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Congratulations, Earth! You’ve Won the Lottery…Again

John on November 10, 2008 at 5:31 pm

That’s my snarky headline for this story:

A chance encounter about 1.9 billion years ago, led to life on Earth, say scientists.

New research finds that an amoeba-like organism engulfed a bacterium that had developed the power to use sunlight to break down water to make oxygen.

[...]

“It is an astonishing thought that a single random encounter between two tiny cells so long ago could have had such a huge consequence,” said Falkowski.

Nick Lane, a researcher at University College London and author of Oxygen: The Molecule that Made the World, said this information had been emerging. He said, “Oxygen energises all life, and makes it big.”

“Nothing else can provide the energy needed to fuel the demands of multicellular organism. True photosynthesis evolved only once, and the chance encounter that gave rise to plants also happened just once. These were two freak accidents in the 3.5 billion-year history of life on Earth.”

Look, I know probability arguments don’t cut it with some people and that’s fine with me. I’m not claiming this proves anything, I’m just sitting back and saying, hey, we seem to win a lot of these one-in-a-zillion-type lotteries. And, yeah, I know that every time we discover a new one, the materialist response is the same, i.e. “It had to happen or we wouldn’t be here to talk about it.”

Okay, that’s defensible. I’m not saying it’s not. But the thing is, we are here talking about it and yet…It really, really seems like we shouldn’t be at all.

And I don’t think I’m crazy for saying so.

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Category: Science & Tech |

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