Evolution

Apr 3, 2014


Discussion by: iespinoza11

I have an honest question for evolutionists. I'm sorry if it sounds like a stupid question because I'm not super learned in the topic. Evolutionists account for the complexity of life by means of random mutation and natural selection. As life progresses, those two mechanisms cause organisms to become increasingly more complex because natural selection is favoring the organisms that have the greatest flexibility in genetic mutation. If that is the case, reversing time means the organism becomes increasingly less complex until you get to life's origin. So here is my question: if the original common ancestor was not nearly as refined for survival as life is today, how did it survive?

54 comments on “Evolution

  • Because complexity has nothing to do with survival and everything to do with competing with other organisms for resources in a particular environment.
    If you don’t count viruses as life the most wide spread life on this planet is still the least complex – the bacteria. If you count viruses then its viruses.

    Once multi-cellular organisms compete for limited resources in the environment the arms race of evolution really kicks in since those best adapted to survive are going to be the ones passing their genes down.
    However if the earth suffered a catastrophic extinction event it would be the bacteria that would continue on – being less complex has advantages in a hostile environment. And that wouldn’t be evolution going backwards because evolution has no goal or direction.

    Also, don’t forget Earth now is very different to the way it was when life first arose.Life itself has changed the environment in a multitude of ways.



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  • As life progresses, those two mechanisms cause organisms to become increasingly more complex because natural selection is favoring the organisms that have the greatest flexibility in genetic mutation. If that is the case, reversing time means the organism becomes increasingly less complex until you get to life’s origin.

    First, I don’t think it’s completely accurate to say that life inevitably has to become “more complex”. “Fittest” doesn’t necessarily mean strongest, fastest, or even smartest. It just means best adapted to the environment. That will definitely tend to make organisms stronger, faster, smarter but it doesn’t have to be that way. For example, there are species of fish that live very deep in the ocean and that once had eyes but have evolved to no longer have them or to have very minimal vision because anything more would just be wasted at the depths or caves they live in anyway. That’s an example of a species getting “less complex” going from a fish with functioning eyes to one without them.

    Second, your question is rather vague and also keep in mind that we don’t know right now how life even got started in the first place. So to answer how those very earliest one celled or even no celled organisms survived is an open question that we don’t completely know the answer to yet.

    But to try and get at the core of what I think you are asking you need to keep in mind the idea of what Dawkins calls an “arms race” between organisms. One of the main reasons that organisms need to get “more complex” is because they are competing with other organisms. So if I’m a prey animal and my predator is evolving to run fast there will be selection pressure on my species to also evolve to run faster. The original very simple forms of life could probably survive at least in part because there weren’t any more sophisticated forms of life to gobble them up yet.



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  • 3
    Andrea R says:

    I guess we both agree that a bacteria is a much less complex organism than an elephant.
    I think you can agree with me that there are all kind of bacteria around us right now.
    So what is the question? You are asking how a simple organism can survive but you’re literally surrounded ( they are inside your body too in this very moment ) by simple organisms that are doing pretty well so what’s so special in the idea of simple organism surviving when you can experience it first hand?



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  • 4
    Nunbeliever says:

    The statement that the survival of the fittest requires organisms to become more and more complex is clearly wrong. Most organisms on this planet are actually quite simple. Imagine all those countless species of bacteria and other one celled organisms. Slightly more complex but still very simple in comparison to mammals are all the insects who outnumber mammals by many orders of magnitude. These organisms do just fine. In fact, would there be a catastrophic even these simple creatures are much more likely to survive than complex animals like mammals. There are simple organisms that can live in environments where humans and other mammals would never be able to survive. Like the organisms living in the depths of our oceans without access to sunlight. We know that bacteria can live in utterly extreme environments. That’s why we don’t expect to find complex life forms on other planets (that are very hostile to life). We expect to find bacteria or other very simple forms of life. Hence, it seems all but obvious that simple organisms in general are much better at surviving than complex organisms.

