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Thread: Was it inevitable-ish that something like fungi would have evolved from multicellular life?

  1. #1 Was it inevitable-ish that something like fungi would have evolved from multicellular life? 
    Forum Freshman GreatBigBore's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    I have no formal knowledge of anything, so apologies in advance if I'm totally not making sense, or making a bunch of technical errors.

    I'm taking a guess that once multicellular life got started, it was all but inevitable that something like plants would eventually appear, and something like animals would eventually appear. If that's complete BS, someone please tell me. But it seems that if there were no huge obstacle, it would just happen once multicellular organisms arrived. Same for animal-like things, I would think. I'm wondering whether something like fungi would be equally inevitable.

    The most exciting phrase to hear in science is not “Eureka” but “That’s funny...” -- Isaac Asimov
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  3. #2  
    New Member Vmedvil's Avatar
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    Jul 2018
    No, evolution is based on the effect the environment has on things, if the environment had been different then the living system would have evolved differently, The Environment at that time lent itself toward multi-cellular life thus multi-cellular life is what we saw evolve.

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  4. #3  
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    If you can find it, the book "Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe" by Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee is exactly on this subject. They present a lot of evidence that life was perfectly happy to muddle along at the bacterial level for 2.9 of the 3.9 billion years it has existed on Earth. Evolution is not inevitable.
    Last edited by NoCoPilot; August 6th, 2018 at 06:58 PM.
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  5. #4  
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    Vmedvil makes a salient point. And it is one that I am constantly surprised that so few seem to understand. Plants and animals do not seek change; they do not pursue evolution; it is forced on them by the changes in the environment.

    NoCoPilot is correct in that evolution is not inevitable. Without environmental changes, it would most likely not occur. But when the environment changes significantly, then the existing life forms will either adapt to the changes and evolve or they will likely become extinct.

    The book that NoCoPilot referenced is available online as a pdf file here
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