Much warmer Earth spurred evolution

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Plazma Inferno!, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    Messages:
    4,609
    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, researchers 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.
    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.

    http://phys.org/news/2016-07-evolution-furious-pace-warmer-earth.html
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,232
    I have not yet read the paper and I do hope it does not contain the words from the article "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."

    If it does then I call Nonsense! By the time flora and fauna were evolving, more than three billion years had elapsed since the high temperatures that the paper makes much of and temperatures were "normal". Indeed the famed Cambrian expansion, where flora and fauna did emerge in great diversity, followed right after a series of Snowball Earth episodes. If we want to talk about complexity, rather than diversity, then eukaryotes were at least 1 billion years after the emergence of life and multicellular organisms three billion years removed.

    I shall read the paper this evening and post my thoughts. I think this is probably a very interesting piece of research that may answer a very important question, but it sure as heck cannot have anything serious to say about how flora and fauna became so diverse and complex.
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.

Share This Page