The fuel of evolution: A new hypothesis about how complex life emerged on Earth

Oct 22, 2010 By Jason Socrates Bardi, ISNS
Within the cells of humans and all other modern creatures are lots of tiny mitochondria (shown here in pink), which may have been the key to the evolution of complex multicellular life billions of years ago. Credit: Donald Bliss and Sriram Subramaniam, National Library of Medicine, NIH

When life on Earth first emerged about 4 billion years ago, it was simple by today's standards.

For more than a billion years, the planet was dominated by humble clumps of bacteria and other organisms that were more or less the same as today's single-celled bacteria and .

But then, just over 2 billion years ago, a new form of life emerged from the primordial ooze that would chart a radically different course in evolution. The entire diversity of multicellular life we know today -- every maple, mold, mushroom, mouse, or man that ever graced the earth -- descended from this organism, but scientists still do not know exactly how it came into existence.

Now two European researchers have developed a new hypothesis that may explain how the original progenitor of animals and plants on Earth -- the first "eukaryotic" organism -- came to be.

"It seems to have happened because one cell got inside another cell," said Nick Lane, a biologist at University College London who developed the new hypothesis with William Martin, a biologist at the University of Duesseldorf in Germany.

Lane and Martin argue in the journal Nature this week that life's diversity of complex multicellular forms could only arise after one cell found its way inside of another and evolved over time into what is known today as mitochondria -- a tiny compartment that produces a cell's energy.

Humans and other animals have hundreds of these mitochondria in their cells, power generators that fuel all that our bodies do from cradle to the grave.

The new idea contradicts previous hypotheses that complex, developed first on their own before mitochondria came into existence.

"Biologists have long thought that complexity comes first, then mitochondria," said Martin. "We show that that won't work. Mitochondria are required for complexity."

An Extremely Rare Event

The development of mitochondria seems to have happened only once in the entire natural history of Earth.

"It was a very challenging step in the origins of life," said Neil Blackstone, a biologist at the University of Northern Illinois who was not involved with the research but is familiar with the new hypothesis.

It was not enough for the one cell to find its way into the other cell, Blackstone said. Somehow the two had to coexist in the cooperative state known as symbiosis, sharing rather than competing for resources and coexisting without killing one another.

"It's a difficult dance," Blackstone said.

The danger in the beginning was that the internal cell would become a parasite, stealing the show by competing for resources with the host cell and ultimately killing it.

What happened instead, according to Lane and Martin, is that two cells evolved together. As they did, the internal cell became more and more efficient at doing just one thing -- powering the cell -- and it became smaller and smaller, shedding any genes that were not necessary for its one emerging function.

The bounty of energy inside the larger cell enabled these new life forms to amass 1,000 times or more the amount of DNA their ancestors had, allowing them to grow much more complex and branch into plants, animals, and other kingdoms over time.

Lane and Martin argue that energetics also explains why bacteria and other cells lacking these tiny energy factories never became truly complex. They always faced energy constraints that prevented them from acquiring and employing the thousands of new genes required for complexity.

"This is an important evolutionary insight into how life became complex, leading to multicellularity and the profusion and diversity of plants and animals that we see today, including ourselves," said John Allen, a biochemist at the University of London who was not involved with the research.

Explore further: Researchers identify the metabolic products of foulbrood pathogen in honeybees

More information: Journal paper: www.nature.com/nature/journal/… abs/nature09486.html

Source: Inside Science News Service

4.8 /5 (47 votes)

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Mandan
5 / 5 (8) Oct 22, 2010
I'm unable to read the Nature article without a subscription, but I would be very interested in knowing what about this theory is new, given that it sounds pretty much identical to the ideas of Lynn Margulis and which were popularized 25 years ago in her book 'Microcosmos'.

If anyone has access to the article and could shed light on what-- if anything-- the authors have contributed above and beyond her theories I would be interested in seeing what it is, since this article does not make it clear at all.
Shawn_Goldwater
4.8 / 5 (5) Oct 22, 2010
As for me, I thought I'd read about this in Richard Fortey's Life. If so, that book was published in the mid-eighties. Mitochondria's role is fascinating stuff, but this hardly new.
sstritt
4.2 / 5 (6) Oct 22, 2010
I agree- not my field, but this idea does not seem new to me either.
Modernmystic
2.7 / 5 (12) Oct 22, 2010
Sounds kinda fetchy to me. Personally I like the increase in oxygen level explanation...

I think complex life would have evolved much sooner but there was insufficient oxygen to power it.
Donutz
3.5 / 5 (6) Oct 22, 2010

I think complex life would have evolved much sooner but there was insufficient oxygen to power it.


