ScienceDaily: Morono was initially taken aback by the results. “At first I was skeptical, but we found that up to 99.1% of the microbes in sediment deposited 101.5 million years ago were still alive and were ready to eat,” he said.
Researchers discovered this by accident: when the bacteria left manganese oxide in a dirty lab jar.
Cepelewicz: The very existence of organelles in these bacteria, coupled with intriguing parallels to the more familiar ones that characterize eukaryotes, has prompted scientists to revise how they think about the evolution of cellular complexity — all while offering new ways to probe the basic principles that underlie it.
One wonders how much of their genome they steal from more closely related species (as opposed to schoolbook Darwinian evolution).
A reader writes: They have a mechanism by which they can mutate a specific part of the DNA, in a pattern and rate that’s different from random mutation.
She explains: “Once we kind of came to that idea, it all sort of fell into place.” Indeed, Madam Professor! You follow brilliantly in the footsteps of Miss Marple. We need intelligence to uncover this because intelligence underlies it.
A friend points out that the paper just describes the intricate machinery of the hook, adding to what we know, without any resort to Darwinspeak. It seems to be getting safer all the time to just not talk that way any more.
This explanation makes explicit that this is not Darwinian evolution. One writeup even alludes to the type of Darwinian tale that is being replaced.
Wait. What does this story remind us of? Oh yes, recently a writer at The Atlantic went so far as to express doubt about the claim of a Darwin-in-the-schools lobbyist that everyone needs to buy into their approach to evolution if we want to understand superbugs.
“In the classic Darwinian mindset, competition is the name of the game. The best suited survive and outcompete those less well suited. However, when it comes to microorganisms like bacteria, our findings reveal the most cooperative ones survive,” explains Department of Biology microbiologist, Professor Søren Johannes Sørensen.
Natalie Coleman at Futurism: A paper published last month … argues that the “primary colonists” of the Red Planet should be “microorganisms” — the bacteria, viruses, and fungi that support many of life’s processes here on Earth.
How they got there is apt to be a cause of speculation.
We are “trained,” if you like, to expect certain discoveries (dark matter, for example). Then we learn something significant that really surprises us and allows for new thinking about, for example, ecology.
“Dr Cardona also suggests that this might mean oxygenic photosynthesis was not the product of a billion years of evolution from anoxygenic photosynthesis, but could have been a trait that evolved much sooner, if not first.” So when did the billions of years of Darwinian evolution that “gradually evolved” photosynthesis happen?
Well, if that’s a way bacteria evolve, what becomes of common descent and speciation? What do we mean by “bacterial species”?