Reader Comments

Re: Modularity principle once again

by Douglas Axe (2010-09-07)

In response to Modularity principle once again


Referring to adaptation by means of fortuitous association of previously unassociated protein domains, you say, "It may happen only rarely, but neo-Darwinism needs nothing more."

I certainly agree with the first part of this statement. Rare doesn't mean impossible, and adaptive changes do occur. As for the second part, I think it depends on our expectations for the theory. If we're content for neo-Darwinism to explain only some things, possibly minor things, then I agree.

But most proponents of the theory have much higher expectations. So the correct approach, I think, is to do the science to find out precisely what neo-Darwinism does explain and what it doesn't explain. Your final sentence points to the kind of question that needs to be answered: We know that some protein folds are put to a variety of functional uses, so to what extent does neo-Darwinism explain this functional diversity within fold families?

The paper under discussion here doesn't attempt to address this, but I and others at Biologic are involved in a number of projects that do address it.


ISSN: 2151-7444