Starting with the origin of life, I argue that the general pattern of the tightly coupled evolution of biota and cli-mate on Earth has been the very probable outcome from a relatively small number of possible histories at the macroscale, given the same initial conditions. Thus, the evolution of the biosphere self-selects a pattern of biotic evolution that is coarsely deterministic, with critical constraints likely including surface temperature as well as oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. Environmental physics and chemistry drive the major events in biotic evolution, including pho-tosynthesis and oxygenic photosynthesis, the emergence of new cell types (eucaryotes) from the merging of complemen-tary metabolisms and finally multicellularity and even encephalization.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).