Evolution of DNA - Eukaryote Explosion
Introduction
First Protein Transcription
First Genetic Replication
First Feedback
Puddle Evolution
First Dispersal & Evolution
First Parasite
First Organism
First Cell Metabolism
First Self-Sufficiency
Aromatic Assistants
First Assimilation
First Transfer Molecules
Eight Molecule Life
Complementary Base Pairs
Energy Sources
Conquering the Oceans
First Cells
Cellular Explosion
Gene Regulation
Chromosomes
First DNA
Introns
Wider Reading Frames
Complementary Triplets
Cellular Scripts
The Spread of Foxy
Second Parasite-- Transposons
First Schism
Improved Gene Regulation
Cell Structures
Eukaryote Explosion
Multi-Cellular Scripts
Cambrian Explosion
Epilog
Appendix 1-- Prebiotic Earth
Appendix 2-- Primordial Puddles
Appendix 3-- Primordial Catalysts
Appendix 4-- C Value Enigma
Cast of Characters

Foxy did not produce any direct innovation on its own, but it did have the capacity to create advanced cell structures much more quickly than protein evolution could have done.

With each new Foxy-based improvement, those cells would have spread relatively rapidly into all available space (perhaps in a matter of just months or years). In that way the Foxy gene itself would have also spread.

With each new Foxy-based innovation, Foxy and its script-based positioning of cell elements would have gradually expanded into more and more parts of the cell, until it probably became an integral part of most protein expression.

A New Style of Explosion

These explosions would have a different character than previous life explosions, however, since they would be expanding into a world that already contained existing life that was genetically controlled.

An efficient new predator that was, say, the first filter feeder, would do extremely well at first, and build up to large population levels. But a few of its potential prey might already have a way to cope with this change in their environment-- such as fast motion, toxins or gelatinous coatings. Those organisms in turn would become more dominant, filter feeding would stop being the lucrative lifestyle it had first been, and the new predator would settle down as just another species in the mix.

The net result is that we would at last have true Darwinian evolution. Prey species would gradually evolve even better defenses against filter feeding, parasites would appear, and then the next innovation would sweep by and the filter feeders in their turn would suddenly be eaten by the next generation of predators. And so it goes.

What Foxy does for evolution is subtle, but important. Quite simply, it makes rapid evolution more practical, by directing changes in a more 'digital' format. It links the genotype (DNA sequences) more closely to the phenotype (cell structures), and that makes the odds for successful mutations much higher.

Of course, what Foxy did for cells would also work for more complex organisms, and we'll take a look at them next.