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Symbiotic Planet: A New Look At Evolution
     

Symbiotic Planet: A New Look At Evolution

3.7 3
by Lynn Margulis
 

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ISBN-10: 0465072720

ISBN-13: 9780465072729

Pub. Date: 10/28/1999

Publisher: Basic Books


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

Overview


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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465072729
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
10/28/1999
Series:
Science Masters Series
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
571,820
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.37(d)
Lexile:
1440L (what's this?)

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Symbiotic Planet: A New Look at Evolution 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Rakasaki More than 1 year ago
Near the end of her book "Symbiotic PLanet", Lynn Margulis mentioned that she finally saw an episode of Star Trek, and thought it was silly, mainly because there were no microbes in the traveling biomass. I suspect she never viewed Star Trek Next Generation because she reminds me of "Q" in that series. I would call Lynn Margulis "Mrs. Q" - I laugh as I write this - because she at one point calls humans "upright mammalian weeds". There are bacteria and everything else according to her view. Our bodies are not only filled with useful bacteria, but our cells or organelles in our cells were once free living bacteria. The michrondria, for instance (and forgive any misspellings since this review is from memory), in our cells was once some kind of amoeba that ingested a bacteria, but did not digest it, instead forming a new life form. This is the meaning of symbiosis, organisms merging and living together. Mrs Q many times points out human arrogance in ascribing too high a separate place for the human organism, ha, ha, much like "Q" in Star Trek. Read this book, for a fascinating look at symbiotic evolution.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Symbiotic Planet [A New Look at Evolution] is an in depth and detailed analysis of Lynn Margulis¿ theory of symbiogenesis. Symbiogenesis is ¿an evolutionary term, referring to the origin of new tissues, organs, organisms - even species ¿ by the establishment of long term or permanent symbiosis¿ (pg 6). Marguils¿ theory, known as SET (Serial Endosymbiosis Theory) is a radical challenge to many of Darwin¿s principles. To understand SET, one must first take a look at the symbiosis in every corner of the world. Symbiosis is a close, prolonged association between two or more different organisms of different species that may benefit each member. As Margulis details, symbiosis is everywhere. From bacteria living on human eyelashes, to fungi on a maple tree, and worms inside the intestines of the average golden retriever; organisms living in sync together can be found anywhere on our planet. It has been believed by scientists that in history, organisms have been created through a type of symbiosis. This symbiosis is more than the friendly relationship between two organisms, but the drastic combining of the two to create a new and coalesced creature. Marguils refers to the creation of primitive eukaryotic cells, the most well known occurrence of symbiogenesis. It is believed that bacteria, a cell without a nucleus, engulfed a mitochondrial cell. In stead of digesting, the mitochondrial cell inhabited the cytoplasm of the bacteria creating a new, prokaryotic cell. Together the bacteria and the mitochondrial cell benefited each other and a new organism was formed. This theory is taught in high school science books across America and sets the foundation for Marguils¿ SET. Marguils also theorizes that Lemark, with his Darwin-challenging antics, made many correct conjectures in his theory of evolution. Marguils believes that an organism may adapt to its surroundings during its life, such as symbiogenesis. These abrupt adaptations will be passed onto later generations and new symbiogenetic organisms will thrive. Although SET is quite drastic and challenging to the scientific world, at has been adopted by many, as well as modified to fit each scientist¿s level of moderation. Lynn Marguils offers many supporting examples to defend SET. Along with the combining of mitochondrial cells and bacteria, Marguils often refers to ¿scum¿, or the algae and other living organisms which flourish atop ponds, lakes, and swamps. This ¿scum¿ is a symbiotic relationship between algae, many protists, and bacteria which benefit all and create a film-like substance on