Lynn Margulis, one of the originators of the Gaia Theory, argues in Symbiotic Planet, that Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species failed to touch on one important topic.
The Origin of the Species, in fact. She says that while the book showed that evolution was essential for the variance in life, it did not address the mechanism of evolution properly.
Why We Love Symbiotic Planet
Lynn says that the answer can be found in symbiosis. The action of two species that coexist in harmony to the benefit of each other.
She shows how our cells, for example, can be formed by the symbiotic relationship of two previously unrelated bacteria or how sex and death brought some of our distanct ancestral species together.
Most of all she challenges the idea of “academic apartheid” which prevents ideas from flowing from one branch of an academic discipline to another, preventing evolution in ideas.
Symbiotic Planet is the work of a brilliant mind upending almost everything we think we know about evolution.
It’s a fascinating read and an inspiring one too, we think it should be on everyone’s bookshelf.
Lynn’s Gaia Theory is endlessly fascinating, you can find out more about it in Gaia: A Way of Knowing, Gaia’s Body and The Molecular Biology of Gaia.
You can grab a copy online here.