After I posted 5 of the 14 comments to the National Geographic site during discussion of Mercenary Ants Protect Farmers With Chemical Weapons by Ed Yong, I got the message: “Your comment is awaiting “moderation” Typically, that means I will not be allowed to continue participation in the discussion I started, which is why I am blog-posting my comment here. Perhaps I have been too harsh in my responses to people who keep politely telling me I am WRONG. Perhaps, like me, they don’t like to be told that they are WRONG. Perhaps we will never know what’s right and who is WRONG because discussion of biologically-based cause and effect ends before the conclusion can be reached that adaptive evolution is nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled.
My comment: James V. Kohl (September 11, 2013)
DrYak wrote:”…the rest of us look at the literature in both the field of reproductive biology and speciation for example on the evolution of reproductive isolation and follow the data rather than intuition.”
No biologically based data link mutations to selection, which must be involved in adaptive evolution. What you have been following is nonsensical theory, which is a common problem known to physiologists. For example, in 2011 Denis Noble wrote: “If you learnt evolutionary biology and genetics a decade or more ago you need to be aware that those debates have moved on very considerably, as has the experimental and field work on which they are based.”
[DrYak also wrote: Could you please define what you mean by epigenetic? This is a concept that has been made to mean so many things recently that we could be flailing in the dark unless we clearly state what we mean by it.]
Earlier this year I wrote: Epigenetics: “An essential mechanism for pruning down the wide range of possible behaviors permitted by genes, selecting those that fit an individual’s environment (Berreby, 2011).” Excerpted from Nutrient-dependent/pheromone-controlled adaptive evolution: a model (https://www.socioaffectiveneuroscipsychol.net/index.php/snp/article/view/20553/27989).
Recently, David Eagleman wrote: 3. Stem the flow of bad information (https://eagleman.com/blog/item/59-public-science), which is precisely what I am trying to do here.
Clearly, one of the biggest problems I will continue to encounter in attempts to stem the flow of bad information disseminated via mention of mutations in articles like the one we are discussing is that there is no such thing as mutation-driven evolution. In fact, given the context of what is currently known about systems biology (e.g., yes, John S, I am one of “them”) mutation-driven evolution cannot be considered as anything significant except an example of nonsense.
Reproductive isolation is nutrient-driven and pheromone-controlled via RNA-mediated events, amino acid substitutions, and chromosomal rearrangements, which is how you get the diversification (e.g., since the last ice age) in marine stickleback fish and the obvious diversification in species from microbes to man via conserved molecular mechanisms, not via mutation-driven evolution.Apparently, like many others, you need to “…look at the [CURRENT] literature in both the field of reproductive biology and speciation.” I’ve been publishing and presenting on that for more than 2 decades. But thanks for your comments and questions. Scientific progress isn’t possible without them (i.e., all we would have is theory).