Evolution: The next 200 years
By NEW SCIENTIST
Added: Wed, 28 Jan 2009 00:00:00 UTC
Thanks to GP for the link.
Which facts about evolution had to be true, and which just happen to be true? Did the genetic code have to be digital in order for natural selection to work? Could any other class of molecules have substituted for proteins? How inevitable was the evolution of sex? Eyes? Intelligence? Language? Consciousness? Was the origin of life itself a probable event, and therefore is life common in the universe?
Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist at the University of Oxford
I don't think there are basic "gaps" in the theory of evolution, which has proven to be a remarkably flexible scientific framework, brilliantly accommodating new data and even new fields of science, like molecular genetics. However, the most profound unsolved problem in biology is the origin of life itself. We know a great deal about the creative chemistry of the early Earth, but not yet enough to solve this problem.
Kenneth Miller is professor of biology at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
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