Excellent!Perhaps you remember this scene from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure:

Bill: The truth is, Wyld Stallyns will never be a super band until we have Eddie Van Halen on guitar.

Ted: Yes, Bill. But I do not believe we will get Eddie Van Halen until we have a triumphant video.

Bill: Ted, it’s pointless to have a triumphant video before we even have decent instruments.

Ted: Well how can we have decent instruments if we don’t really even know how to play?

Bill: That is why we need Eddie Van Halen.

Ted: And that is why we need a triumphant video.

Both: Excellent! *air guitar*

At first look, this scene might not seem relevant to a discussion on the origin of life. But when you’re trying to explain mutually interdependent systems to a 16-year-old, you take what you can get. (more…)

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Editors aren’t Borgs. Honest. But we often stress that resistance to saving multiple versions of the same document is futile. This practice might seem redundant and unnecessary, but when an entire manuscript becomes corrupted (as happened a few weeks ago), we are ever so grateful for that precious backup copy. It’s second in value only to coffee.

Yet if you were to ask an evolutionary biochemist, she might say that multiple copies (or redundancy), at least with respect to genes, is an example of waste. (more…)