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A few questions of biology and the origins of life

Hello everyone !

(to the moderators : i'm French, so i'll try my best to not give you too much of a hard time proof reading my OP, forgive me in advance for making your lives harder!)

I'm from France, 17 years old and currently studying in high school. Biology is the subject I'm most interested in and I intend to make it my carrier. I sincerely regret learning about Evolution in school only this year, but I don't make the curriculum :(

I have been watching many (if not all) of the videos on Richard Dawkins' channel on Youtube. I found most of them not only fascinating, but also inspiring and frankly raising more questions than they answered ! So I finally decided I'd turn to this website with some of the questions I had regarding the theory of Evolution.

Here it is :

1) I believe I understand that our major proof that all life on Earth shares a common ancestry is the fact that every living cell we know of is DNA-based. Is that correct? If it is, do we have any idea of how did this common ancestor (let's call it "Eve", I'll refer to it again) came to be in the first place?

2) When talking about Evolution, we don't talk about individuals, rather groups or even entire species. But since we all share a common ancestry, doesn't that necessarily imply that Eve was unique, in that it first appeared as a single organism that then went on to replicate, or reproduce, rather than a whole herd of Eves appearing simultaneously from non-living things? In other words, did all life on Earth as we know it today descend from 1 single organism (instead of 1 single species of bacterias for example)?

3) This common ancestor must have been a single-celled organism, or was it even less complex than that, maybe not even a cell yet, maybe just a piece of high-fidelity self-replicating molecule? In other words, do we have any idea what Eve might have looked like?

I hope this discussion belongs on this website, and I hope some people far more knowledgeable than I will be able to provide answers.

Thanks in advance!


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