Not mutually exclusive. Could have been a positive feedback loop. Mitochondrial life wouldn't have had much advantage without fee oxygen to work with, but life wouldnt' have been robust enough to modify the atmosphere in pre-aerobic times. The development of photosynthesis likely happened after mitochondria (since all eukaryotes have mitochondria but not all have chloroplasts), so I'm not sure what would have caused an initial oxygen bump.
210
1 / 5 (30) Oct 22, 2010
Indeed:
" might have"..."could be"..."possibly was"..."could have been"...etc,etc,etc...and then all the mentioned prior works that "sound like" a theory written by another author...okay. Now from the article:
"The development of mitochondria seems to have happened only once in the entire natural history of Earth." OKAY but the laws of disorder/entropy combined with statistical probability - that is the odds of this happening ONLY ONCE TO ONE SINGLE CREATURE/CELL whose new genome would have been a threat or been threatened by its uniqueness in nature, an evolving nature, would have needed evolution's floorplan written in its code to have continued doing what it needed to do ACCIDENTALLY or entropically - that is- BY ACCIDENT! See, we can't get from here to there without the map! Please follow me on this!
210
1 / 5 (32) Oct 22, 2010
"ONLY ONCE TO ONE SINGLE CREATURE/CELL whose new genome would have been a threat or been threatened by its uniqueness in nature, an evolving nature, would have needed evolution's floorplan written in its code to have continued doing what it needed to do ACCIDENTALLY or entropically - that is- BY ACCIDENT! See, we can't get from here to there without the map! Please follow me on this!"
Many hate to mention GOD in all of this but THE WAY WE ARE WRITING evolutions role in everything forces evo to become more 'divine' than terrestrial. It is as if life and evolution could have sprung up anywhere if the nutrient bath of parts was present. We should have Jupitereans, Saturnians, Venusians, Martians, because the force of evo, and essence of animation just need time to adapt, EVOLVE. Life, the animating force CAN go anywhere...it is an undefined, well described force. But.///
210
1 / 5 (31) Oct 22, 2010
"/// It is as if life and evolution could have sprung up anywhere if the nutrient bath of parts was present. We should have Jupitereans, Saturnians, Venusians, Martians, because the force of evo, and essence of animation just need time to adapt, EVOLVE. Life, the animating force CAN go anywhere...it is an undefined, well described force. But.///" Our THEORY of evo is not directly observable, and further made nebulous by the steps we are missing as we try to look at the stream life crossed BILLIONS of years ago. Those stepping stones could only have been crossed if 1) Our primordial cells KNEW where they were OR 2) if our planet had been molded and prepped by the forces that be to SHOW any viable candidate where they ARE/were! Ergo and therefore 1) God and Evo become ONE and forever remain separate! We need a mapping of the Evo blueprint wherever it may reside in our planetary or sidereal systems: SOMETHING came into our lifesphere and made this stuff we are guessing about happen!
trekgeek1
4.3 / 5 (18) Oct 22, 2010
You just don't get it 210, you don't need a plan or a map. You just need random mutations that have no idea what they are doing or what they want. The only thing that makes this work is natural selection. It's like the ratchet action on a roller coaster. You get towed up the hill and every "click" you hear is the track making sure you don't lose the progress you've made. That is natural selection, keeping the good and throwing out the bad. Not all planets have suitable environments to foster the development of organisms. Either you've never heard all this or you are a dirty liar who insists on promoting God for your own purposes and discrediting evolution by leaving out important details or throwing out the word "chance" as much as possible.
migmigmig
3.9 / 5 (9) Oct 22, 2010
@Mandan:

I assume the "new" part of this research is a precise calculation of how energy requirements scale across the size of a genome, showing that you can't grow past simple prokaryotes without mitochondria.

Thus providing significant support to the admittedly older mitochondria-first hypothesis.

And, in science terms, it's still an hypothesis. One research paper does not a law make. But it looks like solid proof and Nature published it, so kudos to the researchers. Let's hope someone else replicates their efforts.

Unfortunately, however, you have to learn how to read past the "journalism" aspect of science journalism. It makes everything sound super brand new to resonate with the poor overburdened reader.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (10) Oct 22, 2010
I think complex life would have evolved much sooner but there was insufficient oxygen to power it.
Except for the fact that Mitochondria were required for the oxygenation event on earth.

Go ahead and just stay in the shadows, silently 1 ranking every post that you don't understand. When you speak, you make your stance, and your idiocy, plain to the rest of us.
210
1 / 5 (15) Oct 22, 2010
You just don't get it 210, you don't need a plan or a map. You just need random mutations that have no idea what they are doing or what they want. The only thing that makes this work is natural selection. It's like the ratchet action on a roller coaster. You get towed up the hill and every "click" you hear is the track making sure you don't lose the progress.."
General selection is SLOW as evidenced in this article, " ...for two billion years..." But in your life random mutation can mean death at birth! Further, " the related event only happened ONCE and no evidence of happening to several beings at that ONE time! There would not be enough change to kill? Too much change and the 'parts' don't "CLICK" as you say, any more. You are therefore ASSUMING something. Was selection faster under other conditions? We need THE MAP to know what the 'oven' conditions were because otherwise we are just guessing and the more we guess the more likely we introduce error if not uncertainty.


210
1.6 / 5 (18) Oct 22, 2010
trekgeek1 - back at you!

"Not all planets have suitable environments to foster the development of organisms."

YOU DO NOT KNOW THIS! You assume it based on what you see around you..you MUST give discovery time. What we call life has NOT yet been defined only DESCRIBED!
The range of conditions for life are not just temperature and how close you can get to the internet.
tkjtkj
2.7 / 5 (3) Oct 22, 2010
@Mandan: and Nature published it, so kudos to the researchers. Let's hope someone else replicates their efforts.


With much respect that i have for the 'Nature' journal I must say that it is a much more 'open' publication than most scientific journals. This not being disrespectful: 'Nature' has its place and it fills it nicely.
digitaltrails
3.5 / 5 (4) Oct 23, 2010
Nick Lane's book, "Life Ascending" is a great read (it pre-dates this new hypothesis). When combined with explanations from flickr and animations from youtube, you can get a real insight into biology and evolution - including a real understanding of mitochondria, their importance, and their evolution. It was so good I've read it twice.
Djincs
3.3 / 5 (6) Oct 23, 2010
"The development of photosynthesis likely happened after mitochondria (since all eukaryotes have mitochondria but not all have chloroplasts), so I'm not sure what would have caused an initial oxygen bump."
And you have three fives!!
Eukariots need chloroplast for the photosynthesis, cyanobacterias dont, that what raised the oxygen is exactly photosynthesis, and actually Modernmystic has his point!Dont rank if you dont understand the topic...you will mislead other people to make wrong assumptions.
ShotmanMaslo
4 / 5 (4) Oct 23, 2010
The development of photosynthesis likely happened after mitochondria (since all eukaryotes have mitochondria but not all have chloroplasts), so I'm not sure what would have caused an initial oxygen bump.


