Unreal Nature

April 18, 2015

The Insides of Our Bodies

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:47 am

… the insides of our bodies today are chemically more akin to the external environment of the early Earth, in which life originated, than they are like our present oxygen-rich world.

This is from Symbiotic Planet: A New Look at Evolution by Lynn Margulis (1998):

… The origin of cells from scummy chemicals may have occurred once or many times. In any case, the first cells in our lineage were membrane-bounded RNA- and DNA-based, self-maintaining protein systems. In details of cell structure and metabolic behavior they very much resembled us. Their material constituents continuously exchanged themselves with the external environment. They vented waste as they acquired food and energy. Their patterns persisted as they replenished their innards with chemicals taken from the surroundings. Indeed, metabolizing ancient bacteria were so effective at remaking themselves when threatened with disintegration and thermodynamic demise that the insides of our bodies today are chemically more akin to the external environment of the early Earth, in which life originated, than they are like our present oxygen-rich world.

My most recent previous post from Margulis’s book is here.

-Julie

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