Author Topic: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?  (Read 1204 times)

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Offline The Wannabe

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Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« on: January 12, 2012, 05:27:00 PM »
Since it can be argued that bacteria is the most successful form of life in this planets history, how come life evolved beyond the bacteria?  Why does life have this propensity to evolve into ever increasingly complex organisms?

Don't think that i'm at all trying to call into question evolution's validity in asking this, although i can't say the same for the Institute for Creation Research :P , I'm simply trying to fill in the gaps in my own understanding of the theory. 

Thanks in advance for your responses!
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Offline One Above All

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2012, 05:44:12 PM »
Bacteria has predators. Evolution is about being better suited to survive in your environment. Sometimes that means changing your environment, other times it means becoming too big to fit in your predators' mouths[1] or find a way to become a predator yourself.
 1. Yes, I know bacteria don't have mouths, but you know what I mean.
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Offline Emergence

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2012, 05:50:24 PM »
Aged, but good article on the subject:[1]

The Origins of Multicellularity
Bonner, JT; Integrative Biology; 1998; link to PDF
 1.  and also first reference of the Wikipedia article on MulticellularityWiki   :)
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Offline monkeymind

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2012, 07:21:41 PM »
Shit wrong thread!
« Last Edit: January 12, 2012, 07:25:01 PM by monkeymind »
Truthfinder:the birds adapt and change through million of years in order to survive ,is that science, then cats should evolve also wings to better catch the birds
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Offline mrbiscoop

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2012, 08:15:25 PM »
   Success is relative to each niche. We are tremendously successful at filing this particular niche. However place us 5000 feet under the ocean and there will be a different ending to the narrative.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2012, 01:00:15 PM »
Since it can be argued that bacteria is the most successful form of life in this planets history, how come life evolved beyond the bacteria?  Why does life have this propensity to evolve into ever increasingly complex organisms?

Don't think that i'm at all trying to call into question evolution's validity in asking this, although i can't say the same for the Institute for Creation Research :P , I'm simply trying to fill in the gaps in my own understanding of the theory. 

Thanks in advance for your responses!

why did it evolve?  Because it could.    Plenty of open niches on this planet.  And lucifer's arms race post is good too.   

TW, how much do you know about evolutionary theory?  What have you read to learn about it?  talkorigins is a great site and would answer many of your questions. 
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

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Offline The Wannabe

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2012, 03:27:44 PM »
Since it can be argued that bacteria is the most successful form of life in this planets history, how come life evolved beyond the bacteria?  Why does life have this propensity to evolve into ever increasingly complex organisms?

Don't think that i'm at all trying to call into question evolution's validity in asking this, although i can't say the same for the Institute for Creation Research :P , I'm simply trying to fill in the gaps in my own understanding of the theory. 

Thanks in advance for your responses!

why did it evolve?  Because it could.    Plenty of open niches on this planet.  And lucifer's arms race post is good too.   

TW, how much do you know about evolutionary theory?  What have you read to learn about it?  talkorigins is a great site and would answer many of your questions.

Up till six months ago, nothing, to my shame.  I was homeschooled by a religious parent who thought satan put the evil in evilution, and sadly Darwin's origin of species was a banned book in my household (right along with Harry Potter).  I have just recently begun watching evolution documentaries, and reading wikipedia articles, but my knowledge of the theory is in no way up to par. 

Thanks for recommending the site, i'll definitely give it a look or two.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2012, 04:08:32 PM by The Wannabe »
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2012, 04:23:54 PM »
Wannabe:  It's good to see that you're willing to look beyond the things you were taught when you were younger.  Far too many people either don't or aren't.

Offline velkyn

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2012, 04:29:32 PM »
Up till six months ago, nothing, to my shame.  I was homeschooled by a religious parent who thought satan put the evil in evilution, and sadly Darwin's origin of species was a banned book in my household (right along with Harry Potter).  I have just recently begun watching evolution documentaries, and reading wikipedia articles, but my knowledge of the theory is in no way up to par. 

