Original

Dustin Jon Scott
Drs. Karen Hogan & Allen Olson
Truth & Reason
27 April 2018


Contents

Abstract
Introduction
I. Part I
I.a. From Geocentrism to the Expanding Universe
I.b. From Eukaryocentrism to the Tree of Life
I.b-1.) From the "Great Chain of Being" to the 5 Kingdoms
I.b-2.) From the 5 Kingdoms to the 3 Domains
I.b-3.) From the 3 Domains to Symbiogenesis
I.b-4.) From the Arcaryan Hypothesis to the Eocyte Tree
I.b-5.) From the Eocyte Tree to the TACK hypothesis
I.b-6.) From the TACK hypothesis to Asgardian Heritage
I.c. From Orthogenesis to Opportunistic Evolution
I.c-1.) Orthogenesis
I.c-2.) "Blind" Orthogenesis
I.c-3.) Irreducible Complexity
I.d. From Anthropocentrism to the Hominid Family Tree
I.e. From Human Exceptionalism to Modern Ethology
II. Part II
II.a. From Geocentrism to the Expanding Universe
II.b. From Eukaryocentrism to the Tree of Life
II.b-1.) From the "Great Chain of Being" to the 5 Kingdoms
II.b-2.) From the 5 Kingdoms to the 3 Domains
II.b-3.) From the 3 Domains to Symbiogenesis
II.b-4.) From the Arcaryan Hypothesis to the Eocyte Tree
II.b-5.) From the Eocyte Tree to the TACK hypothesis
II.b-6.) From the TACK hypothesis to Asgardian Heritage
II.c. From Orthogenesis to Opportunistic Evolution
II.c-1.) Orthogenesis
II.c-2.) Irreducible Complexity
II.c-2α.) Consideration of Viruses, Organelles, and Other "Pseudobiota"
II.c-2β.) Uncertain Baseline Complexity
III. Conclusion
References

School


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D. J. Scott

“Putting Humans in Their Place”

How Science Destroyed Anthropocentrism
Copyright © 2018-2019 by Dustin Jon Scott
[Last Update: May 19th, 2018]


Abstract

The "science" of past generations generally regarded humans as the penultimate of creation. Throughout most of the 20th century, life was viewed from a eukaryocentric vantage point. In the last decade of the 20th century, however, the re-organization of the Tree of Life caused us to re-evaluate our perceptions of Earth's biodiversity, and the importance of humans and the significance of the eukaryotes in general was called into question.



Introduction



I. Background



I.a. From Geocentrism to the Expanding Universe

Briefly mention: Geocentrism → heliocentrism → 1 galaxy model → current known universe → multiverse theories



I.b. From Eukaryocentrism to the Tree of Life

Summarize: “Great chain of being” → 5 Kingdom system → 3 Domain system → Arcaryan hypothesis → Eocyte tree model → TACK hypothesis → Asgardian heritage

Then talk about: Endosymbiotic model of Eukaryogenesis

Also: The merging of Pongidae into Hominidae, introduction of Hominini, Gorillini, Hominina, and Panina, and the possible merging of Gorilla, Pan, and Homo.



I.b-1.) From Ancient Views to the 5 Kingdoms

Words for many common organisms are derived from anthropocentric utilitarian descriptions because before the advent of (ideally) unbiased scientific classification, humans were still fumbling about the natural world trying to classify things according to a selfish, infantile, "what does it do for me?" mindset, as evidenced in our own language by the Old English word deor (Modern English: "deer") originally referring to any wild game (ultimately from an Old High Germanic root, tior, meaning "beast", likely cognate with the Ancient Greek root *ther– for "beast" or "beastial", in words like "therian") while the word "cattle" comes from the Middle English catel, ultimately via Old North French from the Medieval Latin capitale for "wealth". The Christian Bible, which undoubtedly had a huge influence on European culture, says, "All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds," (I Corinthians 15:39 KJV) which, when one considers how the Christian Bible uses the word "flesh", and that bats are classified as birds and whales as fish in the book of Leviticus, are clearly designations of function, behavior, or inclination rather than biological categories. Plants were not even considered alive under this system, and humans, a single species, represented one quarter of the four highest-level classifications of living things.

