By Lynn Margulis
From one of many nice iconoclasts of recent biology, Lynn Margulis, a groundbreaking new concept of the origins of species
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Additional resources for Acquiring Genomes. A Theory of the Origin of Species
DARWIN’S EVOLUTION “Evolution” is a word Charles Darwin never used. ” Even so, the basic modern concept of evolution is undoubtedly attributable to Darwin. If we raise our hands to swear that we are darwinists, we also swear, with equal fervor, that we do not agree with his followers the neodarwinists and other modern evolutionists. Darwin’s original views must be distinguished from those of his successors. Everyone today who studies modern biology, indeed virtually every scientifically minded modern person, is a Darwinist.
F. Keller and E. 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.
To compete—for example on opposite teams—people must basically cooperate in some way. “Competition” is a term with limited scientific meaning, usually without reference to units by which it can be measured. How does the green worm or the lichen fungus assess its competitive status? By the addition of points in its score or by dollars or Swiss francs? No. Then what are the units of competition? If you ask what are the units of biomass we can tell you in grams or ounces. If you ask how light or biotic potential is to be measured, we answer in lux or foot-candles or number of offspring per generation.
Acquiring Genomes. A Theory of the Origin of Species by Lynn Margulis