Until yesterday my posts to the Science magazine site have been accepted, so I waited and made a second attempt to respond to this article: On Tropical Forests and Their Pests
Excerpt: “Evidence from several lineages of tropical trees and shrubs shows that closely related species have diverged in defenses while differing little in nondefense traits (9–12). This supports the Red Queen hypothesis (13), which states that antagonistic interactions between hosts and their pests lead to natural selection for beneficial adaptations and counteradaptations in both groups. Because herbivores are continually evolving counteradaptations to plant defenses, plant defensive traits should evolve faster than adaptations to a more static abiotic environment.”
Conclusion: “Given advances in metabolomics that allow chemical defenses to be quantified and in DNA sequencing for phylogenetics and species designations, progress is limited mainly by the need for time-intensive studies of plants and their enemies in the field.”
For the second time in two days, on 1/3/14 at 16:38, this was what I saw: Your submission has triggered the spam filter and will not be accepted. If you feel this is in error, please report that you are blocked. For the second time, I reported that I was blocked. Apparently, I will no longer be able to comment on article published in Science.
This is what I intended to say:
My comment: Ecological variability results in nutrient-dependent adaptations. Amino acid substitutions enable the de novo creation of receptors in the cell membrane, which allow additional nutrients to enter the cell.
That fact was recently reported outside the context of ecological variation. It was placed into the vague context of mutations theory and natural selection that involves accumulated beneficial mutations. However, it has become clear that a single amino acid substitution is all that is required to differentiate the cell types of individuals of species.
For example, see: The complete genome sequence of a Neanderthal from the Altai Mountains. They infer that 96 fixed amino acid substitutions in a total of 87 proteins result in the order of three thousand fixed changes. Those amino acid substitutions potentially influence gene expression that distinguishes us from our most recent extinct ancestors. Explanations of biologically based cause and effect moved beyond that inference in January, 2013. Experimental evidence showed that it takes only one amino acid substitution to distinguish a modern human population that adapted to ecological changes in what is now central China during the past ~30,000 years.
“The effect of the allele is adaptive and it is manifested in the context of an effect on sweat, skin, hair, and teeth. In other mammals, like the mouse, the effect on sweat, skin, hair, and teeth is due to an epigenetic effect of nutrients on hormones responsible for the tweaking of immense gene networks that metabolize nutrients to pheromones. The pheromones control the nutrient-dependent hormone-dependent organization and activation of reproductive sexual behavior in mammals such as mice and humans, but also in invertebrates as previously indicated. That means the adaptive evolution of the human population, which is detailed in these two reports, is also likely to be nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled, since there is no other model for that.‘
If the results of the experiments on the modern human population were reported in the context of the nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations of E. coli, or in the context of the ecological adapations that occur in every other species in which they occur, we might not be reading about natural selection in the tropical rain forest. What’s worst is to read about natural selection in the tropical rain forest for beneficial adaptations and counteradaptations in the context of the Red Queen hypothesis. There has never been any experimental evidence that supports that hypothesis, yet the hypothesis was used to explain the ecological diversity of the tropical rain forest.
Instead, we could have been reading about the ecological adaptations that enable ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction that is clearly exemplified in the context of the increasing organismal complexity in all epigenetic landscapes that become the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genomes of plant species and animal species no matter where they are found. This is what others need to know about natural selection.
Natural selection: “If you have variation, differential reproduction, and heredity, you will have evolution by natural selection as an outcome. It is as simple as that.”
Here’s what others should already know about natural selection in animals: The variation is nutrient availability and nutrients metabolize to species-specific pheromones that control reproduction and heredity. Evolution by natural selection cannot be the outcome if something is not first selected. Selection is always for nutrients. It is as simple as that.
If it is not that simple, someone needs to explain why they believe in a theory of mutation-driven evolution and detail how mutation-driven evolution occurs. Similarly, if natural selection is not for nutrients in plants and chemical signals do not control their reproduction, the entirety of the article On Tropical Forests and Their Pests leaves us to wonder: WHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO TELL US IS NATURALLY SELECTED? And, HOW is whatever that is, selected?
Simply put, these researchers take us back to the words of Dobzhansky (1964), which I have repeatedly quoted: “…the only worthwhile biology is molecular biology. All else is “bird watching” or “butterfly collecting.” Bird watching and butterfly collecting are occupations manifestly unworthy of serious scientists!” They’re watching what happens in the tropical rain forest and claiming that natural selection occurs. Those claims are not worthy of consideration by serious scientists!