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November 12, 2006

Comments

matthew

aren't they all evolved from moss, which are mould, which are bacteria, which are simple organisms?

dan at innocent

Sounds about right. Where did the simple orgaisms come from, if it was all lava and rocks and stuff?

blaiq

Early life began not on land but in water. In what is generally known as the primordial soup. With time, the organisms got more complex and some of them migrated to land and branched out into everything we see around us.

There's a wonderful book by Richard Dawkins called 'The Ancestor's Tale.'

In the book, Dawkins takes us on a pilgrimage back to the dawn of life. As we travel back in time we keep meeting different species therough the common ancestor we share with them in a series of rendezvous. In this hypothetical journey (inspired by the Canterbury Tales) all other species are also making their pilgrimages and we keep bumping into them along the way. They, of course, join us in the journey and in discovering our mutually common ancestors.

We meet the common ancestor we share with plants and trees in Rendezvous 36 - which is not far from Rendezdous 39, the point where we meet with THE ancestor of all living things we see around.

There are other places you can read about the origin of life. I, for one, would always recommend a Dawkins book.

dan at innocent

Thanks for that Blaiq. I'll stick it on the Christmas list. I still find it incredible that everything came out of that soup, even plants. I knew about the soup, but was just wondering how plants fitted in. Guess I should have done Biology at school.

blaiq

One of the reasons why it's absolutely clear that both trees and us (and everything else) share a common ancestor is the commonality of the genetic code.

The DNA of all living things have the same coding structure - DNA with the AGCT alphabet. It's an impossibly slim chance that life arose twice (or more times) with the exact same informational coding mechanism.

Further, even between vastly differing species like humans and bacteria (a species that predates plants), there are vast tracts of DNA that are virtually and unequivocally identical.

The decisive move towards plants arose when our common ancestor had to choose a survival strategy - to derive energy by eating others of its kind or to invest in an apparatus that actually turns the abundant 'photons' from sunlight into energy. In that way plants are unique - they create the biomass that in turn feeds the rest of the living chain.

Dawkins also mentions this point : "Plants conquered the land earlier than animals did. That is almost obvious, for without plants to eat, what would it profit an animal to be there? Plants probably didn't move directly from the sea onto the land but, like animals, went via freshwater."

dan at innocent

You're on a roll - that's exactly what I was after. Thanks for taking the time to provide the education.

ben

Dawkins has it right on lots of things. I loved his recent rebuttal of the theological view that the very idea of life just starting somewhere is so improbable that there must have been a creator there to do it. There's loads of weirdo students who gatecrash his talk and he just nails them, one by one. You can see it all here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR_z85O0P2M&eurl=

Jason

But of course, you know, there is a God. He did create us, and the earth, and the plants. We all have very similar DNA, I believe, because we all came from the same material. The Earth, animals, plants, humans, were all created from material that already existed, which God organized into an earth, and plants, and animals, and humans. Religion does not disagree with science; God's understanding of science is just a lot greater than ours. One day we will understand more fully, and see that science and religion fit hand in hand.

Torbjörn "vermin" Hallberg

I envy people that can speak of religion as other then the mother ship of terror, fright, and destruction. As for me it is the defined abomination to humanity and has bring nothing but death, chaos and slavery into our existence.

Money may talk and Religion kills. Together they take us closer and closer to Ragnarök.

Didn't want to give anyone bad feelings but these are my thoughts.

Sincerely, T.

Voice of Ration

I'm pretty sure in your "primordial soup" death was just a mere way of life, isn't that right? It's a good thing the plants chose not eat each other or we would be really screwed. Thank God for our Gandhi- like plants.

mhine

can you all please answer my question???/
Where did plants come fr0m?? pls. answer.. it is our assignment..

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