Nope, there are also photosynthetic prokaryotic organisms - cyanobacteria, that predate eukaryotes and their mitochondriae.

Most likely chain of events is that some anaerobic prokaryot has eaten oxygen-breathing prokaryot, and the result was oxygen breathing eukaryot with mitochondriae. One of these then ate photosynthetic prokaryot, and the result was common ancestor of photosynthetic oxygen-breathing eukaryots.

Now, what new information is in this article? This endosymbiotic hypothesis is decades old..
Djincs
2.8 / 5 (6) Oct 23, 2010
I think complex life would have evolved much sooner but there was insufficient oxygen to power it.
Except for the fact that Mitochondria were required for the oxygenation event on earth.

Go ahead and just stay in the shadows, silently 1 ranking every post that you don't understand. When you speak, you make your stance, and your idiocy, plain to the rest of us.


You need photosynthesis to have 02 and 02 to have mitochondria(eucariots otherwise wouldnt have adopt them), they consume 02, and Modernmystic is right here without oxygen I really doubt that life would be so complex, when desolving 1 molecule glucose anaerobicly 2 ATF , with oxygen 32 ATF(approximately).
ShotmanMaslo
2.8 / 5 (4) Oct 23, 2010
I think complex life would have evolved much sooner but there was insufficient oxygen to power it.


This is probably true for multicellular life, cambrian explosion etc.. But complex unicelular organisms, like eukaryota in this article, do not require high oxygen levels.
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (7) Oct 23, 2010
Eukariots need chloroplast for the photosynthesis, cyanobacterias dont, that what raised the oxygen is exactly photosynthesis, and actually Modernmystic has his point!Dont rank if you dont understand the topic...you will mislead other people to make wrong assumptions.
Cyanobacteria don't have chloroplasts. They use phycocyanin created in structures called phycobilisomes.

Evidence shows that mitochondria came from the Rickettsia family. A proto bacteria that existed prior to the oxygenation event. So in a way you're right, mitochondria weren't required for the oxygenation event, but Chloroplasts weren't involved as they didn't yet exist.
TDK
1.2 / 5 (24) Oct 23, 2010
For me this hypothesis appears relevant and compliant with aether model, in which complexity arises from increased levels of nesting in the role of extradimensions during repeated condensation of previous generations of particles.

Such correlation still doesn't mean causation, though - we don't know for sure, whether the mitochondria were formed/swallowed with cells as a result of high oxygen levels, or whether the high oxygen levels were formed as a result of boom of eukaryots, i.e. mitochondrial organisms.

After all, mitochondria aren't the only organelles, which appear as a result of endocytosis. For me appears natural, all three possible groups of organisms lived together and archaeobacteria are the remnant of the third group (i.e. eukaryota with organelles but without mitochondria).
TDK
1.7 / 5 (20) Oct 23, 2010
The leading hypothesis is that the ancestor of the eukaryotes (still without mitochondria) diverged early from the Archaea and that eukaryotes arose through fusion of an archaean and eubacterium, which became the nucleus and cytoplasm; this accounts for various genetic similarities but runs into difficulties explaining cell structure. It means, the mitochondria were endocytosed somewhat later, when other organelles existed inside of eucaryotas already.
otto1932
1.3 / 5 (18) Oct 23, 2010
and actually Modernmystic has his point
Except that mm has no idea what you are talking about (neither do I actually), and his point was made from pure ignorance. Dumb luck don't count.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (5) Oct 23, 2010
For once Zephir, you've made a correct statement, and I've given that statement a 5 accordingly.

If you hadn't brought up the silly aether junk you would have received two 5's from me.
Djincs
1.4 / 5 (5) Oct 23, 2010
It doesnt happens really often to quote myself but:

"Eukariots need chloroplast for the photosynthesis, cyanobacterias dont, that what raised the oxygen is exactly photosynthesis"

That is exactly what I said that cyanobacteria dont need cloroplasts...
It will be better furst to check wiki as you did now , and then posting things like:
"Except for the fact that Mitochondria were required for the oxygenation event on earth."- and you have three fives for this!
And blaming Modernmysti being the idiot....
TDK
1 / 5 (24) Oct 23, 2010
If you hadn't brought up the silly aether junk
I don't care about your silly labeling instead. Aether model is a metatheory, which provides many clues, how the organic life was formed from inorganic one in conceptually the same way, like the matter was formed from radiation a "few years" before. For example the formation of sexual reproduction and dimorphism during precambrian event (snowball Earth period) corresponds the condensation of gravitons into fermions and bosons during Big Bang during universe cooling (and formation of matter-antimatter particles later). The gravitons are as ambivalent particles, as procaryota in this extent. It's quite common during cooling the particle pairs are formed, one half of them gets smaller, the second one grows in size because of symmetry violation. I do believe, just the snowball period started the evolution of mitochondrians, because it was period, when food has become rarer then the oxygen because of its solubility in cold water.
Djincs
2.3 / 5 (7) Oct 23, 2010
@otto1932
I dont care what are this arguments that you have with him , and which part of my "super complicated" statement you dont get(you dont get and you think he doesnt too-this is really how human brain works) but personally i like to read the coments, often i learn more from them than the article, it will be great for people who has something smart to say to do it and if you dont like someone you can PM him right...
trolling is what i dont like, and this is not place for personal issues.
ShotmanMaslo
3 / 5 (5) Oct 23, 2010
Skeptic_Heretic
Except for the fact that Mitochondria were required for the oxygenation event on earth.