    It is of course interesting why humans and other mammals have evolved into very complex organisms. It certainly has to do with our ability to survive. In certain environments there seems to be room for complex organisms like mammals. It’s important to point out that mammals mainly compete with other mammals or quite complex organisms. Even though we have developed sophisticated ways to kill harmful bacteria they are not really competing with us. Most forms of bacteria would do just fine without us. On the other hand we are completely dependent on bacteria in order to survive. We often think of the human body as one big organism. In reality though, it’s a vessel where millions of organisms live and cooperate. Our bodies could not function without the presence of bacteria. This goes to show that we really are not competing with bacteria for survival. Complex organisms are dependent on simple organisms to survive.



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  • 5
    Nunbeliever says:

    In reply to #2 by Red Dog:

    For example, there are species of fish that live very deep in the ocean and that once had eyes but have evolved to no longer have them or to have very minimal vision because anything more would just be wasted at the depths or caves they live in anyway.

    Yes, that’s actually a very good example of evolution “in reverse”. I have to keep that one in mind.



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  • 6
    canadian_right says:

    The original life form we are all descended from survived because it did not have any competitors to deal with that were more suitable for its environment. When competitors that were better at reproducing, gathering food, etc… did evolve then the original died out.

    Even today, relatively “primitive” life flourishes because it is well suited for the environmental niche it lives in. Evolution is not necessarily leading to more complex life forms – just the ones that reproduce the most successfully.Evolution doesn’t have a goal other than reproducing successfully.

    Note that evolution is the observed fact that life on earth HAS changed over time. This is a fact like gravity pulls matter together. The theory of natural selection explains this fact, like Newtons theory of gravity explains the motions of the planets, and how fast a ball will fall when dropped. Many people conflate the term evolution with “the theory of natural selection”, but they are two very different things.



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  • 7
    Jos Gibbons says:

    The interesting thing about your confusion is that, if we delete the incorrect statements about complexity, the core of the question remains: if life becomes better adapted as time passes, so that early life was poorly adapted, how did it survive?

    The first thing to clarify is that there isn’t a fixed measure, “degree of adaptation”, that always increases over time. What actually happens is that each generation shifts, compared with the previous one, in the direction of being better adapted to the conditions in which the previous generation lived. But these conditions are themselves changing over time for many reasons. The most inevitable example is that the population of life and genes is itself changing, and this changes the selection pressures.

    The most famous example is that of an “evolutionary arms race”. Some time ago, antelopes and lions ran more slowly, but selection accelerated each species, and the acceleration of each species provided the pressure for the other to accelerate. But how well antelopes or lions are adapted for victory in predator-prey chases needn’t change significantly over time. This effect is called the “red queen hypothesis”, after the queen in Alice in Wonderland, who had to keep running to stay where she already was.

    The other thing to explain is that, not only did early life consist only of the simple life that to this day comprise most of Earth’s biomass, but that early life doesn’t face the same challenges as larger life does. (For example, water feels more like treacle to a bacterium, because fluid mechanics isn’t scale invariant.) Indeed, the beginning of life was a time when the priority was to keep replicating molecules in a warm ocean.



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  • 8
    Red Dog says:

    There is a question implicit in this topic that I think is rather interesting. Abstract concepts like “complexity” can actually be studied mathematically and scientifically as long as you quantify them. One related concept I’m interested in is “optimality”. There are books (none of which I’ve read, I plan to get one at some point but they all are fairly daunting so you have to be in the right mood to tackle them) that go into all sorts of formal mathematical analyses of complexity and optimality from the standpoint of computer science.

    One thing I find fascinating is that the same words are used in computer science and biology. In modern linguistics there is a lot of discussion about whether and how the language function in humans is optimal. That always struck me as a very odd question to even ask, from the computer science standpoint optimality is something you expect from your proofs and your “ideal solutions” but not something you expect to see often in the real world.

    I’m rambling a bit, the point is I’ve often wondered if you could study complexity in this sense from the standpoint of biology and if you could quantify a law that says in general organisms do tend to get more complex (with exceptions like the blind fish) in some quantifiable way?



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  • 9
    Alan4discussion says:

    @OP- Evolutionists account for the complexity of life by means of random mutation and natural selection.

    That is how biological organisms adapt to particular environments, and niches in environments.

