Daily Archives: 25/01/2013

The myth of common descent

Denyse O’Leary says something on Best Schools  that I too have been intrigued by for some time. Many (though not all) biologists hold to “universal descent from a single cell” as a dogma central to evolutionary theory. That’s odd, because historically even Darwin, at the dawn of knowledge about early life, spoke of life “breathed into a few forms or into one”, really only implying that there has been divergence rather than stasis. Since then, apart from the opinion of those like Carl Woese that the superkingdoms of life represent separate origins, we have a large body of evidence about horizontal gene transfer and symbiotic events at key evolutionary points. … Continue reading

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