Tree of Life
Question: Have you found religion (belief system)?
Answer: Have you found science (thought system)?
According to the concept of karma, the various stages of existence are inanimate things, insects, fish, birds, animals, men, holy men, gods and liberated spirit. Each stage in the succession is a thousand times superior to that which precedes it, and through these stages things that are either in heaven or in hell are destined to proceed until final liberation be obtained.
Stephen Jay Gould, The Family Tree of Life: The history of life is not necessarily progressive; it is certainly not predictable. The earth's creatures have evolved through a series of contingent and fortuitous events.
Recent scientific research categorizes life in three domains, archea, bacteria and eukaryota, after the separation of eubacteria into bacters and archaea. The schematic family tree of life as we know it on Earth depicts succession of evolutionary stages but not necessarily progression of species. The "thin red line" of animal life is a tiny twig on this tree that represents the "fragile blood lineage" containing Homo sapiens sapiens who inordinately influences the whole planetary ecosystem with its genes and its memes.
Life on Earth in Three Domains
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