Evolution: “Red in Tooth and Claw”? or Cooperative?

Is evolution a “red in tooth and claw” war of survival of the fittest? Or is it cooperative?

Is evolution slow and accidental? Or rapid and strategic?

Enjoy this video about real-time Symbiosis by John Perry of Stated Clearly.

5 Responses

  1. Thanks for posting that. One thing interesting about the research that was not mentioned in the animation is about the viroids discovered. They are free living genes made of RNA and they do not “know” the genetic code. They are a class of RNAs called ribozymes. Instead of coding for a protein enzyme like most modern genes do, they themselves act as enzymes. They represent what all life-forms may have been like before the genetic code evolved.

    • William says:

      When has any code ever written itself? The best we can hope for in the future is robot coders with code written by human writing the code for other robots.

  2. Tom Godfrey says:

    This is an interesting idea. I understand that no one claims to have answers to all the questions, but as investigation continues, it should be important to think clearly, and key questions need to be answered before skeptics can be convinced that we now know “what caused life’s major evolutionary transitions.” Lab experiments demonstrating what scientists believe could have happened billions of years ago can hardly be accepted as proof that they reflect what actually did happen in the beginning of life on earth.

    One mystery I noticed was illustrated at about 5:10 in the video, where seven cells not only become a “new superorganism” but also acquire a skin of unknown composition and unexplained origin. An even more mysterious invention at this point is a way for the newly-forged organism to reproduce as a superorganism, not just as individual cells within it. I was reminded of Volvox.
    http://www.biologydiscussion.com/algae/life-cycle-algae/volvox-occurrence-structure-and-reproduction-with-diagrams/21149
    Has anyone explained how this kind of reproduction could have evolved from an earlier system based on the kind of cell division that would have been practical before the “major evolutionary transition”?

    Jon says at 6:25, “These two experiments show us how multi-celled organisms may have first evolved …” The first experiment involved protists that were eating smaller cells and suggests that this process might lead to the transition of interest in a short time even in the wild. Is this belief consistent with the true history of life on earth? The first single-celled creatures were supposed to have appeared around 3.5 billion years ago, with the first multicellular creatures appearing nearly three billion years later, right? So why did it take so long? One ought to wonder whether the experiment really shows us anything about the true history of life on earth. Similarly, the second experiment involved the evolution of multi-celled yeast colonies from single-celled precursors, also in a short time. In this case, I was also left wondering how the yeast colonies managed essential life processes, such as collecting nutrients and eliminating wastes, before the evolution of splitters 32 days later.

    In general, I am left with questions about how to overcome the initial challenges or disadvantages of existence as a colony as opposed to a free cell, and these must be considerable. If a viroid gained a survival advantage by joining with others and “working together in cooperation” (4:00), how could viroids have survived so well as mere individuals for all of history? This long after creation, whether thousands of years or billions, the simplest organisms are still thriving alongside or inside of much larger and even huge creatures, faithfully reproducing after their kind too.

  3. Paul says:

    Evolution is a myth. From all scientific parameters it passes from unrealistic to the relm of absolute impossibility. Those that hold to believing in evolution accept the notion that dividing by 0 is a valid argument for their conclusions.

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