Why?
TDK
1.7 / 5 (22) Oct 23, 2010
..mitochondria were required for the oxygenation event..
Mitochondria are nature's mint. You would be impressed with this stuff, if you could observe it at molecular level. They're formed with membranes covered with myriads of tiny incredible molecular turbines, which are very similar to proton pumps in membranes of photosynthesizing organisms - just working in reverse direction. Each turbine has five blades and it's really swirling with supersonic speed.

Therefore mitochondria could exist only AFTER this oxygenation event has occurred, probably after chloroplasts with thylakoid membranes were formed.
otto1932
1.4 / 5 (20) Oct 23, 2010
@otto1932
I dont care what are this arguments that you have with him , and which part of my "super complicated" statement you dont get(you dont get and you think he doesnt too-this is really how human brain works) but personally i like to read the coments, often i learn more from them than the article, it will be great for people who has something smart to say to do it and if you dont like someone you can PM him right...
trolling is what i dont like, and this is not place for personal issues.
I think you're missing the point. I have no problem admitting that I don't know enough about a subject to comment intelligently on it. I don't think it's a good idea to encourage people who can't. What that does is make them think they know more than they do, including how science works to begin with.

The posters comment was a guess based on a gross misunderstanding of the subject, which seems to be typical, and it is appropriate for ME to point that out, so that others might learn.
Taps
2 / 5 (5) Oct 23, 2010
I like the idea that once the environment is conducive for a form of life to exist, it will eventually arise. Without an environment, no life would come about, whatever that environment may be. Personally, I think life revolves around this simple principle, nothing more, nothing less.
TDK
1.6 / 5 (18) Oct 23, 2010
The symbiotic convergence of photosynthesizing organisms with these breathing ones occurred at least once again at the higher level when the mosses evolved (probably as the consequence of some cooling period, again). In mosses the photosynthesizing cells are mixed with eutrophic ones in the same way, like the chloroplasts are mixed with mitochondria inside of cells of higher plants or some protozoa (Euglene).
Djincs
3 / 5 (5) Oct 23, 2010
"The posters comment was a guess based on a gross misunderstanding of the subject"
Well man how on Earth you know that(and how should i know that)?
And I dont encourage anybody what i saw is good statement ranked really law, and really wrong statement ranked really high...
I suppose this ranking thing shouldnt be trusted, that is what I will know in the future not to shape my oppinion(on subjects I dont know much) by it.
TDK
1.3 / 5 (19) Oct 23, 2010
Under normal circumstances the breathing organisms are in motion, whereas for photosynthetizing cells it's more advantageous to remain at place. During fast cooling period these features converged, because low energy situation forced the eutrophic organisms to conserve energy for motion. They couldn't develop photosynthesis so fast, but they could symbiotize the existing plants, which were adopted to this situation already. Actually it's a retrograde step, as under prosperous conditions the evolution usually leads to specialization.

If some disaster would force human civilization to live under more stringent conditions, most of specialized people would become symbiotic at low level and universally tooled, too. The sexual dimorphism would become much more pronounced, instead. The contemporary asexual character of civilization followed with cancer and endiometriosis is just a consequence of relative wealthy life style.
Modernmystic
1.5 / 5 (6) Oct 23, 2010
I appreciate your comment Djincs, however SH and otto are just mad because I proved them wrong (a little mercilessly) on another thread, and their respective egos are bruised.

I was merciless because they, as you can see, are not the most socially gifted people on the planet. There was a time I tried to be civil to both but just got it thrown back in my face because I happen to be a spiritual person and they think this makes me subhuman in some way.

As to SH's comment. Well as usual he missed the point entirely. It's totally irrelevant to my point that mitochondria were necessary for the oxygenation event, my point was...were he capable of reading comprehension beyond my two year old nephew, was that it was the oxygen in the air that instigated multicellular evolution. NOT the role of mitochondria in the cell.

Regardless of the date of the appearance or their role in the oxygenation of the atmosphere they were incidental not directly responsible for complex life.
TDK
1.7 / 5 (21) Oct 23, 2010
Mitochondria are as necessary for the oxygenation event, as the smoke is necessary for the formation of fire. The causality arrow is reversed in this claim, because mitochondria are serving for breathing, not for oxygen formation. SH simply gets confused at times.
frajo
3.3 / 5 (10) Oct 23, 2010
what i saw is good statement ranked really law, and really wrong statement ranked really high...
I suppose this ranking thing shouldnt be trusted,
You can trust the ranking IF you take into account that the rankings are based on several independent factors. The (perceived) quality of the comment's content, the overall behavior of the commenter, and personal animosities.

There is e.g. one user who systematically uses several accounts and there are some other users who don't see any other way to show their disagreement than by serving his comments with a "1", no matter which content they convey.

And there are a few users who can't stand to be criticized and retaliate with systematically downrating their critics' comments, no matter which content they convey.

After renormalizing for these factors the ratings are quite trustworthy.
TDK
1.2 / 5 (18) Oct 23, 2010
..After renormalizing for these factors the ratings are quite trustworthy...
After some renormalization of human behavior even the communism would become an ideal social system. So I'd prefer the rating systems, which aren't so depending on responsibility and good will of individuals.
Djincs
1.7 / 5 (7) Oct 23, 2010
@ frajo
I see, but still all this cant explain my average low rank 2.8!!!!
Just kidding D
otto1932
1.6 / 5 (19) Oct 23, 2010
"The posters comment was a guess based on a gross misunderstanding of the subject"
Well man how on Earth you know that(and how should i know that)?
And I dont encourage anybody what i saw is good statement ranked really law, and really wrong statement ranked really high...
I suppose this ranking thing shouldnt be trusted, that is what I will know in the future not to shape my oppinion(on subjects I dont know much) by it.
You're right. I assumed that mm didn't realize where oxygen came from, ergo his comment. I also assume he went and studied up on the subject before posting another comment, so as not to look dumb. I may be wrong on either or both counts.
because I happen to be a spiritual person and they think this makes me subhuman in some way
Sub-human as in lacking some critical parts or faculties necessary to recognize and appreciate reality? Perhaps. Or an unfortunate choice of words. I could be wrong here too.
otto1932
1.4 / 5 (17) Oct 23, 2010
there are some other users who don't see any other way to show their disagreement than by serving his comments with a "1", no matter which content they convey.
Frajo describes his/herself here too I think? How egalitarian of you. Otto 1-rates those who 1-rate him rather than offer refutation of his uniformly excellent and insightful or inciteful comments.

