Startling new finding: 600 million years ago, a biological mishap changed everything

If life is effectively an endless series of photocopies, as DNA is transcribed and passed on from one being to the next, then evolution is the high-stakes game of waiting for the copier to get it wrong.

Too wrong, and you’ll live burdened by a maladaptive mutation or genetic disorder. Worse, you might never live at all.

But if the flaw is wrong in exactly the right way, the incredible can happen: disease resistance, sharper eyesight, swifter feet, big brains, better beaks for Darwin’s finches.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/01/11/startling-new-discovery-600-million-years-ago-a-single-biological-mistake-changed-everything/

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