Slanted Truths: Essays on Gaia, Symbiosis, and Evolution

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Lynn Margulis, Dorion Sagan
Copernicus, 1997 - Science - 368 pages
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Lynn Margulis, one of the most provocative scientific thinkers of our time, and her son, the writer Dorion Sagan, here present a selection from their many essays published in the last decade and a half. Margulis's scientific contributions are legendary. Her proposal that eukaryotic cells (the cells of all multicellular animals and plants) are made up of symbiotic unions of more primitive cells was at first widely derided but is now mainstream science. She has described the previously unrecognized role microbial life plays in the maintenance of all life on earth. And she is, with James Lovelock, one of the founders of Gaia theory. In these essays, perhaps better than in any of her other books, one can see how these apparently unrelated interests combine into a single, coherent scientific world-view about the natural tendency of living systems to form complex interactive communities. This is Margulis and Sagan's fourth book.

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About the author (1997)

Lynn Margulis was born in Chicago, Illinois on March 5, 1938. She graduated from the University of Chicago at the age of 18. She received a master's degree in genetics and zoology from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of California, Berkeley. She taught for 22 years at Boston University before joining the faculty at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1988. She was best known for her theory of species evolution by symbiogensis. The manuscript in which she first presented her findings was published in 1967 by the Journal of Theoretical Biology. An expanded version, with additional evidence to support the theory, became her first book entitled Origin of Eukaryotic Cells. Her other works include Symbiosis in Cell Evolution, Luminous Fish: Tales of Science and Love, Dazzle Gradually: Reflections on the Nature of Nature, and Mind, Life, and Universe: Conversations with Great Scientists of Our Time. She died five days after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke on November 22, 2011 at the age of 73.

Eric D. Schneider served as senior scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and director of the National Marine Water Quality Laboratory of the Environmental Protection Agency. His work on thermodynamics--a topic he has pursued for more than twenty years--has been widely anthologized and cited. Dorion Sagan is coauthor of "Acquiring Genomes" and "Up from Dragons," Called an "unmissable modern master" of science writing by "New Scientist," Sagan has written for the "New York Times," "Natural History," and "Wired," among other publications.

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