Where did we come from? It is a question that has haunted the entire history of humanity. Thousands of years ago, our ancestors sought to answer the question with myths. Today, we are still struggling with the same question—only today we seek to answer this mystery with science.
Given various observations, it seems plausible that all life arose from a few very simple organisms millions of years ago. Observations of life will raise two important (though almost paradoxical) questions: Why are there so many different kinds of life? And why do there appear to be some over-riding similarities among organisms? The diversity of life is apparent in the vast number of different species of plants and animals that exist on earth. By the mid 20th Century, there was an estimated 1 to 2 million different types of organisms. (12) Now, however, the number is even higher and is expected to continue to climb as more discoveries are made. That there are prevailing similarities among organisms is equally apparent. (13) All organisms use the same biochemical mechanisms to function. For example, all organisms use DNA and many proteins that make up cells and serve as enzymes are the same across species. (12) Also, organisms that are supposed to be closely " related" tend to share certain characteristics. For example, the bones in a whale's front flipper are arranged in much the same way as the bones in human beings' arms and both whales and humans are mammals and therefore more closely related than say humans and squid. (12) Evolution - as defined as - the theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable diff...
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...) The Limits of Darwinism , by David Berlinski
18) The RNA World , by Brig Klyce
19) Viruses: Imported Genetic Software , by Brig Klyce
20) Encyclopedia Britannica Online
21) http://search.eb.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?va=Evolution , Encyclopedia Britannica Online
22) Article from US Environmental Protection Agency; published in May 1998
23) Mutation: Causes and Repair , by McAllister; slide presentation
24) Duke Study Finds New Causes of Mutation , by Marko Djuranovic
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