Causality- it is the way of things, yes? We cannot escape it. Wie du mir, so ich dir.
DamienS
4.8 / 5 (6) Oct 23, 2010
For once Zephir, you've made a correct statement, and I've given that statement a 5 accordingly.

If you hadn't brought up the silly aether junk you would have received two 5's from me.

Unfortunately SH, you were giving Wikipedia a five, not Zephir. He pretty much copy/pasted the intelligent part of his reply from the Wiki Archaea page, while the stupid part of his reply was his own (as you would expect).
Philip_Cunningham
1.9 / 5 (8) Oct 24, 2010
Besides all this unfounded speculation, exactly where did the ATP synthase enzyme, which provides the fuel for life in the first place, come from?

Evolution Vs ATP Synthase - Molecular Machine - video
http://www.metaca...4012706/

Molecular Machine - The ATP Synthase Enzyme - video
http://www.metaca...4380205/

Perhaps that question is too hard, perhaps they would like to 'simply' tell us exactly where did functional proteins come from?

Stephen Meyer - Functional Proteins And Information For Body Plans - video
http://www.metaca.../4050681

Let There Be Light
http://lettherebe..._19.html
TDK
1.1 / 5 (16) Oct 24, 2010
Otto 1-rates those who 1-rate him rather than offer refutation of his uniformly excellent and insightful or inciteful comments
You did the very same to me, too - don't you remember, you egalitarian? When I leaved this forum for a while, you just becomed a target of other negativists here instead of me. This doesn't change the fact, frajo just described his own permanent activity here...
while the stupid part of his reply was his own
Uhm, stupid = too advanced for being understood just by me...
Burnerjack
5 / 5 (3) Oct 24, 2010
This comment thread WAS relatively interestingly probing. This is healthy dialog which often promotes "evolution of thought" IMHO. Unfortunately, for whatever reason(s) it obviously devolved to a state that is beneath most if not all and no longer makes use of this opportunity for conjecture as was presumably intended. This thread should be renamed " When childish dweebs attack!" Coming to a cable channel this fall...
TDK
1.1 / 5 (15) Oct 24, 2010
This comment thread WAS relatively interestingly probing
Try to sort most interesting comments by their level of attraction and don't forget to add their current labeling. Maybe you'll realize, such result of discussion is usually generated with downvoting trolls, whose ego cannot stand more clever posts, then these voters actually are. The people who are downvoting other people most often are the most problematic personalities in discussion at the same time. They're downvoting others most often because of their sociopathic personality.
Thrasymachus
3.8 / 5 (10) Oct 24, 2010
As to SH's comment. Well as usual he missed the point entirely. It's totally irrelevant to my point that mitochondria were necessary for the oxygenation event, my point was...were he capable of reading comprehension beyond my two year old nephew, was that it was the oxygen in the air that instigated multicellular evolution. NOT the role of mitochondria in the cell.
And here I thought that the point of this article was that the development of mitochondria WAS necessary for the evolution for multicellular life. Where could I have gotten that idea? Oh, right:
"Biologists have long thought that complexity comes first, then mitochondria," said Martin. "We show that that won't work. Mitochondria are required for complexity."
What was that about reading comprehension again?
otto1932
2.1 / 5 (21) Oct 24, 2010
You did the very same to me, too - don't you remember, you egalitarian?
As I recall, I was content at leaving the idiot savant named jigga in neutral because if anything, he was tenacious. but then he started one-slapping me like a bitch for no reason, leaving otto in the sad position of mutually assuring jiggas own devaluation, like everybody else in this little community of unpeople does. A ranking which will never reach 0.0 no matter how close it might approach, in whatever incarnation that he may materialize, because jigga has the sad compulsion of calving up-raters and thus wasting his and everybodys precious time here on this earth. Like hes doing again. You sir are the epitomy of newtons 2nd law. You generate NOTHING but waste heat.

In other words for foreigners, you started it. You crave abuse jigga? Must be it-
Skeptic_Heretic
3.8 / 5 (5) Oct 24, 2010
however SH and otto are just mad because I proved them wrong (a little mercilessly) on another thread, and their respective egos are bruised.
Funny, we're both still waiting for the proof. How's about you link it and let the folks decide for themselves, Mr Misology?
kevinrtrs
1.1 / 5 (12) Oct 25, 2010
, but scientists still do not know exactly how it came into existence

It think this about sums the whole article up. They still don't know squat.

Where does the mitochondria comes from? It's incredibly complex in it's own right, so just how on earth did it get to exist in the first place?

