June 4, 2006

Revelation: All Life Evolved From Bacteria


Warning: I am not a biologist.


I read a story a couple of days on Yahoo News: "Gene Expert Says We Are Not Entirely Human", and in that article it goes on to say that "We are somehow like an amalgam, a mix of bacteria and human cells. There are some estimates that say 90 percent of the cells on our body are actually bacteria," Steven Gill, a molecular biologist formerly at TIGR and now at the State University of New York in Buffalo, said in a telephone interview.

This article got me wondering. It basically says that not only humans can not live without bacteria, but all life forms can't live without bacteria.

The wheels in my puny brain started to turn. If this is true and since bacteria can live without us, bacteria must have been the first life on our planet. Then I found out that lots of people know this most likely true. It is assumed in this 1996 article : "In the first two billion years of life on Earth, bacteria - the only inhabitants - continuously transformed the planet's surface and atmosphere and invented all life's essential, miniaturized chemical systems." Abiogenesis is explained here, but the explanation makes me feel intellectual inferior.

The fossil record for bacteria goes back at least 3.5 billion years. "The first inhabitants of Earth did not need oxygen to breath, in fact oxygen was toxic to them, and this gas was rare in the atmosphere in those days. However the cyanobacteria that inhabited Earth in the Precambrium produced oxygen as a waste gas and so helped establish an aerobic ecosystem."

And this is how evolution works: "bacteria routinely transfer their genes to bacteria very different from themselves. The receiving bacterium can use the visiting, accessory DNA (the cell's genetic material) to perform functions that its own genes cannot mandate. Bacteria can exchange genes quickly and reversibly. Unlike other life forms, all the world's bacteria have access to a single gene pool and hence to the chemical prowess of the entire bacterial kingdom." Here is more on this.

OK, I read all this stuff, some sunk in, and some concepts went whoosh over my head.

Then I read another piece of news this morning: "Ontario Rock Reveals Earth's Earliest Life Form."

This is another missing link discovery. A 2.45 billion year old fossil would expect to be of a primitive bacteria, but instead "higher-order organisms in which each cell has a brain-like nucleus directing its growth and reproduction" were found.

Just as I was finishing off my "research" for this piece, I found this article, to store in my "Wow I didn't know this" section of my brain. Many bacteria have evolved eyespots that allow them to distinguish between food and other stuff.


Now, this leads me to a theistic question. If God created us in his image, is God bacteria? I still can't get over the fact that believers think that man was created in God's image. What about the butt? Does God have a butt? Does he use it the same way we use it? He obviously couldn't come up with a way for humans to go around without defecating every once in a while. This must mean God too defecates. And this has to mean that heaven has toilets. I wonder if they are unisex or if there are long line ups. Maybe a Fundy can tackle these questions.

15 comments:

  1. Viruses have been inserting their DNA into ours throughout the course of evolution. Their dormant state is lysogeny, but an trigger event, usually stress, can kick it into a lytic phase, which causes the viral DNA to become active and reproduce the virus (and the infection). This is why many people can get "cold sores" just before a big social engagement. Herpes, chicken-pox, we are carrying these primative life forms with us all the time, but thankfully we are in an equilibrium with them, and they usually do not manifest.

    As for a human potentially growing "bacteria parts" because we all have their DNA,... this is not possible, the way DNA is read and processed is very different between humans and microbes.

    Although depending on where the viral DNA gets inserted into humans, they do have the power to mutate us, but these mutations are usually not apparent.


    Great Post, this is why I like this blog, its an even mixture of Science AND Politics.


    Free Constantinople

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  2. Free, I think what I'm saying in this post is that bacteria evolved into all animals.

    Thanks for the compliment.

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  3. Yeah, I got that.. I was just speculating that some people (fundies perhaps) may jump to a silly conclusion.....like "OK if that's true, why don't we have flagella for legs?...You Atheist dummies"

    I could have been more clear

    Free Constantinople

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    1. If you assume that a well educated christian person would say something as silly as that then you might want to adjust your assumptions or beliefs on how a person, such as myself, thinks.

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  4. I'm hoping they have modern toilets in heaven, if they have the technology. Where would they flush the waste to? Do they have sowage?

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  5. 'In the beginning, God created bacteria.' I believe I have the title for my next short story.

    I guess God wanted to start off small, to test the waters... and the methane.

    Jeez, I suppose the Fundies will long for the days when they were descended from apes.

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  6. Viva la Clorox!

    Kidding. :)

    Very good post. Any simple biology 101 class serves well to wipe most idiotic assumptions out of people's heads about Creation "theory". At least if you go to college in a liberal town like mine where you don't have dumb hicks trying to challenge the professor. lol

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  7. God also like beetles. They make up a disproportionate number of animal species. In fact one natural historian was asked what did his lifetime of work revealed about God. His response, "An nordinate fondness of beetles."

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  8. God and a butt? I think the most massive problem fundies must have is that God is a "He." Think about it: What is it that most determines gender? Well genetalia (obviously same root) of course. And what does that aspect of maleness imply? A female aspect somewhere to match. Godess anyone?

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    1. To answer that question you should pickup a bible and read it. The word "he" is merely a reference to him so that people can identify with him so that they can better understand his nature with us in turn. In laments terms God's neither a he or a she. Think bigger next time before saying something so mundane. I don't mean that as an insult. Are you suggesting that it's not possible for God and the evolutionary process to coexist?

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  9. isn't is cool how many different ideas and opinions people have? I know it seems strange, but I just happen to love both science (i'm a chemist/biochemist) and religion (I think I would actually be considered a fundie in some ways...gasp!) And yes the first sentence in my comment was a shameless plug to demonstrate that i'm open-minded and awesome, despite being religiously-oriented. Anyway, I thought it was cool that you guys were talking about two things that are really unique about the religion I follow: we believe God has a butt (well, usually people use the words physical body, but that includes a butt...but not necessarily defecation...) and that he has a divine wife. crazy eh?

    one more comment: if people assume that everyone who follows a religion is oh so stupid and always unthinking, shall i assume that everyone who doesn't is always hostile and demeaning towards those who do?

    i'm not trying to stir up negative feelings or anything, i'm just throwing in my two cents as I pass by. hope you found it interesting and not annoying.

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  10. Pooty, lots of very intelligent people follow religion. The propensity to believe in God and/or the supernatural has evolved in us humans. Our ancestors couldn't explain lightning, they would have gone crazy and died before breeding if they didn't make stuff up to explain things like that.
    I pretty much define a Fundy as someone who denies science (like evolution) in order to keep their good book literal. If you accept science and add a God to it, you don't qualify as a Fundy.
    Oh, and if God has a butt, why does he have one?

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  11. What about domestos? If God is a bacteria then is domestos the devil? It cleans 99.9% of bacteria. So is god that 0.01% thats left.

    Clean your worktop - meet god

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  12. I bet the image part didn't mean physical body, but the creative mind and imagination.

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    1. Like God in the way that we have a moralic conscience and spirit that can speak to God, not the physical body.

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