I was informed by the Royal Society science program office that there will be no formal presentations on viruses, per se, which seems peculiar considering viruses are now understood to be the biggest part of the biosphere, and a key reason for paradigm shift. Viruses and microbes — both organisms — were left out of the modern synthesis.
Seriously missing then from the proceedings will be Paradigm Shifters and virus specialists/enthusiasts: Eugene Koonin, Luis Villarreal, Ricardo Flores, František Baluška, Corrado Spadafora, Günther Witzany and Eibi Nevo.
My comment: The mere mention of the obvious role that viruses play in mutation-driven pathology would cause presenters to gasp and then try to explain why they ignored this fact.
The major antigenic changes of the influenza virus are primarily caused by a single amino acid near the receptor binding site.
Note, my published comment to the Science site was replaced by the authors’ response. My comment still appears on the Atlantic Magazine site. I included some sarcasm: “I’m not sure that the laws of physics apply to viruses…” That may have embarrassed the authors, and the editors at Science Magazine. In any case, the authors clarified what needed to be made perfectly clear.
The idea of biophysical constraints seems antithetical to the idea of nature somehow selecting mutations that cause amino acid substitutions. However, I am not a biophysicist or evolutionary theorist.
The problem may be my focus on nutrient-dependent receptor-mediated amino acid substitutions in species from bacteria to humans (non-viral organisms). Since I am not a virologist or physicist, I’m not sure that the laws of physics apply to viruses and their replication.
If they do, natural selection for random mutations is not likely to result in amino acid substitutions because the thermodynamics of changes in organism-level thermoregulation preclude such randomness. Stability of protein biosynthesis and degradation that probably depends on protein folding must somehow be controlled. Besides, I don’t know how random mutations in viruses could be naturally selected for inclusion in the human virome (or in the virome of any organism capable of thermoregulating its thermodynamic intercellular signaling).
If the Second Law of Thermodynamics does not apply to viruses, which means the chemical bonds that enable the amino acid substitutions can form at random and somehow be naturally selected, the details of biophysical constraints in this article seems out of place, since I do not think in terms of constrained random mutations and natural selection in mutation-driven evolution.
Hopefully, someone with a background in biophysics will address my confusion in case others are confused. In addition, I wonder if the consequences of understanding the evolutionary mechanisms that govern viruses extend to consequences important to understanding the evolution of species from bacteria to humans via constrained random mutations and natural selection?
Addendum: Serious scientists cannot comment on pseudoscientific nonsense without mentioning the Laws of Physics and the biophysically constrained protein folding chemistry that links RNA-mediated cell type differentiation in all cell types of all individuals of all living genera. Therefore, serious scientists cannot be allowed publicly comment on the pseudoscientific touted by teleophobic neo-Darwinists. It causes too much ill will among all academics. This may be especially true of academics who are trying to sneak through the changes that are required to salvage the unsalvageable bits and pieces of the ridiculous “Modern Synthesis.” They must try to keep some theory of evolution protected from facts about how atoms are linked to ecosystems via hydrogen-atom transfer in DNA base pairs. If they cannot do that, everyone will realize that there have been no Paradigm Shifters in academia and that all the proponents of required change to the Modern Synthesis, have ignored what is known to serious scientists about viruses and energy theft.
What was known to Luca Turin caused him to join others who have stayed on the list of the uninvited.
See: A Spectroscopic Mechanism for Primary Olfactory Reception.
Reported as: ‘Quantum smell’ idea gains ground
“He’s had some peripheral support, but… people don’t want to line up behind Luca,” Prof Jacob said. “It’s scientific suicide.”
See also: Book Review by James Vaughn Kohl
The Emperor of Scent: A Story of Perfume, Obsession and the Last Mystery of the Senses
by Chandler Burr
New York: Random House (2003).
Human studies have shown that we can sniff out genetically determined differences in natural body odor, but that this is not done consciously. Therefore, such perceptions seem to fall outside the realm of Turin’s vibration theory for odor recognition (which he indicates occurs at a conscious level).
More than a century ago, in 1900, Max Planck, one of the greatest physicists of all time, announced his revolutionary new scientific theory of an energy constant in quantum mechanics. Eighteen years later he was awarded a Nobel Prize. As Luca Turin waits for his rewards/award, he and others may benefit from knowing more about Planck’s attitude: “…a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”