Lynn Margulis provided me a moment of light in the “Introduction to Cooperation” course of the Social Media Classroom of Howard Rheingold’s University
I love people who dare to break Orthodoxies, current paradigms that remain in place, preventing new ideas to blossom, new attitudes to anchor people minds and behavior; Lynn Margumlis has broken an incumbant paradigm that has dominated evolutionaqry biology too long. Her discovery of the Eukaryotic cells and her thesis about symbiosis as a fundamental evolutionary phenomenon was key to look at the Humans as cooperators also, and not exclusively selfish competitors for survival.
Here’s what Richard Dawkins declared: Richard Dawkins: “I greatly admire Lynn Margulis’s sheer courage and stamina in sticking by the endosymbiosis theory, and carrying it through from being an unorthodoxy to an orthodoxy. I’m referring to the theory that the eukaryotic cell is a symbiotic union of primitive prokaryotic cells. This is one of the great achievements of twentieth-century evolutionary biology, and I greatly admire her for it.”
Courage she needed indeed. Machiavelli’s saying applies so well to her predicament:
“It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them.”
Nicolo Machiavelli (The Prince)
A great lady-fighter has passed away. I am so sad. I believe though. she’s more happy now.
ia Is A
Lynn Margulis 1938-2011
“Gaia Is A Tough Bitch”
Biologist Lynn Margulis died on November 22nd. She stood out from her colleagues in that she would have extended evolutionary studies nearly four billion years back in time. Her major work was in cell evolution, in which the great event was the appearance of the eukaryotic, or nucleated, cell — the cell upon which all larger life-forms are based. Nearly forty-five years ago, she argued for its symbiotic origin: that it arose by associations of different kinds of bacteria. Her ideas were generally either ignored or ridiculed when she first proposed them; symbiosis in cell evolution is now considered one of the great scientific breakthroughs.