Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A chance encounter

Apparently that's what made life on Earth a reality, at least according to newly released research:
A chance encounter about 1.9 billion years ago, led to life on Earth, say scientists.

New research finds that an amoeba-like organism engulfed a bacterium that had developed the power to use sunlight to break down water to make oxygen.

The bacterium could have been intended as prey, but instead became incorporated into its attacker's body, transforming it into the ancestor of every tree, flowering plant and seaweed on Earth today.

Paul Falkowski, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at Rutgers University in New Jersey says that this single event transformed evolution of life on Earth.

"The descendants of that tiny organism transformed our atmosphere, filling it with the oxygen needed for animals and, eventually humans to evolve."
And I'm sure the closing paragraph of the article will send all fanatic believers shrieking in a corner:
"Nothing else can provide the energy needed to fuel the demands of multicellular organism. True photosynthesis evolved only once, and the chance encounter that gave rise to plants also happened just once. These were two freak accidents in the 3.5 billion-year history of life on Earth."

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