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Lynn Margulis

Lynn Margulis, Distinguished Professor of Botany at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, is the modern originator of the symbiotic theory of cell evolution. Once considered heresy, her ideas are now part of the microbiological revolution.

Titles by This Editor

Evolution of the Sensory Self

Chimeras and Consciousness begins the inquiry into the evolution of the collective sensitivities of life. Scientist-scholars from a range of fields—including biochemistry, cell biology, history of science, family therapy, genetics, microbial ecology, and primatology—trace the emergence and evolution of consciousness. Complex behaviors and the social imperatives of bacteria and other life forms during 3,000 million years of Earth history gave rise to mammalian cognition. Awareness and sensation led to astounding activities; millions of species incessantly interacted to form our planet’s complex conscious system. Our planetmates, all of them conscious to some degree, were joined only recently by us, the aggressive modern humans.

From social bacteria to urban citizens, all living beings participate in community life. Nested inside families within communities inside ecosystems, each metabolizes, takes in matter, expends energy, and excretes. Each of the members of our own and other species, in groups with incessantly shifting alliances, receives and processes information. Mergers of radically different life forms with myriad purposes—the "chimeras" of the title—underlie dramatic metamorphosis and other positive evolutionary change. Since early bacteria avoided, produced, and eventually used oxygen, Earth’s sensory systems have expanded and complexified. The provocative essays in this book, going far beyond science but undergirded by the finest science, serve to put sensitive, sensible life in its cosmic context.

Effects of the Origin and Evolution of Life on Planet Earth

In this book fifteen distinguished scientists discuss the effects of life—past and present—on planet Earth. Unlike other earth science and biology books, Environmental Evolution describes the impact of life on the Earth's rocky surfaces presenting an integrated view of how our planet evolved. Modeled on the Environmental Evolution course developed by Lynn Margulis and colleagues, it provides a unique synthesis of atmospheric, biological, and geological hypotheses that explain the present condition of the biosphere. The book develops scientific concepts essential to the reconstruction of the intertwined history of Earth's air, rocks, water, and life.

After an introduction by James E. Lovelock on Gaia theory, the material proceeds in roughly chronological order from the origin of life in the early Archean Eon to the emergence of new environmental diseases in today's industrialized world. The second edition has been thoroughly revised, with more comprehensive chapters, additional illustrations, and new references.

Elso S. Barghoorn, Robert Buchsbaum, David Deamer, Stjepko Golubic, Jonathan King, Antonio Lazcano, James E. Lovelock, Lynn Margulis, Clifford Matthews, Michael McElroy, Mark McMenamin, Raymond Siever, Paul Strother, Tony Swain, Neil Todd.

Speciation and Morphogenesis

A departure from mainstream biology, the idea of symbiosis - as in the genetic and metabolic interactions of the bacterial communities that became the earliest eukaryotes and eventually evolved into plants and animals - has attracted the attention of a growing number of scientists.These original contributions by symbiosis biologists and evolutionary theorists address the adequacy of the prevailing neo-Darwinian concept of evolution in the light of growing evidence that hereditary symbiosis, supplemented by the gradual accumulation of heritable mutation, results in the origin of new species and morphological novelty. They include reports of current research on the evolutionary consequences of symbiosis, the protracted physical association between organisms of different species. Among the issues considered are individuality and evolution, microbial symbioses, animal­bacterial symbioses, and the importance of symbiosis in cell evolution, ecology, and morphogenesis.Lynn Margulis, Distinguished Professor of Botany at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, is the modern originator of the symbiotic theory of cell evolution. Once considered heresy, her ideas are now part of the microbiological revolution. René Fester is a graduate student in the biological sciences at Northern Arizona University.Contributors: Peter Atsatt. Richard C. Back. David Bermudes. Paola Bonfante-Fasolo. René Fester. Lynda J. Goff. Anne-Marie Grenier. Ricardo Guerrero. Robert H. Haynes. Rosmarie Honegger. Gregory Hinkle. Kwang W. Jeon. Bryce Kendrick. Richard Law. David Lewis. Lynn Margulis. John Maynard Smith. Margaret J. McFall-Ngai. Paul Nardon. Kenneth H. Nealson. Kris Pirozynski. Peter W. Price. Mary Beth Saffo. Jan Sapp. Silvano Scannerini. Werner Schwemmler. Sorin Sonea. Toomas H. Tiivel. Robert K. Trench. Russell Vetter.