Thanks for recommending the site, i'll definitely give it a look or two.

good for you to be looking for info.  :)  There are some very good books out there too, if you can't buy them try the library/interlibrary loan.   Dawkins has a bunch.  I'm sure others can recommend them.  And as always, just ask questions here, we can point you in teh right directions.

bunches of good stuff here too: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/

Your parents sound like my idiot brother and SIL.  Ooooh, the skeeeryy Harry Potter.    Hell, if I could find a book that taught me "real spells", there'd be a lot fewer SUVs on the highway.   ;)
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Offline Turbo SS

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2012, 04:31:52 PM »
Since it can be argued that bacteria is the most successful form of life in this planets history, how come life evolved beyond the bacteria?  Why does life have this propensity to evolve into ever increasingly complex organisms?

Don't think that i'm at all trying to call into question evolution's validity in asking this, although i can't say the same for the Institute for Creation Research :P , I'm simply trying to fill in the gaps in my own understanding of the theory. 

Thanks in advance for your responses!

why did it evolve?  Because it could.    Plenty of open niches on this planet.  And lucifer's arms race post is good too.   

TW, how much do you know about evolutionary theory?  What have you read to learn about it?  talkorigins is a great site and would answer many of your questions.

Up till six months ago, nothing, to my shame.  I was homeschooled by a religious parent who thought satan put the evil in evilution, and sadly Darwin's origin of species was a banned book in my household (right along with Harry Potter).  I have just recently begun watching evolution documentaries, and reading wikipedia articles, but my knowledge of the theory is in no way up to par. 

Thanks for recommending the site, i'll definitely give it a look or two.

At least you are looking into it for yourself.  Even if you decide you believe in God at least you looked at the other side.  Too many people jump into religion without considering the other side.

Offline The Wannabe

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2012, 04:53:28 PM »
Up till six months ago, nothing, to my shame.  I was homeschooled by a religious parent who thought satan put the evil in evilution, and sadly Darwin's origin of species was a banned book in my household (right along with Harry Potter).  I have just recently begun watching evolution documentaries, and reading wikipedia articles, but my knowledge of the theory is in no way up to par. 

Thanks for recommending the site, i'll definitely give it a look or two.

good for you to be looking for info.  :)  There are some very good books out there too, if you can't buy them try the library/interlibrary loan.   Dawkins has a bunch.  I'm sure others can recommend them.  And as always, just ask questions here, we can point you in teh right directions.

bunches of good stuff here too: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/



I actually have a kindle and a $50 gift card ;D  , so i think a purchase of Dawkin's "The Greatest Show on Earth" is in order.

Your parents sound like my idiot brother and SIL.  Ooooh, the skeeeryy Harry Potter.    Hell, if I could find a book that taught me "real spells", there'd be a lot fewer SUVs on the highway.   ;)   

Haha, i know really.  Even at six i thought my mom was completely off her rocker, though at least she let me play poke'mon at the time unlike most of my friend's moms who thought that the game was evolution propaganda engineered by the Devil   :P   

Thanks again for the links, they're much appreciated.
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Offline The Wannabe

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2012, 04:57:04 PM »


At least you are looking into it for yourself.  Even if you decide you believe in God at least you looked at the other side.  Too many people jump into religion without considering the other side.

Exactly.  I never got people who don't even try to understand the opposing argument, the epitome of intellectual dishonesty if you ask me.
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Offline The Wannabe

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2012, 05:01:24 PM »
Wannabe:  It's good to see that you're willing to look beyond the things you were taught when you were younger.  Far too many people either don't or aren't.