    As life progresses, those two mechanisms cause organisms to become increasingly more complex

    They CAN cause greater complexity, but that is not necessarily the outcome of survival by natural selection. Organisms may also adapt by becoming simpler, if this benefits the on-going survival of their species.

    because natural selection is favoring the organisms that have the greatest flexibility in genetic mutation.

    That is only so in a limited number of cases. Only a small number of mutations are beneficial, with many deleterious or neutral. High levels of mutation (such as in those exposed to strong radiation) may cause high death rates in offspring, deformities and cancers in cells, so while mutation is required for some adaptation, high levels are destructive.

    Large complex organisms are obvious to the casual observer, but the vast majority of living species are single celled organisms such as bacteria.

    If that is the case, reversing time means the organism becomes increasingly less complex until you get to life’s origin.

    That may or may not be so in individual organisms. However very early life was simpler than than the complex multicellular organisms which exist today.

    So here is my question: if the original common ancestor was not nearly as refined for survival as life is today, how did it survive?

    Complexity does not necessarily improve chances of survival. Complex mechanisms are more susceptible to damage.
    The last universal ancestor (LUA), also called the last universal common ancestor (LUCA), cenancestor, or progenote, is the most recent organism from which all organisms now living on Earth descended. It was refined enough for its survival in the conditions existing at that time. There were probably other simpler earlier organisms following abiogenesis, but this one out-competed all the others, and drove them extinct.
    As life has continued to evolve and become more competitive, LUCA has also become extinct, as have millions of other organisms over the changing 3.7 billion-year history of life on Earth.



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  • Being more complex than absolutely necessary for the survival and reproduction of the organism is costly in terms of energy. Flowering plants produce flowers for no other reason to enhance their success rate. Animals ( such as birds) only develop costly ornamentation if it improves their chances of getting a mate and passing on their genes. If the added complexity doesn’t pay off, the organism has a reduced chance of survival and reproduction.



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  • 11
    yumyumbob2 says:

    First off, we don’t know. As atheists we cannot attribute gaps to a deity, so we need to be able to admit that.
    However, the first organisms were simple bacteria composed (explained simply) of RNA replicating within a membrane of phospholipid bilayer. They did not live in diverse environments, perhaps only near undersea thermal vents. There they could get the materials they needed to grow and replicate. It did not survive on land or the open ocean. Its criteria for a home must have been very specific.



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  • 12
    alaskansee says:

    In reply to #11 by yumyumbob2:

    First off, we don’t know. As atheists we cannot attribute gaps to a deity, so we need to be able to admit that.
    However, the first organisms were simple bacteria composed (explained simply) of RNA replicating within a membrane of phospholipid bilayer. They did not live in diverse environments, perha…

    We don’t know because of our scientific world view not an atheistic world view, that only addresses a single issue. The reason we say we don’t know is because knowing the limits of our knowledge is part of the package.



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  • 14
    crookedshoes says:

    Very many great answers. I’d like to add…. within 5 years we will be studying two separate “new” areas of evidence for how these first living things survived. First, we will see the synthesis of life in the lab. Second, we will see the discovery of life on another planet (or moon)….

    These two soon to be break throughs will feed our knowledge and raise great new questions. The most exciting thing is that my current students and folks like yumyumbob could get involved and be part of the discoveries!!!! Go get ’em!!!



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  • 15
    Markovich says:

    How did the sperm bearing your father’s contribution to your genetic material win the Great Sperm Race?

    More generally, I don’t see why these evolution puzzlers, which only reveal the ignorance of the people who post them, are suffered here. If these people haven’t the gumption to pick up a biology or paleontology textbook or google to find the answer to their supposedly insuperable puzzle, why should we have to spoon feed them here?

    Btw, while genetic complexity does increase along some branches of the “tree of life,” there is no reason to suppose that this is a general tendency. Nothing is selected that is not useful to survival, and that may imply simplification as much as complication.



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  • In reply to #15 by Markovich:

    More generally, I don’t see why these evolution puzzlers, which only reveal the ignorance of the people who post them, are suffered here. If these people haven’t the gumption to pick up a biology or paleontology textbook or google to find the answer to their supposedly insuperable puzzle, why should we have to spoon feed them here?>

    These “puzzlers” as you put it, provide fodder for discussion. The answer to the question is probably well known before it is posted. You could post a discussion topic yourself…….one that’s more to your liking.



