In “The Vital Question”,  Nick Lane builds several plausible arguments towards why life on Earth  is the way it is. He uses energy instead of DNA to explain complex  traits of life. I must agree that he is very convincing as a scientist,  most of his arguments are testable within realms of scientific method.

Big questions in Biology

It  starts with an important question about the black hole in biology: Why  did eukaryotes scale with so much of diversity where as the bacteria are  struck in their small scale? What is the bottleneck that we crossed  that they couldn’t cross even after four billion years of evolution?

Nick  proposes a theory about a singular event where one bacteria is consumed  into an archaeon and that could have released the shackles of scale.  With the energy generation taken care of by another bacteria, it became  easy for life to evolve into the complexity that we see. He uses energy  generation to explain a long list of unsolved questions in biology like:  Why we have only two sexes? And, what is the need for sex anyway? Why  do we die? What traits control death of a cell? Why do we age at all?

You  can think of this book as explaining the architecture of an operating  system of life. Very sophisticated software honed through billions of  years of evolution. Like I mentioned before, all these arguments are  plausible, he uses the simplest explanation to the data that we see. I  would highly recommend this book. Please read, it’s illuminating!!