Most of the kids in my social circle haven't even given the issue much thought.  The bias against anything contrary to the bible is strong with religious fundys, evolution included.  It's like the part of their brain that lends itself to skepticism and rational inquiry is permanently switched off.
"I would believe only in a God that knows how to Dance."  -Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline Azdgari

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2012, 05:48:29 PM »
I actually just attended a colloquium presentation on a topic related to this.  The earliest fossils of multicellular animals were Rangeomorphs.  These were fractal organisms, to 4 fractal iterations:



A collection of populations of these were preserved in a very fine-mud turbidite nearly 600 million years ago, in rocks that are now a part of Newfoundland here in Canada (the turbidite was buried shortly afterward by directly-dateable volcanic ash):



They were buried in-situ, preserving excellent detail and allowing scientists to see where members of these species were placed in relation to each other.  This information allows us to get an idea of what that pre-Cambrian ecology must have looked like:



These organisms would have been absorbtion and/or suspension feeders, much like today's sponges and corals but without the same degree of tissue or structural specialization, and certainly no vascular system[1].  Their fractal shape allowed their cells to remain sessile[2] while maximizing their cellular colony's surface area.

Taxonomically, they fall somewhere between fungi and sponges, and are the earliest examples of animal life ever discovered.  They are also an evolutionary dead-end[3], as no subsequent organisms show any evidence of descent from these ones.  But they're still the first multicellular life ever found, and the benefits of multicellularity are evident from what we've learned about their structure and mode of life.
 1. A water-vascular system is present in both sponges and corals, and some sort of vascular system is present in absolutely every animal species.  This is one of the qualities that distinguishes the simplest animals from fungi.
 2. Able to stay in the same place rather than being swept away with whatever current came along.
 3. This makes sense when you consider their body-plan.  Really, where do you go from there, in evolutionary terms?  The fractal body-plan, efficient though it may have been at what it did considering its simplicity, just doesn't allow for the specialization of body parts that characterizes all other animal species.
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Offline ungod

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2012, 09:42:39 AM »
 Why did life evolve beyond bacteria? Because God needed hosts for His bacteria! Silly boy.

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Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2012, 11:51:54 AM »
Most of the kids in my social circle haven't even given the issue much thought.  The bias against anything contrary to the bible is strong with religious fundys, evolution included.  It's like the part of their brain that lends itself to skepticism and rational inquiry is permanently switched off.
They don't use it, therefore it gets atrophied.

*shrug*  Basically, either people are credulous or they're skeptical.  I don't think it's possible to be both at the same time, because the nature of skepticism precludes being willing to believe despite minimal evidence.

Offline One Above All

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2012, 11:53:55 AM »
Basically, either people are credulous or they're skeptical.  I don't think it's possible to be both at the same time, because the nature of skepticism precludes being willing to believe despite minimal evidence.

Emotions cloud judgement. They can easily twist the most illogical of possibilities into an acceptable solution.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline Quesi

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2012, 01:52:39 PM »
Why did life evolve beyond bacteria? Because God needed hosts for His bacteria! Silly boy.

Yeah.  I was going to leave out the god part, but I think that those of us whose ancestors evolved into multi-cell creatures play an important role in entertaining the earth's bacteria. Transporting them around.  Giving them good homes.  Imagine how dull their lives would be without us!

Offline RNS

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2012, 04:01:02 PM »
I think the best answer so far has been the most simple- "because they could"

Azdagari, if you can find it, I would recommend Attenborough's First Life. Really good stuff. He discusses some of the things you mentioned.




EDIT: I found it! Seriously ladies and gentlemen, if you are interested in evolution WATCH THIS!!!! (and the subsequent parts and episodes)
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 04:02:51 PM by RNS »
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2012, 05:02:36 PM »
Who else would host them if critters and plants and other multi-celled organisms didn't exist. We humans have more bacterial cells on and in our body than human cells. But they're tiny. All of them would fit in a space the size of a pea. But they're happy. At least mine are. I don't use anti-bacterial soap.

Yes, I do use regular soap. I'm not that kind of dirty old man  ;D
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Why did life evolve beyond bacteria?
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2012, 05:08:53 PM »
RNS, I'll watch it when I get home.  The presentation I attented was by Dr. Guy Narbonne.  He's the man who gave Attenborough a geological tour of the outcrops where these fossils were found.
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