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  • 17
    Alan4discussion says:

    In reply to #13 by justinesaracen:

    “Evolutionists”?
    Is that like “gravitationalists”?

    I suppose so!
    Its’ a bit like “scientism”, – “TRRrrooo science“, and “scientists” – It has a reputable meaning, but has acquired a 2nd contrary theistic definition, to allow equivocation to be introduced as confusing diversions in discussions.

    “Evolutionists”,

    While the scientific definition means “evolutionary biologists”, it is circulated and used as a disparaging term, by bigoted creationists and purveyors of “Theistic evolution” – (demonstrating their ignorance of scientific methodology along with their psychological projection) – to mean “believers in evolution on the basis of faith”!



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  • 18
    Light Wave says:

    Not every random mutation is more complex its just different ( that’s a stretch of your imagination to assume), but some natural selection of genes – are simply for the benefit of the gene pool over the short term 2-3 lifespans maybe – complexity is not always thee beneficial adaptation for every creature to aspire to……
    Why do you assume ‘complexity’ equals the sum of random mutation and natural selection – it has done in our case obviously…but you assume that complexity is a blueprint for all of life and evolution …that is where you are very wrong…..everything is filling a niche that’s what evolution is all about…… even the simple bacteria can colonise any niche…..who needs complexity when you can fit between the cracks of complexity – a human constructed concept…..Evolution never operates in reverse – Nun Believer – everything is adapting to or re adapting to new circumstances….everything moves forward……so reverse evolution cannot exist just like another contradictionary view you hold on free will….not going there….



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  • 19
    ikinmoore says:

    I like your honest question. It you have a simple organism which lived as,100 million years ago, then, through climate change and breeding this organism made natural changes to it’s DNA. These changes were so small that it took millions of years to develope hearing,eyes, and so forth…..
    Evolution is a complex science. It is something which you should read about and try not to read simple stories like creation which has no evidence to support it.



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  • 20
    Joe Wolsing says:

    Always the same mistake. Natural selection is a term that describes the outcome of “survival of the fittest” in a species. It is not a teleological term. Evolution is not aiming at something. It describes that slight changes over long periods of time made a species better adapted to it’s environment – and changed it over even longer periods of time into other species. The rest is perfectly described by mr_DNA …



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  • 21
    Graxan says:

    Firstly, the question is wrong because the environment to which you are refering to in which life exists in today is not the same as it has always been. The Earth’s environment has been in constant flux in terms of temperature, humidity, acidity, oxygen levels etc. If we were transported back to the time of the earliest ancestor we would die instantly, so who would be the most evolved then?

    The answer though, despite that, is simply that the earliest anscestor had no predator.



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  • 22
    SaganTheCat says:

    if the original common ancestor was not nearly as refined for survival as life is today, how did it survive?

    it lived in a different environment in which it was perfectly refined for survival as life was then



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  • 23
    AllusiveAtheist says:

    How did it survive what? The environment presumably. But how can we even suspect a natural abiogenesis without expecting that proto-life and earliest life was merely a product of the environment?

    The precursors of life would have been a soup of organic chemistry (fatty acids, amino acids…) driven by thermodynamics. Proto-life and early life wouldn’t have been much more than clumping in the broth.

    It may not seem like it, but asking how the earliest ancestor survived the environment that produced it is a bit like asking how clouds survive the condensation of water in the atmosphere. It’s basically because under its specific circumstances it couldn’t not survive. For clarity, the only thing it could do was survive.

    The Origin of Life – Abiogenesis video at YouTube



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  • In reply to #10 by Nitya:

    Being more complex than absolutely necessary for the survival and reproduction of the organism is costly in terms of energy. …… > If the added complexity doesn’t pay off, the organism has a reduced chance of survival and reproduction.

    I expect many random mutations make little difference to survival. For example, a mutation might result in a shorter or longer life span, but the difference for a person between living to 65 and living to100 won’t greatly affect the ability to reproduce



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  • actually, species can become less complex in some cases. take wingless birds or whales, both of which still have vestigial appendages for which were originally selected by different pressures. evolution because it uses the framework provided by each previous species/gene, proffers fitter, not fittest. complexity doesn’t have as much to do with it.



