Game Changer for Evolutionary Theory?

Hold on to your hats folks, another major shake-up of evolutionary theory!

A new hypothesis posed by a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, associate professor and colleagues could be a game changer in the evolution arena. The hypothesis suggests some species are surviving by discarding genes and depending on other species to play their hand.

Yeah. We knew about this. Endosymbionts have provided a clear example for decades.

According to the hypothesis, evolution pushes microorganisms to lose essential functions when there is another species around to perform them. This idea counters popular evolutionary thinking that living organisms evolve by adding genes rather than discarding them.

I see.

“A common assumption about evolution is that it is directed toward increasing complexity,” said Erik Zinser, associate professor of microbiology. “But we know from analysis of microbial genomes that some lineages trend toward decreasing complexity, exhibiting a net loss of genes relative to their ancestor.”

Before you change the game of evolutionary theory, maybe you should try to understand it first?

1 comment to Game Changer for Evolutionary Theory?

  • Greg

    I suppose a good place to start would be: 
    “How much of the living stuff in a human body is *not* actually human?”
    (Assume, for the sake of argument, that we count red blood cells as being human even though there’s some wiggle room because they don’t have DNA.)


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