I was chatting about lizards and salamanders with Dave today and it gave me a question. (I love conversations that give me questions) I always try very hard to think about the why of my science fiction beasties. Why are they the way they are? How did evolution mold them? What were the materials at hand for evolution’s work? What were the stresses that brought about change? I have every book imaginable on speculative evolution because of this. So my question is this: If you take evolution sufficiently far back, you have to have some sort of starting point. Even here on Earth, scientists posit the idea that life may have arisen more than once and was squashed down and obliterated only to start again given the propensity for life to evolve if the materials are available, which they are here on Earth in abundance. What if previous starting points of life had not been completely squashed out? What if there were lineages of life, all on one planet, which never converge at some point of commonality because that point does not exist? Now, continue with me for a moment, please. What if the laws of probability rolled the dice in favor of allowing descendants of these completely disparate lines of life to continue on into the future to compete against one another in the game of life. How might this alter the evolution of life on a planet? What are your thoughts on the probability of such a scenario?