Acquiring Genomes. A Theory of the Origin of Species by Lynn Margulis

By Lynn Margulis

From one of many nice iconoclasts of recent biology, Lynn Margulis, a groundbreaking new thought of the origins of species

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A. Lloyd, 1992, and L. ” See Margulis, 1990, for spirited criticism against this fallacious language of misplaced concreteness. See page . We must begin to think of organisms as communities, as collectives. And communities are ecological entities. To go beyond animals, think of plants. We stick their seeds or seedlings in the garden soil and marvel as plants do their thing. Most plant roots live in the rhizosphere. This is an ecological zone of many different organisms that all grow and metabolize at the same time.

How do cauliflowers descend from tiny, wild Mediterranean cabbagelike plants, or pigs from wild boars? Darwin’s successors have returned to the rugged volcanic island of the Galapagos, off the coast of Ecuador, to watch evolution in action. Perhaps the most compelling real case of nonstop evolutionary change is the work of Professors Peter and Rosemary Grant on exactly those finches that were made famous by Darwin and his successors. The paucity of other birds on these remote outposts and the severity of environmental pressures led, somehow, to rampant and rapid speciation from common avian ancestors.

In the fossil record evidence for the outward expansions of life forms abounds. Life, of course including human life, loves to be where water, ocean or lake, contacts the air as well as the soil. We all know from real estate values that shorelines are popular environments. Life enjoys habitats where water meets land meets air. Most life forms within a few millimeters of such surfaces. Life apparently evolved from propagation at the seaside and only afterward expanded into the polar regions, high montagne lakes, and ocean abyss.

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