Animalia
Plantae
Fungi
Protista
Monera


I.b-2.) From 5 Kingdoms to 3 Domains

rRNA analysis showing closer evolutionary relationship between Eukaryotes and Archaea than between Archaea and Bacteria.
(Woese et al., 1990)
(Koonin, 2014)

Eucarya
Archaea
Bacteria


I.b-2α.) Annealing Model of the 3 Domains

Darwinian threshold, "crystallization" of the three primary lineages of life on Earth from out of the LGT-charactarized "pre-Darwinian" RNA world.
(Woese et al., 1990)



I.b-2α.) Arcaryan Hypothesis



I.b-3.) From 3 Domains to Symbiogenesis

(Koonin, 2014)

For more information on the origin of mitochondria, please see my other article, "Mitochondrigeny": The Origin & The Evolution of The Mitochondrion, and Possible Implications for Astrobiology.



I.b-5.) From the Arcaryan Hypothesis to the Eocyte Tree

Eukaryotes within the Archaea, rather than the two as sister-groups.

(Koonin, 2014)



I.b-5α.) TACK hypothesis

TACK (Thaumarchaeota-Aigarchaeota-Crenarchaeota-Korarchaeota) superphylum (Guy & Ettema, 2011)



I.b-5β.) Asgardian heritage

The hypothesis that the Eukarya evolved from within the so-called "Asgard" Archaeal superphylum.



I.c.) From Orthogenesis to Opportunistic Evolution

Evolutionary scientists from the last decade of the 19th until around the mid-20th century commonly believed that evolution leads unidirestionally toward increasing complexity, in spite of a complete lack of empirical evidence in support of this view (McShea, 1991).

In the latter half of the 20th century, however, this began to change.



I.c-1.) Orthogenesis

The belief that evolution leads purposefully toward greater complexity.



I.c-2.) "Blind" Orthogenesis

This was essentially the theory that life becomes more complex over time, not necessarily because of some mystical force that literally impells living things to become more complex over time, but because of a quasi-mystical principle that more complex things are inherently more fit and thus favored by natural selection. It was essentially an atheistic form of orthogenesis.



I.c-3.) Irreducible Complexity

The idea that there is a certain "minimum" or "irreducible" complexity for life on Earth, that life started at the simplest, most irreducible level, and thus has become on average more complex over time not because evolution necessarily favors complexity, but simply because there is a limit to how simple things can become which means that any increase in the range of complexity of life on Earth would also necessarily raise the average complexity level. This concept was sound in principle, but was based on 2 premises that were merely assumed rather than evidenced: [1] The idea that life on Earth has, on average, become more complex over time (McShea, 1991); and [2] the idea that once life had formed, nothing could evolve to become simpler than this "baseline" or "starting point" complexity.



I.d. From Anthropocentrism to the Hominid Family Tree

The merging of Pongidae into Hominidae
Introduction of Hominini, Gorillini, Hominina, and Panina
possible merging of Gorilla, Pan, and Homo.



I.e. From Human Exceptionalism to Modern Ethology



II. Part Two



II.a. From Geocentrism to the Expanding Universe

How we determined the Sun does not revolve around the Earth, and how we learned our galaxy was not the only galaxy, and why some physicists think there might be a multiverse (cosmic inflation & Everett’s interpretation of quantum physics)



II.a-1.) From Geocentrism to Heliocentrism

Real World
Theory / Model
Observations / Experiments
Calculations / Armchair Stuff
Data
Compare
Predictions


II.b. From Eukaryocentrism to the Tree of Life

How we transitioned from a “great chain of being” model to a branching tree of “increasing complexity” with “higher” lifeforms distinguished from “lower” or “simpler” lifeforms, with the so-called “monera” (Bacteria+Archaea but lacking Eukaryota, essentially) being regarded as primitive relics of a bygone era before we “advanced” eukaryotes sprang up from them, or some such nonsense, to the realization that the Eukarya are truly but a small and insignificant branch on a great and diverse tree of life, and that, far from tending toward complexity, life on Earth has on the whole tended to evolve toward greater simplicity with more streamlined and efficient cellular functions, with the Eukaryotes in general and complex multicellular Eukaryotes being a strange exception to this trend that depended upon the chance acquisition of an Rickettsia-like alpha-proteobacterial endosymbiont by an Archaeal ancestor most closely related the Lokiarchaeota of the so-called “Asgard group” of Archaea.

