I'm somewhat irritated by "mutation" generally being described as a fully random factor in evolution: pure randomness does not seem like something that can survive in a long evolutionary process.
And some basic evolution in some long-lived organisms appears to happen in quite fewer generations than one would consider plausible considering just natural selection over an unbiasedly mutated genetic base.
So I'm wondering whether there have been attempts to view mutation itself as a process influenced by evolution. For example, couldn't "junk DNA" result in a susceptibility to certain mutations that is determined by environmental factors, like amount and constitution of nutrients, ambient temperatures and others.
The overall discussion of mutagenesis I can find focuses entirely on "damage", again basically assigning all mutations a negative or at least undirected character (like more mutations occuring under stress, with the "aim" being more likely to have more random mutations where one offspring might be more successful than the stressed parent by chance).
In a similar vein, I don't see not much of anything about evolution and competition of gametes: how different environmental factors influence which of an abundance of eggs mature and which of the (asexual) male gamete reproduction mutation in the testes will be favored over time or under environmental conditions.
Basically all of evolution and natural selection seems about how to survive into fertility and select a partner, and that's it as genes are constant apart from random cosmic radiation or toxic substances.
I think that this kind of viewing the message in the DNA as isolated from its medium just does not sound like something that would survive billions of years without something less random replacing the pure randomness.
So are there any major studies trying to figure out whether certain mutations leading to better adapted phenotypes occur in a non-random manner (namely not just affecting mutation rate but also direction) in response to environmental circumstances?