No amount of random mutation and natural selection can produce it. Only in evolutionary pipe dreams. Why can't it? because natural selection only works on living things [biologically speaking]. And to have the mitochondria and the "other" cell alive you need to have had that life kick-started first. But they still don't know where THAT life came from.\

So the best thing is: evolution is simply a guess-o-fact, i.e. something someone has taken a guess at about how life developed on earth and now it's become a "fact".
Skeptic_Heretic
4.2 / 5 (11) Oct 25, 2010
No amount of random mutation and natural selection can produce it.
Provide your proof of certainty.
And to have the mitochondria and the "other" cell alive you need to have had that life kick-started first.
So you're saying that life can't have mitochondria because life needs to have a beginning first? You're not making an sense.
evolution is simply a guess-o-fact
Not really.
i.e. something someone has taken a guess at about how life developed on earth and now it's become a "fact".
The ideology and hypothesis of evolution predates the hypothesis of Christianity. You seem to be unable to refute evolution, but I can refute Christianity with ease.

Take a lesson from Aquinas and speculate that perhaps you can understand your perception of "God" by more closely studying nature. If your god is legit, then the only way you'll actually know anything about it is through studying its works.
ArcainOne
4.9 / 5 (7) Oct 25, 2010
I see the religious wars are still full blown. I just have one question... why would god spend his time painstakingly making something when it doesn't have to? Evolution and adaption are much smarter mechanisms than having to hand build everything. I mean god is supposed to be smarter and more impressive than me right? As a programmer thats how I would build it if I wanted to make a full blown universe simulation. I'd build "the rules" first and how everything interacts and let it do all the work. Not to mention it is a reusable and extensible solution and given a very large pool of data... say a universe, would have the highest chance of producing life... just saying.
Djincs
3.3 / 5 (3) Oct 25, 2010
Personally I think life happened to exist just by chance, no one or something(god etc.) has planned it or has done something on purpose in order to exist.
Life requires lots of events with low posibility to happen, but that doesnt mean someone helped, if it is mathematically posible(given the number of the stars planet etc.) why people think something like god has to exist.
ArcainOne
4.7 / 5 (3) Oct 25, 2010
I think life is much more abundant than people like to think. I defiantly do not think earth is the only planet orbiting one of the estimated 4.0x10e22 stars in the currently observable known universe that has life. (A very modest estimate.) Mathematically... them be good odds, no matter what decent probability you throw at it. I believe chance comes down to finding a planet with the right materials. Most, if not all, compounds required to produce life can be found in massive clouds in space, manufactured terrestrially (storms, geology, etc), or formed in a star (supernova). I think the universe is more than capable of producing life.
frajo
4.8 / 5 (4) Oct 25, 2010
Life requires lots of events with low posibility to happen
As we don't know (yet) the chain of events leading to the emergence of life we can't calculate the respective probabilities of these events.
frajo
4.3 / 5 (3) Oct 25, 2010
Most, if not all, compounds required to produce life can be found in massive clouds in space, manufactured terrestrially (storms, geology, etc), or formed in a star (supernova).
You are referring to "life as we know it".
But we can't rule out the possibility of complex non-carbon based structures with properties similar to the properties exhibited by and within the local biosphere.
ArcainOne
4.5 / 5 (2) Oct 25, 2010
You are referring to "life as we know it".
But we can't rule out the possibility of complex non-carbon based structures with properties similar to the properties exhibited by and within the local biosphere.


Thats is very true, and that is also very much my point. Even limiting us to "life as we know it" the probably of at least one other planet with life is staggering. I mean to have absolutely no chance in there being no other life, then the probably that there is life would have to be 1.0x10e-44. an ASTOUNDINGLY small number.
ArcainOne
4.8 / 5 (4) Oct 25, 2010
sorry probably is tricky and wasn't my favorite subject but to produce the fact that only 1 planet in our universe could support life and even create it means the chance of life existing in the known universe would have to be 1 in 4.0x10e22 (40 sextillion) which is an astonishingly tiny number, given the number of stars we can see, let along those we cannot and the probably of there being planets orbiting them plus all the other galaxies we do and not know about. The Universe is massive and I think too many people lack the ability to grasp its massiveness.
Djincs
3.3 / 5 (3) Oct 26, 2010
Life requires lots of events with low posibility to happen
As we don't know (yet) the chain of events leading to the emergence of life we can't calculate the respective probabilities of these events.

I am not shure about that, what you need to estimate is things like what is the posibility of a star to has planet like Earth- right distance and stuf like that, we can aprroximately calculate this.If you are talking about how it happened on molecular level, well I am pretty confident if the right conditions exist there will be some form of life, what we know from Earth is that when the conditions get right it didnt took too much for the furst living form to appear, yes it has happened once becauce after you have life , it start to consume the stuf(organic molecules sintesised from lightenings and radiation)you need for its creation, and it start to evolve it becomes more competitive, no chance for new life to take over.
Djincs
3.3 / 5 (3) Oct 26, 2010
And actually I dont know what the scientists calculate exactly(really diferent calculation I find in the net) but the fact that life can be not only carbon based increase the posibility for life form to exist.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.7 / 5 (3) Oct 26, 2010
DJ, With a sample size of 1, you cannot make a probability calulation. If you were to try, the answer would be 100% as you only have one example, and in that one example, the event did occur. It's a problem of statistical significance.
Djincs
1.5 / 5 (2) Oct 26, 2010
Well man I didns say you can calculate the molecule stuf, it will be really tricky...but experiments have been done about that actually, before something like 50 years some student(i cant remember the name) have done an experiment, you have a glass full of not organic compaunds, heat and a electic stuf(representing the lightenings-I dont know how you call that)and only for time a few weeks or months there was more than 10 amino acids synthesized, I am not good at math maybe it can be estimated what is the chance for really simple self replicated model to pop out-it will be really tiny posibility yes, but you have to account that even in one drop of wather can exist lets say 1000 models or more, now imagine a whole planet, and then the time factor, having this model changeing really fast, it can be wishfull thinking but still I think it is very likely.
Djincs
1.5 / 5 (2) Oct 26, 2010
And again when we estimate the posibility for such sistem we dont have to estimate what happened in the our case, self replicating sistem can exist in milions different forms, that should be accounted, becauce I have saw simple accounts but only for our life model, representing chance for this thing to happen again in the exact same way it did.
Djincs
1.5 / 5 (4) Oct 26, 2010
For the last thing , i understand it like that, it is like pulling out a numbers from a basket, and this number include lets say 100 000 units , after you has this and you estimate the chance for this number to be pulled you will see it is inposible(or really unlicely to pull it again(but this doesnt mean you havent pulled it already)),a few smart people(mathguys-smart creationists) had tried to explain me why life cant be pure luck showing me tha math part, only for one protein long 100 aminoacids to be sinthesized the way it is not using DNA yes really unlikely(but this doesnt proof it doesnt happened), this only shows the chance for this to happen again in the same way.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.8 / 5 (4) Oct 26, 2010
but you have to account that even in one drop of wather can exist lets say 1000 models or more, now imagine a whole planet, and then the time factor, having this model changeing really fast, it can be wishfull thinking but still I think it is very likely.
Well then we agree. The foundations of life comming together and abiogenesis occuring isn't unlikely, it's very likely within our frame of understanding.
only for one protein long 100 aminoacids to be sinthesized the way it is not using DNA yes really unlikely

