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Margulis has spent much of her professional life researching the microcosm of the smallest organisms on Earth, how they evolved and relate to one another. Symbiosis takes place where different species live in close physical contact. Margulis claims: "we are symbionts on a symbiotic planet, and ... we can find symbiosis everywhere". Indeed it is much more prevalent than most people realise, even within our own bodies: "our guts and eyelashes (are) festooned with bacterial and animal symbionts".
Animal and plant cells originated through symbiosis with the permanent incorporation of bacteria in cells as plastids and mitochondria. Margulis has argued that death and sex are essentially linked processes which originated within certain protists. Here she recounts how her ideas developed and how she came to embrace Jim Lovelock's Gaia theory, not any of the cosy or whimsical variants but the one in which "Gaia, a tough bitch, is not at all threatened by humans".
Some of Lynn Margulis's ideas are controversial and, as she recounts here, she has had to struggle at times to be taken seriously, but like Gaia she is remarkably resilient. As this and her other books show, Margulis can well argue her case with laudable conviction. --Douglas Palmer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Lynn Margulis is undoubtedly an expert in her field, or so it appears. She bombards us with "..itics", "..isms", "...ologisms", "... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Philip Mayo
Decent easy read. Introduction to the scientific ideas of Lynn Margulis. She pays due respect to the scientists who have helped either by anticipating or critically commenting upon... Read morePublished on 6 Jan. 2008 by djb
A reasonable introduction to Margulis' oeuvre, a clear though perhaps too simplistic account of potentially very important scientific theories - it's almost as entertaining trying... Read morePublished on 22 April 2000