(04-Feb-2003 at 21:57)
Perhaps you might not know, but jellyfish (the Obelia species), has a morphogenetic gene of the eye that is VERY close to that of humans, it is thought that it is an "ancestor form" of the genes which make our own eyes. Yet, the jellyfish's eyes are reduced to "ocells", very primitive eyes, which some worms (like Nereis) also have...
Now, the biological signification of a species is a group of animals (or vegetals, for that matter) which can reproduce themselves, and of whome the offsprings are not sterile (in other words, the offspring from a lion and a tigress (or vice versa) being sterile, lions and tigers are two different species)
Philogenetic studies on apes and humans have showed a rather striking ressemblance:
The chimpanzee and the Human being are very much alike, when it comes to caryotypes, only, the caryotype of the chimpanzee seems to show the fusion of two chromosomes, chromosomes otherwise present in the human being.
The basic idea of evolution is a mutation in the gametes, supposing this gamete will give an animal that can live normally, there are two possibilities: either the mutation gives an advantage to the offspring, compared to the other "normal" population, in which case, his mutation will prevail, and the other will disappear. If it disadvantages it, it can either migrate to a more favourable "ecological house", or disappear. If it has no influence on the living of the creature (like eye colour, skin colour or hair colour for humans), then both alleles will remain.
A population can then have a difference, compared to the other normal creatures, if that population evolves further, it can have other mutations that will lead it to being a different species. This is for divided evolution.
Linear evolution is in the case of a single population, where a mutation takes place, and stays because it advantages the creature, other mutations can happen...
The first signs of life, according to geologists, date back to 4.4 Billion years or so... It has been the only life form then, when the atmosphere didn't even have any oxygen. Those were cyanobacterias, that could use light to generate organic molecules (like plants), then, the oxygen they created killed most of them (oxygen IS basically a biological poison, because of it's oxydant powers), some however survived and mutated to "break" the oxygen molecules, and later, the energy released by breaking those molecules were used as a new power source for the metabolism, breathing appeared...
In all life form, there are mitochondrians and in chlorophyllian plants, there are chloroplasts, those two "organites" have the particularity of having their own genetic code. Scientists believe they were once bacterias, which were phagocyted by living cells, and since then, lived in symbiosis...
The facts are there, science proves that Evolution is how life gave man, and every species existing on Earth.
Whether it is by Rubidium-Strontium dating (Carbon 14 dating is not precise enough, only for "small" ages: back to the appearing of the Australopithecus or so, for geological scales, Rubidium-Strontium is used), by philogenetics (through DNA ressemblances, protein ressemblances and simply phenotype ressemblances), but also through the study of the embryo: look at a human, a bird's a fish's and a cat's embryo at the early stages: you will notice that they ALL look alike, it is only much later that the differences come, this is especially true with creatures having the same "symetry".
The true question is not really about who believes in Evolution, Evolution has been proved scientifically, by various ways, the true question is HOW did life actually appear on Earth? Between the "natural" creation of organic molecules and a living cell, there's a huge difference...
As for the reincarnation business: I believe in the soul, as some form of "energy", Einstein also believed in souls and reincarnation, following this same idea, and Lavoisier's theory: nothing is created, nothing is lost.
Sabiss, the blade-spirit