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Is complex life a freak accident?














Natural selection is a kind of search engine. Given enough time, and suitably vast populations, it should find the best solutions repeatedly. So why are bacteria still bacteria? And why did all complex life on our planet share an ancestor that only arose once in four billion years? In this lecture, Dr Nick Lane suggests that everything we see around us stemmed from a freak accident two billion years ago. We are far from inevitable, and may be alone in a universe of bacteria.
 
 

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