[FoRK] UNINTELLIGENT DESIGN

Albert S. < albert.scherbinsky at rogers.com > on > Wed Mar 15 15:12:14 PST 2006

Great Article Matt. BTW the link to the whole article
is at:

http://www.discover.com/issues/mar-06/cover/?page=2

The article goes beyond whether or not viruses are
alive and suggests that they may very well be the
origin of all life. Cool.

Albert

--- mattj at newsblip.com wrote:

> Quoting Joe Barrera <joe at barrera.org>:
> 
> > Besides, are viruses* alive?
> 
> 
> There's a terrific article in Discover this month...
> 
> 
> UNINTELLIGENT DESIGN
> 
> "A monstrous discovery suggests that viruses, long
> regarded as lowly 
> evolutionary latecomers, may have been the
> precursors of all life on 
> Earth"
> 
> http://www.discover.com/issues/mar-06/cover/
> DISCOVER Vol. 27 No. 03 | March 2006 | Biology &
> Medicine
> 
> Snippets:
> 
> "We have a lot of evidence with Mimivirus that the
> virus phylum is at 
> least as old as the other branches of life and that
> viruses were 
> involved very early on in the evolutionary emergence
> of life."
> 
> That represents a radical change in thinking about
> life's origins: 
> Viruses, long thought to be biology's hitchhikers,
> turn out to have 
> been biology's formative force.
> ...
> The implications of [that analysis] are truly
> radical: that Mimi, or a 
> Mimi-like ancestor, emerged prior to the three other
> domains and played 
> a key role in inventing the very cells of which
> humans and all complex 
> cellular life-forms are made.
> 
> It is a difficult concept to get one's head around.
> Parasites, to us, 
> are derivative, necessarily descendant from the
> biological entities 
> they depend on for life. But simple does not always
> mean less evolved. 
> Mimi's outsize complement of genes?so large that the
> virus is 
> tantalizingly close to being an independent
> organism?suggest to many 
> scientists that Mimivirus underwent reductive
> evolution early on and 
> shed some of its genome, including the genes
> necessary to replicate on 
> its own.
> 
> "With Mimi, we've captured by chance a picture of an
> organism that was 
> undergoing such a reduction, evolving toward fewer
> genes," says 
> Claverie. "This guy just retained more ancestral
> features than others." 
> Biologists, Claverie says, can no longer view
> viruses as random 
> assemblages of genes. "We have to confer to these
> guys a nobility, a 
> genealogy. Not only a genealogy. They are very
> ancestral, and their 
> ancestors are at least contemporary with ours and
> those of all 
> present-day life-forms."
> 
> 
> _______________________________________________
> FoRK mailing list
> http://xent.com/mailman/listinfo/fork
> 


More information about the FoRK mailing list