January 18, 2012
Splits and Combines

A pair of scientists decided to see if they could cause multicellular life to evolve in a lab setting. Not only did they manage to succeed, it happened a lot faster than anyone expected. Me, I want to know how it's been figured out that multicellular life evolved independently "at least 25 times." Some sort of molecular evidence?

Posted by scott at January 18, 2012 08:37 AM

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Fossil record and lack of intermediate forms, probably. Some of the branches in life's family tree just can't meet by any possible naturally selected means, and nobody ever said there was one single common ancestor for all life.

Posted by: Tatterdemalian on January 18, 2012 11:48 PM

A slashdot discussion dug up an actual molecular biologist who commented that there's a type of algae that's evolved... errm.... "multicellularity" in the past 50 years. Maybe a few of those instances have actually been observed.

Posted by: Scott on January 19, 2012 06:35 AM
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