Whereas 50 years ago, the Eukaryotes accounted for 4 of the 5 highest divisions of life on Earth, and 3 of those four were groups noted for containing large numbers of complex multicellular organisms, it now appears we Eukaryotes in general and complex obligately multicellular organisms in particular are nobbut a flimsy skin congealed atop the primordial soup, formed from the off-sloughings of the Tree of Life; an utterly insignificant twig on the expansive and diverse family tree that is Life on Earth.



II.b-1.) From the Ancient Views to the 5 Kingdoms



II.b-2.) From 5 Kingdoms to 3 Domains

rRNA analysis showing closer evolutionary relationship between Eukaryotes and Archaea than between Archaea and Bacteria.
(Woese et al., 1990)
(Koonin, 2014)

Real World
Theory / Model
Observations / Experiments
rRNA analysis
Calculations / Armchair Stuff
Data
(Woese & Fox, 1977)
Compare
Predictions


II.b-2α.) Annealing Model of the 3 Domains

Darwinian threshold, "crystallization" of the three primary lineages of life on Earth from out of the LGT-charactarized "pre-Darwinian" RNA world.
(Woese et al., 1990)



II.b-2α.) Arcaryan Hypothesis

Real World
Arcaryan hypothesis
The Archaea and the Bacteria should appear to be more closely related to each other than either are to the Bacteria.
Observations / Experiments
Calculations / Armchair Stuff
Data
Compare
Predictions


II.b-3.) From 3 Domains to Symbiogenesis

(Koonin, 2014)

Basal Eukaryotic Mitochondriality
All known Eukaryotes possess mitochondria, or appear to descend from ancestors who possessed mitochondria.
Symbiogenesis
Mitochondrial acquisition is what triggered nuclear-cytosol compartmentalization.
Observations / Experiments
Study by BLANK (YEAR) shows that the AMPK pathway is found in many eukaryotic lineages in a state conserved from pre-eukaryotic ancestors, but has only been conserved in a few prokaryotic lineages.
Calculations / Armchair Stuff
The enslavement of an Rickettsia-like α-proteobacterial endosymbiont as a "battery" was necessary for larger, more complicated cells.
Data
AMPK pathway highly conserved among Eukaryotes.
Compare
Predictions
If mitochondrial acquisition antedates nuclear-cytosol compartmentalization, protein pathways that have not been highly conserved among prokaryotes dealing with ATP regulation might have been constrained in eukaryotes by reliance upon mitochondria for ATP.

For more information on the origin of mitochondria, please see my other article, "Mitochondrigeny": The Origin & The Evolution of The Mitochondrion, and Possible Implications for Astrobiology.



II.b-5.) From the Arcaryan Hypothesis to the Eocyte Tree

(Koonin, 2014)

Real World
Eocyte hypothesis
The Eukaryotes evolved from within the Crenarchaeota.
Observations / Experiments
Calculations / Armchair Stuff
The Eukarya should appear to be more closely related to the Crenarchaeota (Eocytes) than the Crenarchaeota are to other Archaea, and possibly more closely related to some modern-day Crenarchaeota than to other modern-day Crenarchaeota or than those Crenarchaeota to which they appear most closely related are to other modern-day Crenarchaeota.
Data
Compare
Predictions
Genetic analyses should reveal more shared genes between the Eukarya and the Crenarchaeota than either share with the other Archaeal lineages.


