Sunday, December 16, 2012

‘All Life is one’

When I quote ‘all life is one’, I don’t say it in a philosophic way, spiritual way, the new age holistic way, the Gandhian way, or in some kind of karmic sense, or tantric sense, nor is it in a biblical way or koranic way, nor is it in post-modernistic, gaia-ic, dharmic, sanatanic, nor is it in poetic, metaphoric, satiric, or ironic way.

I say it in a scientific way. It is an ‘empirical fact’ that all life on planet earth is one.

Until 1950s we did not know this.  But in the last sixty years, man has come to understand the language of genes and it has become clear that all life forms on earth come from a single set of molecular organisms providing the initial set of genetic material.   That life on earth includes all life forms, including the bacteria, the virus, the algae, the fungi, the seaweed, the grass, the oak tree, the fish, the snake, the crab, the rhino, the cow, the monkey, the chimpanzee and the human.   All life forms owe their genes to one single ancestor (or a set of molecular organisms) and they are all coded in the same language.  They share the same language, same syntax, same grammar and same interpretation, and most important of all, they share the genetic code.

Unlike humans who speak thousands of languages, all life forms on earth are coded in the same language.   Like English, the language of genes has alphabets.  While English has twenty six alphabets, the gene in all life on earth has four alphabets, denoted as A, C, G, T (which stand for adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine).  While English has different sizes of words, some are one letter, some two letter, and some very long (like Antidisestablishmentarianism), the language of life has only three letter words, CGA, GCG, etc.   

All life on earth is coded in a language which is very simple to understand.  It has only 64 words (4 x 4 x 4). Each of those words specifies an amino acid and is the same in all life forms on the planet.  
And since most of the life on earth (except some bacteria) inherits the genetic material from its parents, who inherit from their grandparents and so on, it becomes evident that all life on earth must have inherited the genes from one organism or a single set of organism a very long time ago (few billions years ago).

Humans share nearly 98% of genes with chimpanzees.  Humans and chimpanzees share 97% of genes with gorillas and so on.  Humans separated from chimpanzees around 5 to 10 million years ago.  Chimps and humans separated from gorillas around 15 to 20 million years ago.  We can go back in time to see when we separated from other life forms and we will start seeing that we share genes with most other mammals, then reptiles, and we can go back in time to see common genes with crabs, worms, and seaweed.

All life is one is now a scientific fact.


  1. I wish its as simple. Would have made the life of Biochemists and molecular geneticists life hell lot easier. BTW, the similarities between Humans and other animals (read as Synteny) is not static...proof?? the complete human genome was sequenced around 2000 and guess how many genes the scientists came up with. Compare the same numeber with present day sequencing and gene numbers and get ready to be surprised. Conculusions, the facts change...welcome to science

  2. This is a great piece of article. It is really amazing to see the way science has helped understand about the nature we live around to such extreme precision. I am just in awe of the fact that all life on earth is connected.
    This fact gives me a great sense of humility, not to whine and complain about problems in life.
    Everyone of us have just one shot at life, and it helps me realize to live life in the fullest way.

  3. "All life is one" cannot be a scientific fact. For all the reasoning you talk about in your blogs, I am quite surprised that you make such a claim with such arguments. You have only pointed out that all life forms are likely to have the same ancestors. That does not mean they are all the same. Neither does it mean that they all constitute one entity. However, there is always the possibility of ours (the ones based on water, C, N, and O... at atomic/molecular level or on proteins, nucleic acids and carbohydrates at the molecular/macromolecular level) being only one of the many forms of life on earth and rest of the universe.
    Given that the term "life" itself is vague and difficult to define, I think it wouldn't be right to call your claim "all life is one" as "a scientific fact". It can very well be one of the many forms of philosophies/understanding/beliefs that you have listed in the beginning. Not science!