This is fascinating. Systems biologists have discovered the ancestral mechanism of carbon fixation. This is the most basic cornerstone of life – no fixed carbon, no life. A few things to take note of:
•This ancestral mechanism diverged into the six modern mechanisms.
•The divergences in mechanisms relate to key branching events in evolutionary development.
•The ancestral mechanism was robust, redundant, multi-layered, and poised to exploit future environmental changes such as increased oxygen levels.
Viewed under the mindset of abiogenesis, biologists see the picture of early life as klunky, unrefined and highly unstable. As researcher Eric Smith says, "It seems likely that the earliest cells were rickety assemblies whose parts were constantly malfunctioning and breaking down".
But if we instead view this under the mindset of design, we actually see some very ingenious design principles at work. Mainly, this is an amazingly adaptive system. Check it out:
•Redundancy – one system breaks down, another is there to do the job.
•Multi-layered – several different mechanisms in play simultaneously.
•Support for future contingencies – ie: designed for anaerobic environment but ready to exploit an aerobic environment.
This was a robust system that was prepared to adapt to many environmental variables. Not only would this system facilitate future evolutionary divergence, and novel processes like photosynthesis, but it also seems geared to support protein based biology.
It was a major stroke of luck for dirt to accomplish this all by itself.
Engineers, however, will recognize this as just good, sensible, intelligent design.