II.b-5α.) TACK hypothesis

TACK (Thaumarchaeota-Aigarchaeota-Crenarchaeota-Korarchaeota) superphylum (Guy & Ettema, 2011)

Real World
TACK hypothesis
The Eukaryotes evolved from within the TACK (Thaumarchaeota-Ainarchaeota-Crenarchaeota-Korarchaeota) superphylum of the Archaea.
Observations / Experiments
Calculations / Armchair Stuff
Since evolving from within the TACK group implies that the TACK superphylum is the clade into which the Eukarya should nest, then one of the Archaeal TACK phyla should appear more closely related to the Eukarya than to other TACK phyla.
Data
The Eukarya appear to be more closely related to the Thaumarchaeota than to the Crenarchaeota.
Compare
Predictions


II.b-5β.) Asgardian heritage
Real World
Asgard hypothesis
The Eukarya evolved from within the Asgard group of Archaea.
Observations / Experiments
Calculations / Armchair Stuff
Data
The Eukarya and the Heimdallarchaeota appear to be more closely related to one another than either are to the other members of the Asgard group (Eme &al, 2017).
Compare
Predictions
The Eukarya should appear more closely related to one or more phyla of the Asgard group than that one or more phyla are to other phyla within the Asgard group.


II.c.) From Orthogenesis to Opportunistic Evolution



II.c-1.) Orthogenesis

Evolution
Natural Selection
There is no a mystical "force" that drives creatures to become more complex over time (orthogenesis); instead, evolution is the result of natural selection
Observations / Experiments
Discovery of the Coelacanth
(provide more examples)
Calculations / Armchair Stuff
If natural selection rather than orthogenesis is the explanation for evolution, then we might find some creatures in isolated areas that have apparently evaded the forces of selection and have remained largely unchanged over long periods of time.
Data
Compare
Predictions
There should exist some "living fossils" — creature's who've remained unchanged over long periods of time.


II.c-2.) "Blind" Orthogenesis

Mycoplasmas (Sirand-Pugnet &al., 2007)

Phenotypic loss (Maughan &al, 2007)

Natural selections doesn't typically favor complexity, although it does arise occasionally (Ayala, 2007).

Modern sharks have for the most part adopted a generic "shark shape" that while now familiar is a much simplified version of the morphologically diverse and often intricately morphologically complex group from which they evolved. Consider for example ancient sharks like the 420 MYO Mongolepis, 390-320 MYO Stethacanthus, the 365 MYO Cladoselache, the 360 MYO Falcatus, the 350 MYO Edestus, the 270 MYO Helicoprion, the 259-66 MYO Hybodus, the 200 MYO Xenacanthus, the 120-70 MYO Scapanorhuynchus,

Modern jellies have likewise been much simplified compared to the ancestral group out of which they evolved.

Slugs evolved from snails, not the other way around.

Modern cephalopods compared to ancient cephalopods.
Diversity of Biological Complexity
"Blind" Orthogenesis
Morphological complexity is favored by natural selection.
Observations / Experiments
Phenotypic loss (Maughan &al, 2007). Modern sharks from fossil sharks. Modern cephalopods from fossil cephalopods. Slugs from snails. Modern jellies from fossil jellies.
Calculations / Armchair Stuff
If natural selection favors complexity, then organisms should never evolve to become simpler or more streamlined over time.
Data
Many successful lineages appear to be simplified versions of the groups out of which they evolved. Numerous lineages of unicellular organisms appear to have evolved from multicellular organisms.
Compare
Predictions
There should be no known cases of modern organisms appearing to be simplified or streamlined versions of the fossil groups out of which they evolved.



II.c-2.) Irreducible Complexity

Diversity of Biological Complexity
Living things vary widely in morphological and genomic complexity, from single-celled forms to filaments to biofilms to aggregates to "complex" multicellular life.
Active selection
Observations / Experiments
Calculations / Armchair Stuff
If complexity is actively selected for, then we should not only see the maximum complexity level increasing over time, but also the average and minimum complexity levels as simpler lifeforms are continually replaced by more complex ones.
Data
Compare
Predictions
Complex multicellular organisms should by now vastly outnumber "simple" multicellular organisms, which should in-turn vastly outnumber unicellular organisms.


II.c-2α.) Consideration of Viruses, Organelles, and Other "Pseudobiota"

Viruses, organisms so simple that there is some debate over whether they should qualify as living things, are the dominant biological entities on this planet (Koonin & Wolf, 2012).

