Saturday, 19 October 2013

Symbiogenesis - alternate to Darwin's theory of evolution

In the media, especially American, there is often uproar about Creationism, a christian denial of Darwin's theory of evolution. In the Indian media, biology and chemistry are thoroughly ignored. Famous scientists / public speakers especially Richard Dawkins, thunder away with dogmatic militant atheism, as though Christianity were the big challenge to Darwin & Wallace's theory. The views of people like Stephen Jay Gould, who called religion Non-overlapping magisterium, get muted in the public discourse, and his explanations like 'punctuated equilibirium' are generally unknown, as are recent terrific advances in genetics. Meanwhile, in the last HUNDRED years, an alternate set of theories and ideas have cropped up - symbiogenesis, primarily - that seeks to explain missing gaps and illustrates a brilliant mechanism for speciation, which is stunningly ignored in the media, academia, and even intellectual circles, while they bombard us with incomprehensibles like string theory, dark matter and Higgs boson.

For those interested, here is something scientific, from a wonderful scientist. I wish there were some good illustrated talks on the subject. The article may be hard to follow for those who havent read about it, and even more so for those who defend evolution without understanding its elements- in that field I recommend Alfred Russel Wallace's brilliant book "Darwinism" over Darwin's own hard to follow book "Origin of Species."

Update: For an introduction to some of the topics discussed in the above article, I recommend watching these videos on Youtube.

I read Nick Lane's book "Power, Sex, Suicide" a few years back. It explains how mitochondria, which have their genome outside the nucleus of a cell, power the cell, help it respire, and pass on their DNA called mtDNA along via the maternal line to the offspring. Basically the book explained the physics and chemistry of the eukaryotic cell - i.e a cell with a nucleus, and how it differs from a prokaryotic cell - a cell without a nucleus. The formation of nucleus and absorption of mitochondria was a non-evolutionary event, in the Darwinian sense.

This video of Dr Nick Lane illustrates some aspects of the book. Excellent!

This is a much simpler and smaller lecture by same author, Nick Lane, but without pictures, sadly.

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