Talk:Evolution of cells
An early question that needs to be confronted, indeed a question that in the last analysis requires definition, is: What is life? Most biologists would agree that self-replication, genetic continuity, is a fundamental trait of the life process. Systems that generally would be deemed nonbiological can exhibit a sort of self-replication, however. Examples would be the growth of a crystal lattice or a propagating clay structure. Crystals and clays propagate, unquestionably, but life they are not. There is no locus of genetic continuity, no organism. Such systems do not evolve, do not change in genetic ways to meet new challenges. Consequently, the definition of life should include the capacity for evolution as well as self-replication. Indeed, the mechanism of evolution---natural selection---is a consequence of the necessarily competing drives for self-replication that are manifest in all organisms. The definition based on those processes, then, would be that life is any self-replicating, evolving system (Norman R Pace 2001).
really wonderful. Nancy Sculerati MD 01:49, 5 February 2007 (CST)
Darwin considered community origin
The last line of Darwin's on the Origin of Species (1st edition) reads:
There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
'"..originally breathed into a few forms or one..."
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David Tribe 00:12, 13 April 2007 (CDT)
- http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/98/3/805 The universal nature of biochemistry