Dorion Sagan and Lynn Margulis - Acquiring Genomes - Little, Brown Book Group

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Acquiring Genomes

A Theory Of The Origin Of Species

By Dorion Sagan and Lynn Margulis

  • Paperback
  • £13.99

How do new species evolve? Although Darwin identified inherited variation as the creative force in evolution, he never formally speculated where it comes from. His successors thought that new species arise from the gradual accumulation of random mutations of DNA. But despite its acceptance in every major textbook, there is no documented instance of it. Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan take a radically new approach to this question. They show that speciation events are not, in fact, rare or hard to observe. Genomes are acquired by infection, by feeding, and by other ecological associations, and then inherited. Acquiring Genomes is the first work to integrate and analyze the overwhelming mass of evidence for the role of bacterial and other symbioses in the creation of plant and animal diversity. It provides the most powerful explanation of speciation yet given.

How do new species evolve? Although Darwin identified inherited variation as the creative force in evolution, he never formally speculated where it comes from. His successors thought that new species arise from the gradual accumulation of random mutations of DNA. But despite its acceptance in every major textbook, there is no documented instance of it. Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan take a radically new approach to this question. They show that speciation events are not, in fact, rare or hard to observe. Genomes are acquired by infection, by feeding, and by other ecological associations, and then inherited. Acquiring Genomes is the first work to integrate and analyze the overwhelming mass of evidence for the role of bacterial and other symbioses in the creation of plant and animal diversity. It provides the most powerful explanation of speciation yet given.

Biographical Notes

Lynn Margulis, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences since 1983. She is best known for her pathbreaking work on the bacterial origins of cell organelles and for her collaboration with James Lovelock on Gaia theory. Her previous books include Symbiosis in Cell Evolution Five Kingdoms (with K. V. Schwartz) and (with Dorion Sagan) Origins of Sex, Garden of Microbial Delights, What Is Life?, What Is Sex?, and Slanted Truths: Essays on Gaia, Symbiosis and Evolution.Lynn Margulis, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of the 1999 Presidential Medal of Science, is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dorion Sagan is the author of Biospheres and the co-author of Up from Dragons: The Evolution of Human Intelligence. He lives in New York City.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780465043927
  • Publication date: 11 Jun 2003
  • Page count: 256
  • Imprint: Basic Books
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