The Curious Case of the Lusty Wasps by Lizzie Wade on 13 February 2013, 1:40 PM
Excerpt: “…new sex pheromones may evolve through genetic mutation before potential mates develop the ability to detect them.”
My comment: Sex pheromones don’t evolve through genetic mutations. They are nutrient-dependent, not mutation-dependent. Nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution is made possible by the epigenetic effects of nutrients on intracellular signaling, the microRNA/messenger RNA balance, alternative splicing, and activity-dependent stochastic gene expression, which is controlled by the metabolism of nutrients to species-specific pheromones.
The epigenetic effects of nutrients establish the ecological niche; pheromones establish the social niche. Feedback loops that link ecological and social niche construction to neurogenic and socio-cognitive niche construction are exemplified in the honeybee model organism, which links adaptive evolution in species from microbes to man via the same molecular mechanisms.
Mutations theory links nothing given the requirement to get from genes to behavior and back, which is the requirement for adaptive evolution. For contrast, “Olfaction and odor receptors provide a clear evolutionary trail that can be followed from unicellular organisms to insects to humans.” — Kohl, J.V. (2012) Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2: 17338.