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  • 27
    maria melo says:

    This is not an easy question, although I didn´t comment, it made me look for some magazines and books, then I would not answer because I am not a biologist, but regarding what I have been reading, you must be asking a wise question.
    A strange answer could be:These simple organisms such as bacteria are still the same, copies of itself, as if they were eternal.
    Sorry no answer without a biology professor near

    (I am very lazy, but at least this question made me curious)



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  • 29
    maria melo says:

    “In evolution, the strategy of simple division has the disadvantage of genetic identity . Any lethal event for an individual can cause the extinction of the entire species . Therefore , the competition between unicellular , unique inhabitants of the Earth 3.5 billion to 600 million years ago , multicellularity emerged as a way of life for most versatile face deleterious changes in the environment .

    Organisms consisting of many cells have certain ecological advantages :

    1 ) The genetic diversity among individuals increases the chance of survival of the species , given the variations of the medium;

    2 ) The larger size allows the development of more complex organic functions;

    3 ) The ability to assign specific to each cell type functions causes specialized cell populations start to take care of essential functions for the functioning of the body : breathing, digestion, excretion , etc. . Cells carrying such functions are called somatic ;

    4 ) As a consequence , special cells are responsible for transmitting DNA to future generations through sexual reproduction . Are the germ cells or gametes .”

    from

    (http://drauziovarella.com.br/sexualidade/evolucao-do-sexo-e-sobrevivencia/)

    “Reversing time”, we´d find indeed vestiges of bacteria, even in complex organisms?

    “Nowadays most of the scientific community believes in the theory of endosymbiosis . This states that mitochondria are descended from a bacterium . Millions of years ago , formed the first cells that survived in pools of volcanic mud teeming attested sulfur serving these cells to produce energy. After the formation of the early oceans , appeared the first photosynthetic cells . These had the ability to use sunlight to produce energy with oxygen delivery . After many years , the rate of oxygen in the atmosphere began to increase and decrease the sulfur . At that time , the organisms do not tolerate anything well oxygen is toxic to them since before the indices were residual oxygen . So who had the best survivability were the beings who have learned to live with oxygen , or because they have learned to use it as an energy source , or because through phagocytosis won a symbiotic relationship with beings who have had this capability , providing protection and nutrient exchange. The ancestors of mitochondria first cell being developed in relation to the increase of percentage of oxygen in the air, the more complex single-celled organisms , for example , our ancestors , so these and other phagocytes both won a symbiotic relationship evolved, and increasingly close , becoming increasingly tolerant to one another . Now there’s no reason to say that the mitochondrion is an independent living being , but part of one, because the symbiotic relationship led her to dispose of the DNA that made ​​it possible to live alone , becoming an organelle high yield have only been given as the DNA encoding oligonucleotides : and house -keeping involved in ATP production process. The clear evidence that mitochondria are descended from bacteria is : your own DNA is very similar to the bacteria nowadays : it is circular and has no introns , 13 mitochondria has no organized nucleus ; Mitochondria have a double layer of lipids, resulting from eventual phagocytosis.”

    Mitochondrion from .wikipedia

    You can read “The Ancestor´s Tale”, chapiter by chapiter until the last rendez vouz, that´s what I will do next.



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  • 30
    AtheistAviator says:

    Evolution doesn’t mean that less-adapted organisms can’t survive at all; it means that the non-adapted organism can’t survive with the presence of further evolved organisms.



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  • 31
    ryan.jackson.16121471 says:

    As long as it is in a suitable atmosphere and provides competition for other species, I’m certain any life can survive, WHATEVER the complexity.



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  • 32
    Sceptic says:

    << Evolutionists account for the complexity of life by means of random mutation and natural selection. >>

    This is a metaphor. Nothing is really random (or better, it depends on the model of randomness you apply) and there is no “selection,” as done by some agency, I think it is more accurate to say there is a natural drift. Explanatory coherence of any model does not create objective reality or truth, this is to say that the model reigns till replaced by the better one. I do recommend Kuhn’s Scientific Revolutions!



