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Bacteria as "lower" forms of life

Our discussion of the merits/demerits of running a planted tank with/without
a separate biological filter has shown me that several people think that
bacteria are in some way an "inferior" (my emphasis) form of life.

Planet Earth has been home to lifeforms which we call "bacteria" for
billions of years. They have invaded every environmental niche available to
eek out a living and have been very successeful in the process. Modern
science has identified and named, around 10,000 different species of
bacteria, but most sources I have access to indicate that the true number of
different types is probably several orders of magnitude higher. If it wasn't
for bacteria, the planet probably wouldn't have a breathable atmosphere
(i.e., no Oxygen), and therefore we could not exist.

Being "single-celled" does not mean that an organism is "less evolved" or
any less sophisticated or efficient than a multi-cellular organism. Managing
an aquarium successefully does not mean that we set out to eliminate
bacterial action within our tanks. We may "manage" them, to a degree, but we
could not maintain them for long without them.

James Purchase