Monday, 6 February 2012

Symbiogenesis, you and me

Over the weekend I worked on a location for the next in the series, a fallen orbital lodged in bedrock which has produced a strange ecology, but maybe not such an alien one. Looking at symbiosis in evolution, I found this interview with Lynn Margulis, a critical thinker who died last year, but someone who's still changing minds on what life may be.

After Gaia she's most linked with endosymbiosis, the theory that cells fused to make new cells, which is one that made the long journey in from the fringe to the mainstream against the usual resistance. But that's only part of symbiogenesis, the idea symbiotic relationships drive evolution too, with gradual change only part of the truth. She says:

Evolution is no linear family tree, but change in the single multidimensional being that has grown to cover the entire surface of Earth.

That's not core yet, but we're moving that way, even if the vids suggest it will take time.

The first part covers education, and needing to see the sources, plus Carl Sagan, former husband and father of two of her children. In the second things warm up, and the third gets onto the nature of current science and suggests how much there is to understand.

For a sense of why this approach could be so important even beyond big steps forward, just look at the quotes in Science on "the sprawling religious persuasion of Anglo-Saxon Biology" and mainstreamers who "wallow in their zoological, capitalistic, competitive, cost-benefit interpretation of Darwin". More on that here. We may be inside the science.

And that's not all - here's one for gamers and game designers to adapt to our kingdom:

Genuine insight into morphogenesis, the emergence of form ... comes not from computer models but from intimacy with the microscopic and submicroscopic behaviours of living beings.


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