Lynn Margulis

Lynn Margulis (1938–2011) was Distinguished Professor of Botany at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. An evolutionary theorist and biologist, science author, and educator, Margulis was the modern originator of the symbiotic theory of cell evolution. Once considered heresy, her ideas are now part of the microbiological revolution.

  • Chimeras and Consciousness

    Chimeras and Consciousness

    Evolution of the Sensory Self

    Lynn Margulis, Celeste A. Asikainen, and Wolfgang E. Krumbein

    Scientists elucidate the astounding collective sensory capacity of Earth and its evolution through time.

    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.

    • Hardcover $12.75 £10.99
    • Paperback $45.00 £38.00
  • Environmental Evolution, Second Edition

    Environmental Evolution, Second Edition

    Effects of the Origin and Evolution of Life on Planet Earth

    Lynn Margulis, Clifford Matthews, and Aaron Haselton

    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.

    Contributors 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

    • Hardcover $17.75 £14.99
    • Paperback $9.75 £7.99
  • Symbiosis as a Source of Evolutionary Innovation

    Symbiosis as a Source of Evolutionary Innovation

    Speciation and Morphogenesis

    Lynn Margulis and René Fester

    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.

    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.

    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

    • Hardcover $75.00 £62.00
    • Paperback $45.00 £38.00

Contributor

  • Ecopsychology

    Ecopsychology

    Science, Totems, and the Technological Species

    Peter H. Kahn, Jr. and Patricia H. Hasbach

    An ecopsychology that integrates our totemic selves—our kinship with a more than human world—with our technological selves.

    We need nature for our physical and psychological well-being. Our actions reflect this when we turn to beloved pets for companionship, vacation in spots of natural splendor, or spend hours working in the garden. Yet we are also a technological species and have been since we fashioned tools out of stone. Thus one of this century's central challenges is to embrace our kinship with a more-than-human world—"our totemic self"—and integrate that kinship with our scientific culture and technological selves.

    This book takes on that challenge and proposes a reenvisioned ecopsychology. Contributors consider such topics as the innate tendency for people to bond with local place; a meaningful nature language; the epidemiological evidence for the health benefits of nature interaction; the theory and practice of ecotherapy; Gaia theory; ecovillages; the neuroscience of perceiving natural beauty; and sacred geography. Taken together, the essays offer a vision for human flourishing and for a more grounded and realistic environmental psychology.

    • Hardcover $11.75 £9.99
    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00
  • Gaia in Turmoil

    Gaia in Turmoil

    Climate Change, Biodepletion, and Earth Ethics in an Age of Crisis

    Eileen Crist and H. Bruce Rinker

    Essays link Gaian science to such global environmental quandaries as climate change and biodiversity destruction, providing perspectives from science, philosophy, politics, and technology.

    Gaian theory, which holds that Earth's physical and biological processes are inextricably bound to form a self-regulating system, is more relevant than ever in light of increasing concerns about global climate change. The Gaian paradigm of Earth as a living system, first articulated by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis in the 1970s, has inspired a burgeoning body of researchers working across disciplines that range from physics and biology to philosophy and politics. Gaia in Turmoil reflects this disciplinary richness and intellectual diversity, with contributions (including essays by both Lovelock and Margulis) that approach the topic from a wide variety of perspectives, discussing not only Gaian science but also global environmental problems and Gaian ethics and education.

    Contributors focus first on the science of Gaia, considering such topics as the workings of the biosphere, the planet's water supply, and evolution; then discuss Gaian perspectives on global environmental change, including biodiversity destruction and global warming; and finally explore the influence of Gaia on environmental policy, ethics, politics, technology, economics, and education. Gaia in Turmoil breaks new ground by focusing on global ecological problems from the perspectives of Gaian science and knowledge, focusing especially on the challenges of climate change and biodiversity destruction.

    Contributors David Abram, Donald Aitken, Connie Barlow, J. Baird Callicott, Bruce Clarke, Eileen Crist, Tim Foresman, Stephan Harding, Barbara Harwood, Tim Lenton, Eugene Linden, Karen Litfin, James Lovelock, Lynn Margulis, Bill McKibben, Martin Ogle, H. Bruce Rinker, Mitchell Thomashow, Tyler Volk, Hywel Williams

    • Hardcover $54.00
    • Paperback $30.00 £25.00
  • Scientists Debate Gaia

    Scientists Debate Gaia

    The Next Century

    Stephen H. Schneider, James R. Miller, Eileen Crist, and Penelope J. Boston

    Scientists Debate Gaia is a multidisciplinary reexamination of the Gaia hypothesis, which was introduced by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis in the early 1970s. The Gaia hypothesis holds that Earth's physical and biological processes are linked to form a complex, self-regulating system and that life has affected this system over time. Until a few decades ago, most of the earth sciences viewed the planet through disciplinary lenses: biology, chemistry, geology, atmospheric and ocean studies. The Gaia hypothesis, on the other hand, takes a very broad interdisciplinary approach. Its most controversial aspect suggests that life actively participates in shaping the physical and chemical environment on which it depends in a way that optimizes the conditions for life. Despite initial dismissal of the Gaian approach as New Age philosophy, it has today been incorporated into mainstream interdisciplinary scientific theory, as seen in its strong influence on the field of Earth System Science. Scientists Debate Gaia provides a fascinating, multi-faceted examination of Gaia as science and addresses significant criticism of, and changes in, the hypothesis since its introduction.

    In the book, 53 contributors explore the scientific, philosophical, and theoretical foundations of Gaia. They address such topics as the compatibility of natural selection and Gaian processes, Gaia and the "thermodynamics of life," the role of computer models in Gaian science (from James Lovelock's famous but controversial "Daisyworld" to more sophisticated models that use the techniques of artificial life), pre-Socratic precedents for the idea of a "Living Earth," and the climate of the Amazon Basin as a Gaian system.

    • Hardcover $11.75 £9.99
    • Paperback $19.75 £15.99