the top of these aqueous regions. Marguils argues that it would be very simple for this ¿scum¿ to be classified as one large mass of an organism, instead of many individual organisms, due to the extreme symbiotic nature of the mass. Marguils also repeatedly argues that DNA of mitochondria inside of cells today closely resemble those of oxygen-respiring bacteria living on their own. Most powerfully, she fights that the DNA of chloroplasts in cells are almost identical to that of cyanobacteria today (bacteria living on its own). The DNA of the chloroplasts is more similar to the cyanobacteria than even to the DNA of the algae in which the chloroplasts fill! In conclusion, Symbiotic Planet is an extensive and exhaustive analysis of the SET theory of Lynn Marguils. She powerfully fights that symbiogenesis is a major cause of evolution, pushing aside many of Darwin¿s accepted theories and unwaveringly pushes for what she believes in. Marguils will not let opposition stand in her was and declares, ¿That was that. Case closed.¿
Guest More than 1 year ago
Symbiotic Planet [A New Look at Evolution] is an in depth and detailed analysis of Lynn Margulis¿ theory of symbiogenesis. Symbiogenesis is ¿an evolutionary term, referring to the origin of new tissues, organs, organisms - even species ¿ by the establishment of long term or permanent symbiosis¿ (pg 6). Marguils¿ theory, known as SET (Serial Endosymbiosis Theory) is a radical challenge to many of Darwin¿s principles. To understand SET, one must first take a look at the symbiosis in every corner of the world. Symbiosis is a close, prolonged association between two or more different organisms of different species that may benefit each member. As Margulis details, symbiosis is everywhere. From bacteria living on human eyelashes, to fungi on a maple tree, and worms inside the intestines of the average golden retriever; organisms living in sync together can be found anywhere on our planet. It has been believed by scientists that in history, organisms have been created through a type of symbiosis. This symbiosis is more than the friendly relationship between two organisms, but the drastic combining of the two to create a new and coalesced creature. Marguils refers to the creation of primitive eukaryotic cells, the most well known occurrence of symbiogenesis. It is believed that bacteria, a cell without a nucleus, engulfed a mitochondrial cell. In stead of digesting, the mitochondrial cell inhabited the cytoplasm of the bacteria creating a new, prokaryotic cell. Together the bacteria and the mitochondrial cell benefited each other and a new organism was formed. This theory is taught in high school science books across America and sets the foundation for Marguils¿ SET. Marguils also theorizes that Lemark, with his Darwin-challenging antics, made many correct conjectures in his theory of evolution. Marguils believes that an organism may adapt to its surroundings during its life, such as symbiogenesis. These abrupt adaptations will be passed onto later generations and new symbiogenetic organisms will thrive. Although SET is quite drastic and challenging to the scientific world, at has been adopted by many, as well as modified to fit each scientist¿s level of moderation. Lynn Marguils offers many supporting examples to defend SET. Along with the combining of mitochondrial cells and bacteria, Marguils often refers to ¿scum¿, or the algae and other living organisms which flourish atop ponds, lakes, and swamps. This ¿scum¿ is a symbiotic relationship between algae, many protists, and bacteria which benefit all and create a film-like substance on the top of these aqueous regions. Marguils argues that it would be very simple for this ¿scum¿ to be classified as one large mass of an organism, instead of many individual organisms, due to the extreme symbiotic nature of the mass. Marguils also repeatedly argues that DNA of mitochondria inside of cells today closely resemble those of oxygen-respiring bacteria living on their own. Most powerfully, she fights that the DNA of chloroplasts in cells are almost identical to that of cyanobacteria today (bacteria living on its own). The DNA of the chloroplasts is more similar to the cyanobacteria than even to the DNA of the algae in which the chloroplasts fill! In conclusion, Symbiotic Planet is an extensive and exhaustive analysis of the SET theory of Lynn Marguils. She powerfully fights that symbiogenesis is a major cause of evolution, pushing aside many of Darwin¿s accepted theories and unwaveringly pushes for what she believes in. Marguils will not let opposition stand in her was and declares, ¿That was that. Case closed.¿