Yeah but you only need two amino acids and one bonding agent to begin the slow race to complexity. A simple non phosphate backbone and two amino acids allows for binary style coding DNA. Then evolution can begin.
Djincs
2.5 / 5 (2) Oct 26, 2010
Yes the furst working models were simple maybe, but still there are some chiken- egg problems, you need DNA(or something like that) coding proteins(which can build DNA)-pretty much like viruses, but still there have to be something(like enzime or some structure to trancelate the info), and all that works with energy-the hard part having reliable molekule from outside(given the fact there are lots of different molecules not having lots of energy) high on energy and more enzimes which can take it and store it in usable form.Even now the bond between to amino acids costs 4 ATP.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.4 / 5 (8) Oct 26, 2010
Even now the bond between to amino acids costs 4 ATP.
But that is now and we've had a large amount of time to change and become more efficient.

Think of it this way, the first cars were made by hand by a few people in a few days. Now in order to make a car you need a large factory and a lot of people.

Natural complexity works in the same way. The first organisms had simple bonds, and very little control over their environment. Now our cells, due to the most adaptable surviving over trillions of generations (if not more) have grown stronger bonds, tougher skins, requiring this complex cellular machinery to do the work. The slow evolution of this machinery allowed for the tougher organisms to survive.

This "irreducable complexity" would be required to advance the capability of adapability and survivability and is not only accounted for but demanded by evolution.
kevinrtrs
1.1 / 5 (9) Oct 27, 2010
This "irreducable complexity" would be required to advance the capability of adapability and survivability and is not only accounted for but demanded by evolution.


Skeptic, this is so out of character of you - spouting a lot of bullocks, that is. There's no such thing as "natural complexity" in evolution. How could there be since there's no foresight to anticipate a final outcome? There's no planning and no calculated payoff, only blind random mutations with no purpose in mind.
The only reason you and the rest of the evolutionist priests are suddenly attuned to "irreducable complexity" is that you've finally begun to realize that the simplistic evolutionary methods don't work and that you'd better find an explanation for those things which clearly point the other way - namely to an intelligent creator.
What you're saying in the previous post is that evolution will find a way to reduce energy consumption in the cell??? Way to go!

kevinrtrs
1 / 5 (8) Oct 27, 2010
Well then we agree. The foundations of life comming together and abiogenesis occuring isn't unlikely, it's very likely within our frame of understanding.

The only slight problem with this is that your understanding refuses to acknowledge the physically impossible.
I see guys calculating the probability of life occurring as something like 1e-44 but they neglected to read up on Fred Hoyle's research that has already done those calculations in depth. The chances of life arising spontaneously is vanishingly small. Something like 1e-800 is more like it.
Just because there's a small chance of it happening and a huge number of places for it to happen, does not mean that it will happen. Every random event geared towards that event occurring requires energy and there's simply not enough energy in the whole universe for all such events to occur before any kind of life arises spontaneously. Go look up Hoyle's research.
frajo
4.8 / 5 (6) Oct 27, 2010
I see guys calculating the probability of life occurring as something like 1e-44 but they neglected to read up on Fred Hoyle's research that has already done those calculations in depth. The chances of life arising spontaneously is vanishingly small. Something like 1e-800 is more like it.
All these calculations of probabilities are just playing with numbers as nobody knows the chain of events which led to the evolution of our local biosphere. You cannot calculate the probability for events you don't know.
Neither can we calculate the probabilities for alternative chains of events which might lead to the evolution of non-carbon based biospheres elsewhere as we simply don't know enough about the influence of physical boundary conditions on the emergence of biospheres.
To assume that lack of knowledge implies a supernatural origin of biospheres (or other objects) is a fundamental human fallacy owed to the inability to endure one's own ignorance while searching for knowledge.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.8 / 5 (5) Oct 27, 2010
The only slight problem with this is that your understanding refuses to acknowledge the physically impossible.
Tell us why it is impossible. Is it only impossible in your mind because you can't fathom it, or is it impossible for an actual physical reason?
read up on Fred Hoyle's research that has already done those calculations in depth.
Unfortunately for you, Hoyle is wrong. There's no manner by which you can calculate the exact probability of life arising. For all we know it has happened multiple times.
Just because there's a small chance of it happening and a huge number of places for it to happen, does not mean that it will happen.
Well when you're dealing with math, real math, not Bible math, there's this idea called "The Law of Large Numbers". When you apply it to the conditions within the Universe, incredibly unlikely things happen all the time. ie: supernovae explosions are very, very unlikely. We see one about every 10 days or so in the Universe.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.5 / 5 (2) Oct 27, 2010
There's no such thing as "natural complexity" in evolution. How could there be since there's no foresight to anticipate a final outcome?
Complexity doesn't require foresight. The most complex interactions we know of occur typically because of a lack of foresight, example: the Stock Market.
There's no planning and no calculated payoff, only blind random mutations with no purpose in mind.
Wrong, the purpose is survival.
The only reason you and the rest of the evolutionist priests
We don't touch children. We teach children, big difference.
are suddenly attuned to "irreducable complexity" is that you've finally begun to realize that the simplistic evolutionary methods don't work and that you'd better find an explanation for those things which clearly point the other way - namely to an intelligent creator.
No, actually IC is in Origin of the Species, try reading it.
What you're saying...
No, read it again.
barakn
4.2 / 5 (6) Oct 27, 2010
a few smart people(mathguys-smart creationists) had tried to explain me why life cant be pure luck showing me tha math part, only for one protein long 100 aminoacids to be sinthesized the way it is not using DNA yes really unlikely...

