• SHARE

Astronomer Fred Hoyle famously quipped in 1982 that the odds of a simple living thing assembling itself from inanimate chemicals were as slim as the chance that a tornado passing through a junkyard would leave in its wake a Boeing 747.

The statement reflects the 20th-century understanding that even pond scum was composed of cells of mind-boggling complexity. Today biologists believe that modern cells evolved from much simpler ancestors — organisms that no longer exist.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)