Re: The Great Filter
Thu, 22 Aug 1996 16:23:26 -0400 (Eugene Leitl) writes:

>> On Aug 21, 2:55pm, wrote:
>> Actually the ribosome RNA sequences indicate eukaryotic and prokaryotic
>> are approximately equal in age. Eukaryotic life, with its hodgepodge of
>> interacting and varied systems and vast amounts of apparently useless

>I think "apparently" is just the word... Prokaryontes might be leaner &
>meaner, but the eukaryontes still quite often get the best of them. You
>know, this intron/exon paraphernalia are not entirely useless.

Most of a eukaryotic chromosome doesn't even participate in that. Most of a
eukarotic chromosome is long stretches of repetive DNA or pseudogenes. Even
including exons and transcriptional signal, genes are just a tiny part.

>They may
>appear as ballast at replication, but better modularity vastly increases
>speed of adaptation in a highly dynamic fitness landscape.

Yes, but bacterial plasmid swapping is even better.

>Remember, only
>the eukaryontes got the knack of organizing into multicellular organisms,
>which e.g. can maintain much better environment homeostasis by carrying it
>around (the organism as a whole can go where no single cell has ever gone
>before), or much better efficiency due to specialization (differentiated
>cell types).

No question that eukaryotes are much better at multicellularity, although
prokaryotes do colonize and specialize. But multicellularity is quite a bit
younger than eukaryotes.