Once again, an article implies there is a proactive adaptive mechanism whereby animals adapt.
I am willing, able, and eager to acknowledge and accept any evidence that such a mechanism exists or has existed.Â
To say that a species developed or evolved a morphology "because" that morphology was "needed" or "because" that morphology yields an advantage over (whatever) is to imply that mutations are reflexive and deliberate.
If the author of this article, or an editor, or any other person can direct me to literature in which a proative adaptive mechanism produces an evolutionary result, I would be enormously grateful for references I can consult to learn about it.
In reference to another article, "Peppered Moths Re-examined, by Cristina Luiggi, there is a caption referring to it which indicates, "The textbook example of Darwinian evolution is tested and confirmed."
I shall raise the question there of whether Charles Darwin asserted the existence of, or implied the existence of, a proactive adaptive mechanism in peppered moths.Â I read him as a student some four decades ago, at which time, as I can recall, I found neither any citing of evidence of the Lamarckian notion of transmission of acquired characteristics nor any citing of evidence of a proactive adaptive mechanism (by which I would mean a mechanism whereby an adaptive-appropriate mutation or a series of them is/are "selected" by members of a species to "deal with" a particular challenge in an environment, or to come up with the right mutation or the right set or series of mutations to achieve greater fitness -- such as to solve a problem threatening the survival of that species.
As to the peppered moth, and as to the so-called Darwin's finches, there is a profusion of rhetoric implying that individuals within these species "adapt" to certain kinds of changes in nature of food supply, or changes in their susceptibility to being more or less camouflaged in regard to certain predators.Â The hard data strike me as implying, in each such case, not new mutations but, rather, a variety of existing genes (or epigenetic propensities) whereby what is selected is on an either/or basis -- that is, as certain specific environmental changes occur the individuals with more copies of one gene are filtered for by the environmental selector, and when the specific environmental specific changes back to another selective state, the members of the species with more copies of another are selected for.Â If that is not quite the nature of the mechanism which allows two or more either/or types of
selection, I would be grateful for references to the micro-biological details.
As for zebras, there does not appear to be any either/or kind of mechanism at work, whereby zebras would -- if a certain predator were to "adapt" and begin to prefer to kill and eat striped individuals, would proactively adapt and begin being selected for
another external color scheme.
Again, I am ready, willing and able to acknowledge and accept any hard evidence, whatsoever, indicating that a species has the capability of proactively adapting, as opposed to merely coming up with a series of random mutations, one after another after another after another... in coming up with an enormously complex gene recipe that specializes.Â (As I have pointed out elsewhere, there are enormously long and complex transduction cascades involved in some of the thousands (millions?) of
vital physiological responses; and where even a single alteration in the order or nature of such a complex and elongated and series-dependent process gets out of whack, homeostasis is disrupted and the resulting alteration in physiological morphology in the vast preponderance of instances is deleterious to fitness, in fact in the order of perhaps thousands to one deleterious.
I welcome any specific references to hard data whereby Darwin's thinking on this issue (of what proactive adaptation-appropriate mutational direction occurs, or has occurred, in the peppered moth, in Galapagos finches, in zebras, or in any other species.Â And, if no such mechanism has been empirically established, then surely we would not wish such assertions to be implied, hundreds or thousands of times per year, in journals scientifically and professionally edited, nor in textbooks children are required to read, nor in any other source asserted to represent something about what is "good" science, versus what is mere (shudder) biased, metaphysical dogma.