Monday, April 1, 2019

The Tree of Life (April 1)

The so-called Tree of Life is actually an anastomosing plexus rather than a divaricating tree, due to extensive interconnections between the cell and genome lineages during early single-cell evolution. These connections may have been caused by the process known as horizontal gene transfer.

Furthermore, the alleged Last Universal Common Ancestor may not have been a single coherent group, but may have been a mixture of quite different genotypes. After all, this supposed ancestor does not represent the origin of life, but was itself the end-product of an extensive prior evolutionary history.

These two basic points are illustrated in the following figure.

Happy April 1. For previous posts, see:

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