Synopses & Reviews
At the crossroads of philosophy and science, the sometimes-dry topics of evolution and ecology come alive in this new collection of essays--many never before anthologized. Learn how technology may be a sort of second nature, how the systemic human fungus Candida albicans can lead to cravings for carrot cake and beer, how the presence of life may be why there's water on Earth, and many other fascinating facts.The essay "Metametazoa" presents perspectives on biology in a philosophical context, demonstrating how the intellectual librarian, pornographer, and political agitator Georges Bataille was influenced by Russian mineralogist Vladimir Vernadsky and how this led to his notion of the absence of meaning in the face of the sun--which later influenced Jacques Derrida, thereby establishing a causal chain of influence from the hard sciences to topics as abstract as deconstruction and post-modernism. In "Spirochetes Awake" the bizarre connection between syphilis and genius in the life of Friedrich Nietzsche is traced. The astonishing similarities of the Acquired-Immune-Deficiency-Syndrome symptoms with those of chronic spirochete infection, it is argued, contrast sharply with the lack of evidence that "HIV is the cause of AIDS". Throughout these readings we are dazzled by the intimacy and necessity of relationships between us and our other planetmates. In our ignorance as "civilized" people we dismiss, disdain, and deny our kinship with the only productive life forms that sustain this living planet.
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About the Author
Lynn Margulis, renowned biologist and proponent of the Gaia Theory, is author, editor or co-author of chapters in more than 40 books. She has published or been profiled in many journals, among them: Natural History, Science, Nature, Scientific American, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She has made numerous contributions to the primary scientific literature of microbial evolution and cell biology. Dorion Sagan is author of numerous articles and sixteen books translated into eleven languages, including Into the Cool: Energy Flow, Thermodynamics, and Life (with Eric D. Schneider) and with John Skoyles, Up from Dragons: Evolution of Human Intelligence.