for me, but especially when the “one way” is via degradation. For contrast, Lynch et al find no evidence for stepwise evolution.

“There is a broad consensus that many of the genetic changes underlying the evolution of morphology occur by the stepwise modification of individual pre-existing cis-regulatory element modules5,6,29. However, it is questionable whether the origin of complex novelties—such as the origin of new cell types, which involves the recruitment of hundreds of genes—can be achieved by these small-scale changes7,29.”

The importance of the evolved mammalian placenta to human behavior cannot be overstated. The chemical communication that occurs in utero between mother and child probably are responsible for the genetically predisposed mother-infant bond, which sets the post-natal stage for the development of differences in adult behavior. I will have more to say about this in a follow-up post.

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