Microcosmos tells the story of life on Earth from its origins down to the present, with a focus on what Stephen Jay Gould calls “the modal bacter”, on the central. MICROCOSMOS Four Billion Years of Evolution from Our Microbial Ancestors. Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan. Summit Books, New York, pp., illus. Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Evolution from Our Microbial Ancestors. Lynn Margulis, Author Summit Books $ (p) ISBN

Author: Felkis Voodoora
Country: Barbados
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Medical
Published (Last): 25 April 2012
Pages: 332
PDF File Size: 10.28 Mb
ePub File Size: 9.83 Mb
ISBN: 968-1-38376-673-1
Downloads: 31852
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Kajiran

David Rowlands rated it it was amazing Jun lhnn, As well as looking at things from a microbial perspective, Margulis and Sagan place a stress on the role of symbiosis and cooperation in evolution that would have pleased the anarchist Kropotkin. This book, like several of the others she’s written, is about how evolution may have favored symbiotic relationships between individual cells and led, ultimately, to marguliis and other vastly complex cellular communities.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. For example, the authors espouse the theory of Sonea and Panisset that genetic exchange among bacteria is so pervasive and complete that all prokaryotes constitute “a unique, complex type of marguls, composed of highly differentiated specialized cells”-in other words, a superorganism.

I might not recommend it for the casual reader but I really liked it. Dawkins always struck me as an angry asshat writing about science and what he thinks is right.

Margulis to margluis a vivid new picture of the world that is crucial to our understanding of the future of the planet. This book, Microcosmos, was written for a general audience pynn so was an appropriate recommendation.

For the past 20 years, Lynn Margulis has been an important intellectual force in the fields of evolutionary biology and Earth history. Ortiz rated it it was amazing. All of the most provocative ideas in Microcosmos compete in the intellectual marketplace with markedly different hypotheses, which are not always acknowledged in the book as being more than straw men. Bacteria consumed chemicals from the surrounding environment to produce energy that they used to maintain themselves and to reproduce.


The authors make an excellent job microcowmos taking ideas from many different thinkers and scientists Lovelock, Darwin, von Neumann, Dawkins Dec 30, Kathline rated it really liked it. Much, but not all, of this effort has been along the lines of self-education in the common sense of going to lyn, reading lots of books, writing and talking about one’s studies.

My own study of biology ended in high school, except for the occasional book on the subject. Here they make a few quite egregious errors, such as “all primates today except ourselves are vegetarians or insectivores”, and in general their account appears to have been cribbed from popular works on the subject. Although Microcosmos can be read with enjoyment as a slightly idiosyncratic chronicle of evolution, it is really a sustained argument in support of an alternative biology.

But do read it.

Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Evolution from Our Microbial Ancestors

Margulis is kind of a crazy bitch, but this book reflects her better more sane? Sep 01, Ellen is currently reading it. September External links: There is far more to it than the few items I have singled out above. Keep in mind that it’s a little outdated, as it’s fairly old for a science book. Nice book, but, unfortunately, some of it is a little out of date now. May 15, J. Muhamd rated it it was amazing Sep 11, Lynn Margulis takes you to the realm of microscopic life, lynm offers a view on evolution trough cooperation.

Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan. Provocative and even mindblowing at times.

The authors explain mocrocosmos early evolution depended as much on symbiosis between different bacteria specialized at different tasks such as photosynthesis or movement as it did on Darwin’s “survival of the fittest”. This is an amazing story, and one that was just becoming understood when I took biology in high school in the late s. I found those chapters quite a departure from the earlier lynnn on the titular microscopic organisms. Home Archive October Books etc.


Margulis writes like an asshat scientist. Per-haps organisms regulate the marguliis for some ill-defined biotic good, but many biogeochemists believe that physical processes constrain Earth surface conditions within relatively narrow limits, despite biological activity.

Indeed, Michael, the older brother, is visiting as I write this. Refresh and try again.

Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution by Lynn Margulis

At some points the arguments seem to get a bit too far, a bit too speculative, but you are micfocosmos warned about that and, also, it helps pushing the boundaries of your mind frame set. While it should be read with a critical eye, however, and I would hesitate to recommend it to a complete newcomer to evolutionary biology, it is nevertheless most enjoyable and informative.

All in all, a great new addition to my favourites shelf. Life at Small Scale on margylis desk, which is much more specific in scientific terms.

So I had mixed feelings about Microcosmos. I could only conclude that after we have destroyed our environment, and ourselves and our fellow creatures along with it, this microbial planet will recover rather quickly in It was comforting for me margu,is realize after reading this ’80s classic that micro-biotic life is smarter than we are.

Deeply fascinating description of evolution as symbiosis, rather than Darwinian mutation, i.