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  • 34
    Scott Werden says:

    Part of your assumption is not really correct. You seem to be inferring that the selection process is pitting one species against another – in your case, a descendent species against its ancestor species. But natural selection is a mechanism that increases the frequency of a gene within a gene pool. That gene pool is defined by the organisms that interbreed and thus draw from the same pool. Interbreeding organisms are, by definition, all of the same species. The competition for “fittest” is between the genes in the same gene pool of a given species. Using Richard Dawkins’ concept from the Selfish Gene, each gene is trying to increase its frequency within that pool.

    So, once speciation has occurred, the gene pool of the parent species and the gene pool of the descendent species are disjoint and there is no competition between the genes within the two for which is the “fittest”. Parent and offspring species can live fine side by side.



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  • Complexity does not necessarily mean best equipped to survive. One of the least complex organisms on the planet is the most successful organism on the planet, bacteria.

    Complexity only means an inability to survive in status quo. It also means the greater complexity the poorer the original design requiring so many changes to survive.



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  • In reply to #1 by mr_DNA:

    Because complexity has nothing to do with survival and everything to do with competing with other organisms for resources in a particular environment.
    If you don’t count viruses as life the most wide spread life on this planet is still the least complex – the bacteria. If you count viruses then its…Complexity is an evolved state we can assume evolved for survival purposes .the mechanism of evolution does evolves for a better chance at survival mostly…there few exceptions… which is why complexity came into play.



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  • What I would like to know is the current prevailing scientific theory of how the very first cell evolved. At least a single-cell organism is required for an evolution to even begin. This cell must meet three criteria to operate
    (1) want to live, ie, have a survival instinct,
    (2) have metabolism, which is difficult to imagine since there is no other organic matter available, and
    (3) be able to reproduce.

    Even the simlest microb is actually very complex. So the question is how does science explain the appearance of this first cell?



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  • Binder
    Dec 30, 2015 at 7:59 am

    What I would like to know is the current prevailing scientific theory of how the very first cell evolved.

    These are the theories of abiogenesis, – not evolution by means of natural selection , which only covers the progression from the first universal common ancestor of all life on Earth.

    At least a single-cell organism is required for an evolution to even begin. This cell must meet three criteria to operate
    (1) want to live, ie, have a survival instinct,

    It merely needs the chemistry to self replicate, drawing on available materials.

    (2) have metabolism, which is difficult to imagine since there is no other organic matter available, and

    There are masses of organic material throughout the Solar System and the nebulae of the galaxies. There was also complex organic chemistry in the volcanism and oceans of the Early Earth.

    (3) be able to reproduce.

    There are various theories of simple self-replication of cell-like structures from basic organic chemicals,

    This link gives an explanation from a leading expert on genetics.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6QYDdgP9eg
    The Origin of Life – Abiogenesis – Dr. Jack Szostak
    This has been CONFIRMED in Dr. Jack Szostak’s LAB. 2009 Nobel Laurette in medicine for his work on telomerase.

    . . . . followed by RNA world which was the precursor of the later more complex DNA based cells.

    Even the simplest microbe is actually very complex. So the question is how does science explain the appearance of this first cell?

    The theories of abiogenesis produce models of increasing complexity, starting with simple self-replication, with structures evolving to increase competitiveness in the processes.



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  • 42
    Pinball1970 says:

    this is a really old thread

    >(1) want to live, ie, have a survival instinct,
    (2) have metabolism, which is difficult to imagine since there is no other organic matter available, and
    (3) be able to reproduce.
    I would read Nick lane life ascending but below are a few pointers
    Instincts are products of brains and individual cells are just a biochemical factory and do not have an organized CNS with a brain operating system. No instincts just chemistry.
    Organic justs means containing carbon and carbon is everywhere on the earth either sequestered in rock or in gases/ salts in the oceans
    Deep sea vents with high temperatures pressures and plenty of available salts minerals were available for biochemical process for a nascent replicating structure.
    Reproduction again suggests a more complicated organism and the first proto cells would not have had all the intracellular structure that is required for cell reproduction.



