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Evolution/Generation Time

RYBICKI, ED ED at micro.uct.ac.za
Mon Oct 11 07:32:45 EST 1993

> Ed Rybicki is incorrect in assuming that bacteria are the most 
> organisms and everything evolves at the same rate.
Note: B-)

Of course bacteria are "more evolved" in that they have undergone 
more generations than us, or whales - and the concept of "primitive" 
or "advanced" is mainly in the head of the observer.  BUT I never 
stated everything evolves at the same rate, because it patently 
obviously does not: longer generation times and shielding from UV 
and other mutagenic radiation means deepsea organisms probably 
evolve slower than obligate terrestrial thermophiles, for example.  
Also, RNA viruses probably take the mutation rate record in that 
RNA-dependent RNA polymerase is apparently up to 10exp5 times more 
error-prone than DNA-dep DNA pol - and as I work on them, I may have 
a bias, but I think viruses are the most advanced organisms on the 

 | Ed Rybicki, PhD             |                                      |
 | (ed at micro.uct.ac.za)        |      "Lord, won't you buy me         |
 | Dept Microbiology           |          A Mer-ce-des Benz           |
 | University of Cape Town     |     My friends all have Porsches     |
 |                             |          I must make amends..."      |                      |
 | Private Bag, Rondebosch     |                                      |
 | 7700, South Africa          |           - Janis Joplin             |
 | fax: 27-21-650 4023         |            (Pearl, 1971)             |

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