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ekoike's picture

Diversity... as a result of formations of atoms

This week's discussion really fueled interesting conversation in the class that made me fully realize the importance of "improbable assemblies" (on a molecular and minute level) that make up various organisms.

What really struck me this week as very significant was the realization of how even one atom or molecule less in an "assembly" can produce very very different things. One main example of this was in the example that was brough up in class about Carbon Monoxide versus Carbon Dioxide. One causes deadly harm to humans if inhaled and the other is what is produced when we exhale.... the fact that even the most smallest changes in atomic structure can cause such a drastic change is rather alarming.

In my head, for some reason, I often associated these two as completely different, but in fact when you simply look at the structures of the two bonds, I noticed how little difference they have...

This made me think further on the whole biodiversity/"Are humans special?" discussion that we were having last week. If in fact some organisms have similar genetic makeup (with very minute differences in smaller molecular structures) to each other (such as gorillas, chimps and orangutans vs. humans) and such close common ancestors, does this mean that we can discount them as not as "special" as humans?

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