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  • Read Nick Lane’s “The Vital Question”.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Vital-Question-life/dp/1781250367

    This will talk you through all the latest thinking and research into abiogenesis, the study of the start of life. It covers auto-catalytic chemistry, sources of energy/food, the ideal environments created by geology and plate tectonics in creating hot black smoker, mid ocean chemistry factories and substrates. RNA, DNA and lipid pouches to put them in. Its hard work but really worthwhile.

    Even in the year since its writing understanding has advanced as scientists have figured out how to build from scratch super simple cells that reproduce with control of the lipid cell walls. The cells are empty, but one of the biggest stumbling blocks was the management of the lipid pouch to keep all the bits together.



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  • Thank-you Alan4discussion
    I will have to digest this as one can easily follow up with more questions. It’s the big question to make the evolution theory complete. I will also check the youtube-link.

    Thanks /



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  • Thank-you for reading suggestion, Pinball1970.
    Yes, one has to understand that the world and troposphere was completely different. First form of “life” could have been formed as “unprotected dna” in some slurry of elements without cell walls. Good as any theory for starters 🙂



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  • Binder
    Dec 30, 2015 at 9:30 am

    First form of “life” could have been formed as “unprotected dna” in some slurry of elements without cell walls. Good as any theory for starters.

    Nope! (Scientific theories are not merely speculation or opinion)

    None of the abiogenesis theories start with DNA , and in the video I linked, lipid protocell walls, are one of the earliest features.

    Even some modern day complex microbes get their energy from Chemosynthesis.

    http://www.pmel.noaa.gov/eoi/nemo/explorer/concepts/chemosynthesis.html
    Most life on Earth is dependent upon photosynthesis, the process by which plants make energy from sunlight. However, at hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean a unique ecosystem has evolved in the absense of sunlight, and its source of energy is completely different: chemosynthesis. Chemosynthesis is the process by which certain microbes create energy by mediating chemical reactions. So the animals that live around hydrothermal vents make their living from the chemicals coming out of the seafloor in the vent fluids!



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  • To think how bad our chemistry teacher was, all I remember is an indian teacher who could barely speak english and was obsessed with mathematics (we did nothing like this video) and how much I would have been into chemistry had it been presented in such a way, is depressing.



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  • Thanks!
    I should have a look into “The vital Question”. It might, however, be slightly over my head not being a chemist or anything that has to do with science. 🙂
    To create a cell from basic elements will surely award it’s discoverer a Nobel prize. I believe (my set of theories) life might have started that way but there are probably many “blind patches” in the geological transformation of the world we don’t understand or indeed not even know about.



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  • Yes. Those microbes that get energy from Chemosynthesis might be survivors from a period when the earth was different.

    Have viewed the clip and even though I do not understand details one gets the picture off how the process came about.

    Did not intend to be so casual regarding the “slurry”. My point is that everything was very different 3 billion years ago. No athmosphere, earth surface might have been less varied. We should thank microbes for changing things for our benifit, eg. Iron, Oxygen. There are therefore probably differen environments we don’t fully know about that has affected the microbes.

    Thanks!



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  • Binder
    Dec 30, 2015 at 8:57 am

    For a time-line over-view, these links might help.

    https://astroclock2010.wordpress.com/cosmic-timeline-17/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_evolutionary_history_of_life

    Despite the principles of evolution and observation of it happening are fact, the theories of evolutions will never be complete, as each individual organism has its own evolutionary path from the common ancestor.
    Most of them are still as yet undiscovered.



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  • Thank-you Alan,

    for the links and well put remark. I do agree, there are no metaphysical power around that could do the job. However, science has a lot of work ahead for us to comprehend fully how it happened.

    Totally OT, I just finished listening to a lengthy discussion with Hitchens, Dawkins, Dennet and Harris. Quite tiring in the end actually. Something these gentlemen probably would agree with. Hutchins’ very tough position against Islam – very popular these days – struck me as counterproductive. All the mayhem today in the middle-east will stick with us for generation. Only hope is education and enlightenment. Something that is required in a developed society. And since all of us want that, there might be a chance for humanity to survive some more provided there is some patience in the world.

    Always feel badly leaving a discussion like I did – thanks again – for your patience.



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