What they conveniently forgot to tell you is that in proteins that catalyze reactions (a.k.a. enzymes), there's what are known as active sites where the actual reaction takes place. These active sites often consist of only a handful of amino acids, as little as 4 or 5. The rest of the amino acids can generally be heavily substituted without greatly affecting the function of the enzyme, and even the amino acids in the active site are generally somewhat amenable to being replaced. There are probably sextillions of different 100 amino acid peptides that could perform the same function. These people have pulled the wool over your eyes by improperly framing the debate.
Modernmystic
1.5 / 5 (2) Oct 27, 2010
"Biologists have long thought that complexity comes first, then mitochondria," said Martin. "We show that that won't work. Mitochondria are required for complexity."
What was that about reading comprehension again?


AGAIN for the dimwitted. Mitochondria are irrelevant to the point I was making. OXYGEN was the point I was making. Mitochondria were incidental, and whether or not they caused the great oxygen event or not is also incidental. If they did cause the event then all they did was set up conditions necessary for complexity to develop.

You need gas to have a functional car. You needed available oxygen for the explosion of complexity that life showed in the Cambrian. I honestly don't care if they THINK you needed mitochondria for complexity (have they PROVEN that or is that their hypothesis?). One thing is certain, you sure as hell need a ton of free oxygen for complex organisms (and incidentally mitochondria) to function...
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Oct 27, 2010
You needed available oxygen for the explosion of complexity that life showed in the Cambrian. I honestly don't care if they THINK you needed mitochondria for complexity (have they PROVEN that or is that their hypothesis?). One thing is certain, you sure as hell need a ton of free oxygen for complex organisms (and incidentally mitochondria) to function...
Well the complexity itself didn't require oxygen, simple multicellularity requires available oxygen as collagen, or the proto-collagen like protein required for multicellularity requires oxygen.

Your point isn't lost on most of us.
Donutz
5 / 5 (4) Oct 27, 2010
The development of photosynthesis likely happened after mitochondria (since all eukaryotes have mitochondria but not all have chloroplasts), so I'm not sure what would have caused an initial oxygen bump.


Nope, there are also photosynthetic prokaryotic organisms - cyanobacteria, that predate eukaryotes and their mitochondriae.


Ahah! See, creationists? That's how it's done. Instead of assuming that you have all the facts and making pronouncements, assume you DON'T have all the facts, and someone will supply the missing pieces.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) Oct 27, 2010
http://www.physor...rly.html

Zephyr is crying again. Cheer him up by making sure he knows he ranks number "1" in your mind.
BrianH
5 / 5 (3) Oct 28, 2010
Hm, lotsa points here.
Archaea in hot sulphur vents never heard of oxygen, much less "need" it.
Bacteria swap DNA and proteins promiscuously. It may be illegitimate to think of a solitary bacteria species at all.
Implicit information can be stored and transmitted and strongly bias mutation. It is not necessarily random, but self-directing.
Eukaryotes typically have far more non-coding than coding DNA, much of it "strongly conserved". If it contains "implicit" mutation strategies that strongly trim the mutation patterns, they would be hugely advantageous. If it ever happened, it now dominates.

And so on. Complexity does not require astronomical numbers, just a toe-hold.
jsa09
1 / 5 (1) Oct 29, 2010
Skeptic, this is so out of character of you - spouting a lot of bullocks, that is. There's no such thing as "natural complexity" in evolution. How could there be since there's no foresight to anticipate a final outcome? There's no planning and no calculated payoff, only blind random mutations with no purpose in mind.


Finally kevintr you stated something that makes sense.
jsa09
not rated yet Oct 29, 2010
Evolution does not aim to complexity evolution is another word for change. Things mutate if the survive to reproduce then the the survivor passes on innate(genetic) traits.

If a line of progeny survive better in the new environment then they a better adapted to that environment. They do not need to be more complex but generally that is a result of changes generally being additional effects.
dfruzzetti
not rated yet Oct 30, 2010
They're always making it more complex than it needs to be. One cell got into another because: the first cell created a sac to carry around resources. It stuck halfway out. It divided inside and outside the sac, and the cells inside the sac figured out it was best to cooperate with the cell carrying around the 'diaper' because then they didn't have to have certain tools installed and could run cheaper. Thus were born mitochondria.
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (1) Nov 01, 2010
two European researchers have developed a new hypothesis that may explain how the original progenitor of animals and plants on Earth

This hypothesis is actually very old one and it was proposed by the Russian botanist Konstantin Mereschkowski in 1905 already (..and supported many authors later).

(search for Endosymbiotic_theory at Wikipedia for more details)

I don't know, why such old stuff is presented as a new invention here.