Carbono e oxigênio em Delanda (2011)

To give an idea of the increased efficiency represented by these metabolic landmarks we can use some numbers obtained from studying contemporary microorganisms. Using the least efficient process, fermentation, 180 grams of sugar can be broken down to yield 20,000 calories of energy. The sugar used as raw material for this chemical reaction was originally taken ready-made from the environment by the earliest bacteria but with the discovery of photosynthesis those organisms could now produce it: using 264 grams of carbon dioxide, 108 grams of water, and 700,000 calories taken from sunlight, they could produce the same 180 grams of sugar, plus 192 grams of oxygen as waste product. With the advent of respiration, in turn, that waste product could be used to burn the 180 grams of sugar to produce 700,000 calories of energy. [Nota de rodapé 3: George Wald. The Origin of Life. In The Chemical Basis of Life. (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman, 1973). p. 16–17.] Thus, adding photosynthesis to fermentation made the growth of the earliest populations of living creatures self-sustaining, while adding respiration produced a net surplus of bacterial flesh (or “biomass”). Given that surplus it became possible to go from mere population growth to increased species diversity through the complexification of food chains. In other words, bacterial biomass itself became a gradient that could be tapped into by newly evolved predatory species, the ancestors of contemporary unicellular organisms like paramecia or amoebae. (Delanda 2011:61-2)

DELANDA, Manuel. 2011. Philosophy and Simulation: The emergence of Synthetic Reason. Londres: Bloomsbury Academic.