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Tape of life may not always be random

chui
Posts: 507
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2/2/2015 9:58:29 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Interesting article, although the findings do not seem to be universally accepted yet so it may be premature to think that Humans were inevitable. It is one thing to see that evolution gives the same solution to aquatic mammals but another to suggest that complex intelligent life is inevitable.
Otokage
Posts: 2,347
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2/3/2015 7:55:26 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/1/2015 9:55:44 PM, johnlubba wrote:
Turns out human life might have been inevitable.


http://www.newscientist.com...

The experiment is a bit weird, I mean, if you see cetaceans and other sea-mammals, you can clearly see they are alike without a genetic analysis. So it is expected that they will be alike at the genetic level too. This said, it is self-explanatory that natural selection selected pretty much the same in the three groups, which would explain why they are alike. If you expose mammals to actuatic environment, it seems obvious most of them will end up with the same or very similar adaptations.

You can even go further. If you expose a vertebrate to actuatic environment, will most of vertebrates be the similar? Well I think there's a good chance that they would, since it is clear that ie cetaceans and fish are very alike.

Again it seems obvious that random mutations that lead to conclusions like efficient actuatic movement systems like fins, or efficient water breathing systems (large lung capacity, gills, etc) will be selected in any animal group that is exposed to an acuatic environment, resulting in these animals evolving in a similar way. This doesn't mean mutations are not random, but it means natural selection is not random, which is something everyone already knew.

So, for one part, I agree life wouldn't be the same if it started again from zero, although I can not help to think it would be pretty similar. You would encounter microbes (as abiogenesis could not happen in any other way than a "first microbe"), and you would also find fish-like creatures on the sea, and walking creatures on Earth. Of course we could see something strikingly different like a movie alien, but even movie aliens are still the same as us (or as some animal group) in the basics.
johnlubba
Posts: 2,892
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2/3/2015 9:21:15 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/3/2015 7:55:26 AM, Otokage wrote:
At 2/1/2015 9:55:44 PM, johnlubba wrote:
Turns out human life might have been inevitable.


http://www.newscientist.com...

The experiment is a bit weird, I mean, if you see cetaceans and other sea-mammals, you can clearly see they are alike without a genetic analysis. So it is expected that they will be alike at the genetic level too. This said, it is self-explanatory that natural selection selected pretty much the same in the three groups, which would explain why they are alike. If you expose mammals to actuatic environment, it seems obvious most of them will end up with the same or very similar adaptations.

You can even go further. If you expose a vertebrate to actuatic environment, will most of vertebrates be the similar? Well I think there's a good chance that they would, since it is clear that ie cetaceans and fish are very alike.

Again it seems obvious that random mutations that lead to conclusions like efficient actuatic movement systems like fins, or efficient water breathing systems (large lung capacity, gills, etc) will be selected in any animal group that is exposed to an acuatic environment, resulting in these animals evolving in a similar way. This doesn't mean mutations are not random, but it means natural selection is not random, which is something everyone already knew.

So, for one part, I agree life wouldn't be the same if it started again from zero, although I can not help to think it would be pretty similar. You would encounter microbes (as abiogenesis could not happen in any other way than a "first microbe"), and you would also find fish-like creatures on the sea, and walking creatures on Earth. Of course we could see something strikingly different like a movie alien, but even movie aliens are still the same as us (or as some animal group) in the basics.

Thanks for your input, although I don't think abiogenesis could happen at all.