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If photosynthesis could really be as old as life itself…


According to one group of researchers, the earliest bacteria had the tools to photosynthesize:

Researchers find that the earliest bacteria had the tools to perform a crucial step in photosynthesis, changing how we think life evolved on Earth.

The finding also challenges expectations for how life might have evolved on other planets. The evolution of photosynthesis that produces oxygen is thought to be the key factor in the eventual emergence of complex life. This was thought to take several billion years to evolve, but if in fact the earliest life could do it, then other planets may have evolved complex life much earlier than previously thought.

The research team, led by scientists from Imperial College London, traced the evolution of key proteins needed for photosynthesis back to possibly the origin of bacterial life on Earth. Their results are published and freely accessible in BBA – Bioenergetics.

Lead researcher Dr Tanai Cardona, from the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial, said: “We had previously shown that the biological system for performing oxygen-production, known as Photosystem II, was extremely old, but until now we hadn’t been able to place it on the timeline of life’s history.

“Now, we know that Photosystem II shows patterns of evolution that are usually only attributed to the oldest known enzymes, which were crucial for life itself to evolve.”

Hayley Dunning, “Photosynthesis could be as old as life itself” at Imperial College, London (March 16, 2021)

Well, that’s good news for the hope of finding life on other planets! But researchers hoping to rush in and save Darwinism should know that if the earliest organisms could photosynthesize, an intelligent origin of life is virtually certain.

Fine with us. But if any of the people working on this project doubt the need for an intelligent origin in this case… don’t tell James Tour. You know how he reacts to utter nonsense…

The paper is open access.

You may also wish to read: Researchers: Yes, plants have nervous systems too. Not only that but, like mammals, they use glutamate to speed transmission

This raises a question, at least from the "energy efficiency" viewpoint. We know by now that all toolkits were available from the start. The photosynthesis toolkit was never used by animals AFAIK. Several animals invite bacteria or algae to do the job for them, but none actually do the job in their own cells. Are the genes still present in any animals? If so, why haven't they been activated? polistra

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