3 Main Hypotheses for Viral Origins

Since viruses lack the ability to reproduce on their own, it is fair at least to strongly suspect that they are simpler than the first self-replicating organisms would have been. If we assume a baseline complexity level roughly comparable to modern prokaryotes (there are reasons for thinking the first living things may have been either more or less complex than modern prokaryotes; discussed later), then determining whether our perception of life on Earth as having generally evolved in the direction of higher complexity is an example of selection bias due to our eukaryocentrism, or whether the idea of a quasi-mystical "drive toward complexity" has merit, is simply a matter of comparing the number of times complex multicellularity has evolved, minus the number of reversions to unicellularity, compared to the number of times viruses, prokaryote-derived organelles like mitochondria and chloroplasts, and other "quasi-biota" or "pseudobiota" have evolved.

Thus, failure to acknowledge the pseudobiota is in this context a fallacy of an limited sample. While some might object to the consideration of the pseudobiota with regard to the question of complexity on the grounds that viruses fail to fulfill all the criteria for being considered "alive" and thus are not examples of "life", to maintain that there is a certain "minimum" or "irreducible" complexity that living things never fall below while regarding any biological entity which evolves below this invisible line of irreducible complexity as "not alive", is fallacious reasoning; it is a tautology designed to justify selection bias, or in other words: Refusal to acknowledge the pseudobiota is in this context a No-True-Scotsman argument.

Diversity of Biological Complexity
Biological entities vary widely in morphological and genomic complexity, from viruses to organelles to cells, from single-celled forms to filaments to biofilms to aggregates to "complex" multicellular life.
Irreducible complexity
The first living things represent the "baseline" complexity for life on Earth, and any increases in the range of complexity of living things since the origin of life has resulted therefore in an increase in the average level of complexity.
Observations / Experiments
Calculations / Armchair Stuff
Organisms should never evolve to become simpler than the first lifeforms would have been.
Data
47 independent evolutions of multicellularity.
N independent reversions to unicellularity.
N independent evolutions of viruses.
N independent evolutions of organelles.
Compare
Predictions


II.c-2β.) Uncertain Baseline Complexity

Primal Eukaryogenesis: On the Communal Nature of Precellular States, Ancestral to Modern Life (Egel, 2011)

The Nuclear Compartment Commonality Hypothesis (Staley, 2013)

Eukaryotic-Bacterial Lipid Similarity
NuCom Hypothesis
The Bacterial branch of the Tree of Life may have branched off from the Arcarya after an early, probably very primitive form of nuclear-cytosol compartmentalization had already evolved, making the Bacteria a case of evolutionary reductionism.
Observations / Experiments
Calculations / Armchair Stuff
If the NuCom hypothesis is correct, then some Bacteria might still possess nuclear compartments.
Data
The PVC phyla, in which nuclear compartments have been detected, appear more similar to the Eukaryotes in lipid composition than other Bacteria do.
Compare
Predictions
Any such Bacteria might be expected to show other indications of relatedness to the Eukarya.

Note that if the Eukarya are as deeply nested within the Archaea as currently appears to be the case, then one of the consequences of the NuCom hypothesis being true is that a number of independent lineages leading to all extant non-eukaryotic Archaea must've shed their nuclear compartments independently of one another, so that while eukaryogenesis only occurred once, and much earlier than traditionally hypothesized, "prokaryogenesis" has occurred many times over, which is consistent with phenotypic loss being evolutionarily easier than the addition of new and complex traits.



II.c-2γ.) Back to Basics

While we can say with a high degree of certainty that there now exist on the Earth organisms far more morphologically complex than any that lived a billion years ago, and while it seems probable, though it is far from certain in light of recent theories regarding primal eukaryogenesis, that there were on Earth a billion years ago creatures more complex than anything that existed two billion years thither, which were, in turn, presumably, at least according to traditional and now it seems very possibly incorrect views regarding eukaryogenesis and abiogenesis, more complex than the first living things, it is not clear that this has been the overall evolutionary trend or that the cases of increasing complexity we've seen aren't actually the exception rather than the rule for evolution. Our perception that life has, on the whole, become more complex over time is now seen as possibly being the result of a sampling bias.

