Monday, October 09, 2006


Bacteria Don't Have Species: Symbiogenesis and Lynn Margulis (Part 3)

An interview with NASA's Astrobiology Magazine, Part 3:

Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan first published the controversial book Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution (Amazon UK | US), in 1986. Although many of the ideas in Microcosmos are now widely accepted, Margulis is still a controversial figure in the biological sciences. In this, the third in a four-part interview with Astrobiology Magazine, she explains why she believes that the notion of species doesn't apply to bacteria, and why she rejects the separation of Archaea into a different domain of life from Bacteria.

Part 1 of the interview via: "Microbial Planet: Symbiogenesis and Lynn Margulis"
Part 2 of the interview via: "We Are All Microbes: Symbiogenesis and Lynn Margulis"
Part 4 of the interview via: "Bacterial Intelligence: Symbiogenesis and Lynn Margulis"

From Lynn Margulis' homepage:

She argues that inherited variation, significant in evolution, does not come mainly from random mutations. Rather new tissues, organs, and even new species evolve primarily through the long-lasting intimacy of strangers. The fusion of genomes in symbioses followed by natural selection, she suggests, leads to increasingly complex levels of individuality. Dr. Margulis is also acknowledged for her contribution to James E. Lovelock's Gaia concept. Gaia theory posits that the Earth's surface interactions among living beings sediment, air, and water have created a vast self-regulating system.

James Lovelock has recently written "The Revenge of Gaia: Earth's Climate Crisis and the Fate of Humanity" (Currently appearing on the 'Featured Books' page of the Evolution Book Store: UK | US - or go directly to the Amazon book webpage: UK | US - see "The End of Eden: Gaia and James Lovelock" [Science, Change]

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