Symbiotic planet : a new look at evolution

by Margulis, Lynn, 1938-2011.

Format: Print Book 1998
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction QH548.M35 1998
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  QH548.M35 1998
Although Charles Darwin's theory of evolution laid the foundations of modern biology, it did not tell the whole story. Most remarkably, The Origin of Species said very little about, of all things, the origins of species. Darwin and his modern successors have shown very convincingly how inherited variations are naturally selected, but they leave unanswered how variant organisms come to be in the first place.In Symbiotic Planet, renowned scientist Lynn Margulis shows that symbiosis, which simply means members of different species living in physical contact with each other, is crucial to the origins of evolutionary novelty. Ranging from bacteria, the smallest kinds of life, to the largest--the living Earth itself--Margulis explains the symbiotic origins of many of evolution's most important innovations. The very cells we're made of started as symbiotic unions of different kinds of bacteria. Sex--and its inevitable corollary, death--arose when failed attempts at cannibalism resulted in seasonally repeated mergers of some of our tiniest ancestors. Dry land became forested only after symbioses of algae and fungi evolved into plants. Since all living things are bathed by the same waters and atmosphere, all the inhabitants of Earth belong to a symbiotic union. Gaia, the finely tuned largest ecosystem of the Earth's surface, is just symbiosis as seen from space. Along the way, Margulis describes her initiation into the world of science and the early steps in the present revolution in evolutionary biology; the importance of species classification for how we think about the living world; and the way "academic apartheid" can block scientific advancement. Written with enthusiasm and authority, this is a book that could change the way you view our living Earth.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Microbiologist Margulis has championed for decades her theory that new species originate not just in genetic mutation but in symbiosis as well--the merging of two separate species. In this addition to Basic's Science Masters series, Margulis combines bits of autobiography (she was Carl Sagan's first wife) with microbial evidence of her theory; the latter includes the constituent organelles of the cell, such as mitochondria. She then slants into the arcana of taxonomy, with a history of how the current five kingdoms of biology overthrew the old plant-animal-protozoa troika. Margulis' argument that symbiosis underlies the "Gaia" outlook typifies her forceful style, which should energize biology students. --Gilbert Taylor"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "From the origin of life to the classification and phylogeny of living organisms, from a discussion of GaiaÄthe belief that Earth operates like a living beingÄto a discussion of the underlying reasons for sex, iconoclastic biologist Margulis (coauthor, What Is Sex?, etc.) takes on many of the big questions in biology in this small, rambling and informal tract. In a book that is part autobiography and part biological primer, MargulisÄthe scientist most responsible for the theory that animal and plant cells originally arose by combining with simple bacteriaÄadvances the idea that a large part of organic evolution can be explained by symbiosis, "the living together in physical contact of organisms of different species." Rather than convincing readers of this theory, however, she seems content to lavish most of her attention on basic biological concepts. While Margulis conveys a sense of the wondrous and intricate origins of life, many of the issues she touches upon here are more clearly and comprehensively dealt with in her other works. 11 b&w illustrations. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Series Science masters series.
Subjects Symbiosis.
Evolution (Biology)
Publisher New York :Basic Books,1998
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description vi, 147 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm.
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 131-136) and index.
ISBN 0465072712 (hc)
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