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DailyDirt: We Are Star Stuff And Genetic Mistakes...

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The history of evolution has been largely erased by time and poor record keeping. Sure, we still have a few genomes that look remarkably similar to ancient organisms, and we can try to make some educated guesses about how life on earth developed. We might even be able to re-animate some extinct animals, but we'll never be able to re-capture the full environment and complex ecology that no longer exists for our most distant ancestors. Still, it's fascinating to study evolution and to try to witness it in action. After you've finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.

Filed Under: biology, biotech, dark fly project, drosophila melanogaster, evolution, genome, gk-pid, gromia sphaerica, life, multi-cellular organisms, proteins, single celled organisms


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2016 @ 7:27pm

    Life also may be older than the earth

    http://news.discovery.com/earth/could-life-be-older-than-earth-itself-130417.htm

    Taking the number of mutations per generation that can be expected and working backwards from the complexity and variety available to study today, life would almost certainly have to have started before the earth itself was formed. If early earth was much more radioactive than we can account for today, this might explain the discrepancy. My guess would be that earlier versions of the Oklo fission reactors of 1.7 billion years ago:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_nuclear_fission_reactor

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 2 Mar 2016 @ 11:51pm

      Re: Life also may be older than the earth

      Don't be absurd! That's where the aliens set up their fission reactors while creating life on the Earth. After leaving, the reactors eventually got subsumed into the mantle where 1.7B years later it looks natural. It's OBVIOUS!
      ;)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 3 Mar 2016 @ 12:38am

      Re: Taking the number of mutations per generation that can be expected

      Is that paying attention to Drake’s Law?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 2 Mar 2016 @ 9:45pm

    “Mistake” Implies Intention To Do Things Correctly

    The trouble with terminology like this is it encourages those with religious/mystical tendencies to jump to certain conclusions. Saying one part of the biological process is an “accident” or “mistake”, implying that the rest of it is not, is subtly but seriously misleading.

    Yes, there is a genetic copying process, and yes, it does produce a certain proportion of incorrect copies. The technical term for these is “mutations”. We are the product of billions of years of accumulated mutations. That doesn’t sound very sexy or mystical, but it’s the closest to a succinct expression of the truth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Feldie47 (profile), 3 Mar 2016 @ 4:53am

    life = code+proteins+electricity
    evolution = code+proteins+electricity+errors

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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