Much of this change in evolutionary thought has already filtered down into the popular culture. In the 2001 sci-fi comedy Evolution, for example, an ill-conceived attempt to use napalm to destroy an alien threat that reproduces and therefore evolves much faster in the presence of heat energy produces a gigantic amoeba-like organism, causing one character to remark, "That's evolution?!" to which another replies, "The 'simplest' organisms are often the most fit," which was a refreshingly accurate scientific observation in a major Hollywood production. Similarly, the articles Making Life Simple (Morton, 1999) and Evolution myths: Natural selection leads to ever greater complexity (Le Page, 2008) at New Scientist, as well as the Wikipedia article on the Evolution of biological complexity (Wikipedia, 2018) all reflect that evolution is no-longer seen as a unidirectional process that leads intrinsically to evermore morphologically complicated forms. That evolution is opportunistic and has no inherent preference for complexity is now so well-understood that to call it "academic" would be an understatement; that natural selection often favors simplicity and that organisms can vary not only in degree of complexity but in type (i.e., genomic complexity, morphological complexity, metabolic complexity, &c.), is now largely regarded as simply a matter of common sense.

Although as recently as 15-20 years ago, one could see statements that complexity has "obviously" increased over time (e.g., Carroll, 2001), this was already the viewpoint of a sad minority, obstinately digging their heels into the sand and proclaiming defiantly their refusal to go whithersoever the evidence lead, clinging instead to their eukaryocentric delusions of evolution leading inevitably to evermore complex forms of multicellularity, and their anthropocentric desire to situate humans, a relatively new species, at the end of a very long evolutionary march of progress. This was religion, not science. A position of faith utterly devoid of empirical support.



II.e. From Human Exceptionalism to Modern Ethology

Crows seem to have a complex language (Lorenz, Frings and Frings, Bannerman, Chamberlain and Cornwell, in Powell 738-742)



III. Summary

Very likely is it that most sexually reproducing organisms evolved instinctive behaviors and attitudes which prevent them from expending valuable resources on attempting to mate with organisms too genetically different from themselves for fruitful procreation to take place, or on attempting to compete with or empathizing with individuals too genetically different from themselves to have to worry about contending with for mates. Since most sexually reproducing organisms seem to select potential mates using some sort of superiority–inferiority scale (though the exact metric used to quantify superiority and inferiority may differ dramatically from one individual to the next, as evolution requires variation for natural selection to act upon), then it is very likely that for sexually reproducing organisms, sexual attraction and judgements of superiority (or at least adequacy) and inferior (inadequacy) are intimately linked, such that individuals one finds inferior or inadequate are not seen as potential mates, and vice versa: Individuals seen as unworthy of mating with (or competing with for mates) due to being too genetically different are probably perceived as qualitatively different forms of life and therefore reacted to as if inherently inferior. Undeniably this is what we observe among humans, and it seems nigh impossible to conclude that similar attitudes and behaviors are not the primary enabling factor behind virtually all "routine" interspecial conflict (predation, for example, or the scientific testing performed by humans on non-human animals), or that an "overly conservative" version of these instinctive behaviors and attitudes isn't at the root of many examples of intraspecial conflict among humans (racism most especially, and possibly, albeit in a somewhat more derived form, also religious conflicts, homophobia, and classism more generally if we consider social behaviors, religious views, and social status as phenotypic traits that some humans might attempt to select for or against, in spite of any direct connection between these qualities and heritable genetic traits being tenuous at best).

