Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection, which was already as well established as the theory of gravity, has taken a big leap forward. According to the New Scientist (see Dave Scot’s post earlier today), E.Coli bacteria have evolved the ability to digest citrate, after only 44,000 generations. “It’s the first time evolution has been caught in the act of making such a rare and complex new trait,” says New Scientist reporter Bob Holmes. Biologists have known for a long time that the same mechanism that induces drug resistance in bacteria is responsible for the evolution of human brains and human consciousness, but this new experiment is spectacular confirmation of this theory.
Now that evolution through natural selection is more firmly established than the theory of gravity, physicists are left in catch-up mode. “We are in the planning stages of a new experiment to try to catch gravity in the act,” said one MIT physicist who declined to be identified. “We are going to drop a ball off of a specially constructed tower, and will have lots of photographic equipment ready to document what happens. If we can get pictures of the ball moving toward the Earth, we will again be able to claim that gravity is as well established as Darwinian evolution.”