Early life forms on Earth are likely to have mutated and evolved at much higher rates than they do today, suggests a new analysis from researchers at the University of North Carolina.
In a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Richard Wolfenden, PhD, and his colleagues found that the rate of a certain chemical change in DNA — a key driver of organisms’ spontaneous mutation rates and thus of evolution’s pace — increases extremely rapidly with temperature. Combining that finding with recent evidence that life arose when our planet was much warmer than it is now, the scientists concluded that the rate of spontaneous mutation was at least 4,000 times higher than it is today.
“At the higher temperatures that seem to have prevailed during the early phase of life, evolution was shaking the dice frantically,” said Wolfenden, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the UNC School of Medicine.
A much faster pace of evolution means that species could have proliferated much more rapidly than they do now, affording the flora and fauna of Earth ample time to acquire their enormous diversity and complexity. More.
Yet another effort to defend Darwinism? The idea seems to be that spontaneous mutation produces information, but it does not. That would be like shaking the jigsaw puzzle more frantically and expecting more order to result. See Data basic
See also: Convergence: Venom in fish evolved 18 times The fact that these “super complicated” systems evolved eighteen different times pretty much rules out a Darwinian origin (natural selection acting on random mutation).
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