It is vital to ever therefore remind ourselves that the impulse to regard our own breeding population as "special", "unique", "exceptional", "superior", or anything the like, is not objective reality but merely an animal extinct, intended to discourage unproductive sexual inclinations, expressed as a value judgement in terms of or akin to sexual selection (i.e., "inferior" versus "superior", "my type/kind" versus "not my type/kind"), and reinforced by selection bias and general self-delusion. Following naturally from this "humans outward", or, more to the evolutionary point, "our breeding population, outward" point of view, we instinctively in times past ranked the natural world in terms of usefulness to humans. The Christian Bible (I Corinthians 15:39 KJV) used designations of function, behavior, or inclination rather than biological categories. Later we allotted four of the five highest divisions of life on Earth to members of our own obscure little phylum of Archaea while artificially and eukaryocentrically smashing all of our fellow Archaea together with the Bacteria into a single kingdom! We once believed that evolution predicts ever-increasing morphological complexity simply because that was the trend we thought we saw when in the 20th century we looked to the fossil record while anthropocentrically placing greatest emphasis on those organisms which we found most familiar (vertebrates over invertebrates, animals over plants and fungi, and multicellular forms over unicellular or sub-cellular forms, &c.), a perception based ultimately not in evidence but in an obsessive desire to believe our own relatively young species to be the latest in a march of progress toward ever-increasing complexity. We once believed that our own breeding population was the only that could reason, or that possessed language, as an extension of the religious belief that only creatures of our breeding population have souls. We held to these default assumptions with such vigor, and resisted so adamantly Nature's rebuke as at every step the process of science dragged us out into the light and exposed us with each iteration evermore for the insignificant cell colonies that we are, not because these things were evidenced by facts borne out of Nature Herself, nor due in any way whatever to objective truths of any kind, but because of an utterly delusional sense of specism; an obsession with our own breeding population (and thus ultimately a very biological obsession with sex) justified only from a utilitarian perspective by evolutionary necessity.

That we consider ourselves to be so special, is proof of just how un-special we are.



References



Francisco J. Ayala. Darwin's greatest discovery: Design without designer. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences May 2007, 104 (suppl 1) 8567-8573; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0701072104
http://www.pnas.org/content/104/suppl_1/8567.full



Sean B. Carroll. Chance and necessity: the evolution of morphological complexity and diversity. Nature 409, 1102–1109 (22 February 2001). doi:10.1038/35059227
https://www.nature.com/articles/35059227



Richard Egel. Primal Eukaryogenesis: On the Communal Nature of Precellular States, Ancestral to Modern Life. Life 2012, 2(1), 170-212; Received: 8 November 2011; in revised form: 29 December 2011 / Accepted: 11 January 2012 / Published: 23 January 2012 doi:10.3390/life2010170
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Laura Eme, Anja Spang, Jonathan Lombard, Courtney W. Stairs & Thijs J. G. Ettema. Archaea and the origin of eukaryotes. Nature Reviews Microbiology volume 15, pages 711–723. (2017) doi:10.1038/nrmicro.2017.133 Published: 10 November 2017, Corrigendum: 27 November 2017, Corrected online 27 November 2017
https://www.nature.com/articles/nrmicro.2017.133



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Koonin, Eugene V., and Wolf, Yuri I. “Evolution of microbes and viruses: a paradigm shift in evolutionary biology?” Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2012; 2: 119. Published online 2012 Sep 13. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2012.00119
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McShea, D.W. Complexity and evolution: What everybody knows. Biology & Philosophy. Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 303–324 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00132234
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Powell, Robert W. “Operant Conditioning in the Common Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos).” The Auk (Oct., 1972), vol. 89, no. 4 pp. 738-742
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Sirand-Pugnet, P., Lartigue, C., Marenda, M., Jacob, D., Barré, A., Barbe, V., … Citti, C. (2007). Being Pathogenic, Plastic, and Sexual while Living with a Nearly Minimal Bacterial Genome. PLoS Genetics, 3(5), e75. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.0030075



James T Staley. The Nuclear Compartment Commonality Hypothesis, Enucleation and the Evolution of the Bacteria and Eukarya. Journal of Astrobiology & Outreach, 1:3 2013. DOI: 10.4172/2332-2519.1000105
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Proc. Nati. Acad. Sci. USA Vol. 87, pp. 4576-4579, June 1990 Evolution Towards a natural system of organisms: Proposal for the domains Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya CARL R. WOESE, OTTO KANDLER, AND MARK L. WHEELIS. Contributed by Carl R. Woese, March 26, 1990
<http://www.pnas.org/content/87/12/4576>



C R Woese and G E Fox. Phylogenetic structure of the prokaryotic domain: the primary kingdoms.
<http://www.pnas.org/content/87/12/4576>