There is an interesting article in the New Scientist magazine (“Horizontal and vertical: The evolution of evolution” by Mark Buchanan; 2010.01.26, Issue 2744; http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20527441.500-horizontal-and-vertical-the-evolution-of-evolution.html) describing new research that claims that the dominant form of evolution on this planet was for long time non-Darwinian. According to the described research by microbiologist Carl Woese and physicist Nigel Goldenfeld, there were three phases of evolution (so far):
- 1) the initial phase when there existed many alternate and compating genetic codes.
- 2) in the second phase the genetic material was exchanged between organisms horizontally, i.e. not via inheritance.
- 3) Only in the most recent, third phase, the major (for transfer of genetic mechanism) mechanism is the Darwinian inheritance.