You are on page 1of 2

THE TREE OF LIFE AS OF 2009

It is mainly based on the comparisons of the molecular structure of millions of


proteins and the "code" information stored in the billions of base-pair sequences of
DNA in all different "living" species of life.

There are many ways that biologists have been organizing life into a tree. This shows
how the 2 million known species aquired their complexity and how they are related.
At first they just disected dead fungi, plants and animals to see what
common physical structures they had, like the bones of all vetebrate animals or the
flower structure of plants.

Then when fossils of very old life was found, this process called comparative
anatomy, showed even more common structures between very different species but
now seperated by millions of years. Also as older fossilized life was found, the
complexity of the species were decreasing. For example, no bird or mammal fossils
have ever been found deeper in the grown "before" reptiles, which means all birds and
mammals must of developed in time "after" reptiles did. The same is true for
amphibians before reptiles and fish before amphibians. Then before fish fossils, no
different animals with a backbone are found which means they were the first type of
animal which developed bones to support their bodies. The deeper meaning here is
that ALL animals with bones can trace their tree back to the first fish skeleton about
530 million years ago, of course this includes humans also because we happen to have
a skeleton made of bone. This same reasoning can be done with all other plant and
fungi species to give their "tree".

Then when microscopes were improved in the late 1800's, another tool to probe life
was used. It showed that at the cellular level, less than 1/20th the thickness of a hair,
the cells of very different species showed the same common "tree-like" logic that
anatomy and fossils showed but with even more detail. Like all species of protists,
fungi, plants and animals have a nucleus at the center of all cells, bacteria, what we
call "germs", do not have a nucleus but bacteria and protists are single-celled and the
others are multi-celled life. This shows that life probably started as a bacteria-like
single-celled species which split off and changed into the other species we now see
and all of the extinct species that are now gone.

The explaination for how this could happen did not come until 1859 with Charles
Darwin's book, now celebrating it's 150th year with a new large publication. In that
1.5 centuries, man has now outlined the "chemical" evidence of life's tree. When it
comes to the evidence of anatomy, fossils and microscopic studies to show how life is
all related there can be misunderstandings and errors because of imcomplete data or
not even knowing if the data is incomplete. But, with the chemical studies of living
species we know the data is complete and works because the life-form needs it to
survive and function normally.

Only since 1953 when the structure of the DNA molecule was discovered have we been
able to show the real evidence that all life has evolved from less complex species.

The 10 main points are that all life from bacteria to plants to blue whales and humans
use:

1. The same "codebook" to translate DNA information stored in the base-pair


sequences of just 4 different molecules, called A, T, G and C, into protein information
that uses just 20 different chemicals called Amino Acids linked end to end.

2. The DNA "double-helix" sturcture is the same in ALL life,

3. The bases A, T, G, C is the same in ALL life,

4. The DNA "code" is copied to RNA in All life,

5. messenger-RNA uses ribose and U instead of DNA's deoxyribose and T in ALL life,

6. messenger-RNA then attaches to a ribosome cell structure


in ALL life,

7. transfer-RNA then attaches to 3 of the A,U,G,C bases of messenger-RNA and on it's


other end has one of the 20 Amino Acids attached. The "3 base to Amino Acid"
combinations are the same in 99.99% of ALL species known and is what is called the
"genetic code",

8. The 20 different Amino Acids that link together to build the millions of proteins that
have existed and now exist in ALL species of life are the SAME 20,

9. 19 of the 20 Amino Acids can exist in two "mirror-image" forms called chemical
isomers but only ONE is used is All life,

10. The 3-d structures of proteins made of hundereds of these 20 Amino Acids and
their chemical purpose in cells become more alike as species types become more
alike. These differences in the protein's Anino Acid sequence can be traced back to the
DNA sequence that coded for it. This is what biochemists call a "gene", the parts of
the DNA molecule that codes for a protein's Amino Acid sequence like for Hemoglobin
or Insulin.

Studies like this, that are now automated with machines and computers and the
results stored worldwide using the WWW part of the internet, can help to form
"chemical trees" of all life using the information stored in the species own gene library
that really cannot be falsified or incomplete or the species would die.

This is how the tree on this poster was formed, by scientific analysis of the genes of
ALL life, the only REAL family tree of life. As time marches on the tree will become
even more accurate as we compare new species' DNA genomes and their proteins
made from them, which is true for any scientific field. Errors and mis-information will
be corrected as old experiments are duplicated and new experiments are carried out
to produce more data that will help link molecular biology to other fields of study. The
one thing that is good about scientific explainations of how our universe and nature
works is this:

NOBODY HAS TO BELIEVE IN THE LAWS OF NATURE,


FOR THEM TO STILL FUNCTION AND BE TRUE!