Getting it wrong

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So, archaea are apparently the topic of the week. While I wrote here about the pathogenic potential of some species of these organisms, a new essay in Nature and a new review in Science focus more on their evolution (and the evolution of the other two domains of life) than any health application.

In the essay mentioned, Norman Pace discusses the eukaryote/prokaryote dichotomy. Currently the archaea are classified as prokaryotes since they, like bacteria, lack a true nucleus. However, molecular sequence analysis has shown that the archaea and eukaryotes are actually more closely related to each other than either group is to bacteria (see figure, from Pace’s Nature essay). As such, nomenclature that places the bacteria and archaea together into a group is misleading.

(Continued at Aetiology)

1 Comment

Tara Smith Wrote:

Of course, the news write-ups of this are rather predictable. MSNBC asks, “can evolution make things less complicated?” It’s also stated that, assuming this new research is confirmed, it will be “contrary to our cherished notion that evolution makes organisms more complex.”

Good old liberal media. They’ll give any pseudoscience a free ride, even if it’s mostly promoted by the far right.

Imagine if, instead of the steady retreat into “don’t ask, don’t tell,” that IDers over the years played up Behe’s “complex first cell” hypotheses, which is the closest any IDer came to an “official” anti-evolution position. This would be touted not just as “contrary to cherished notions” but as vindicating ID.

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This page contains a single entry by Tara Smith published on May 19, 2006 1:54 PM.

Breast beginnings was the previous entry in this blog.

Genomics and the vacuity of Intelligent Design is the next entry in this blog.

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