Posted: Jul 06, 2010 11:24 am
by DanDare
CharlieM wrote:
So in order to understand every step in the evolution of FlglE, you'd have to understand all the other proteins in the flagellar evolution too.

Quite right, tinkering with one protein on the path affects the whole system. Its a bit like a Rubic cube only vastly more complicated. I'd say beyond the capabilities of unguided forces.

No no no. Working backwards from the present is what is complicated. From the past, going forward, its just a matter of what happened to work. For every change that worked or could have worked for the organisms fitness there are probably hundreds that didn't help and thousands that made things worse. Yet things come about because evolution is not planning ahead, its more like a drop of water finding its way down hill, just bumping along following the low energy gradient. Any sequence of changes that collected together over time is going to be difficult to untangle when looking at it from the present.