Read Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution by Lynn Margulis Dorion Sagan Online


Microcosmos brings together the remarkable discoveries of microbiology of the past two decades and the pioneering research of Dr. Margulis to create a vivid new picture of the world that is crucial to our understanding of the future of the planet. Addressed to general readers, the book provides a beautifully written view of evolution as a process based on interdependency aMicrocosmos brings together the remarkable discoveries of microbiology of the past two decades and the pioneering research of Dr. Margulis to create a vivid new picture of the world that is crucial to our understanding of the future of the planet. Addressed to general readers, the book provides a beautifully written view of evolution as a process based on interdependency and the interconnectedness of all life on the planet....

Title : Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution
Author :
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ISBN : 9780520210646
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution Reviews

  • Jackie Daggers
    2018-09-23 21:44

    Margulis is kind of a crazy bitch, but this book reflects her better (more sane?) ideas. Her primary ideas contrast sharply with Dawkins, and her science background gives her a much stronger footing on which to present her case. Dawkins always struck me as an angry asshat writing about science and what he thinks is right. Margulis writes like an asshat scientist. I love the concepts of cooperation and non-competition in the grand scheme of evolution. They don't invalidate or combat the harsher "survival-of-the-fittest" dogmas, they supplement them, filling in the cracks. After this I recommend you read something about populations and population-level evolution.

  • Erik Graff
    2018-10-05 18:47

    Tom Miley, his older brother and I once shared an apartment in East Rogers Park, Chicago. Both the Miley brothers are, like myself, dissatisfied with themselves and both have striven mightily to make improvement. Much, but not all, of this effort has been along the lines of self-education in the common sense of going to schools, reading lots of books, writing and talking about one's studies. We have long inspired and comforted one another. We have, despite their moves to San Francisco and Sonoma years ago, maintained contact by means of regular visits, phonecalls and correspondence. Indeed, Michael, the older brother, is visiting as I write this.By profession, Tom is a composer, primarily of electronic music. There isn't much commercial demand for this so he's worked a variety of jobs, some in sound engineering, some in programming, some in the academy. Once, during the time I was visiting him and given this book to read, he even went back to school to obtain expertise in the life sciences, thinking to completely change careers--quite an ambition in one's middle age! He was quite successful academically, but hated the lab job he obtained, so he's returned to music and programming, but his interest in biology has abided.My own study of biology ended in high school, except for the occasional book on the subject. This book, Microcosmos, was written for a general audience and so was an appropriate recommendation.Margulis' concentration has been on the formation of complex biological entities within the framework of evolutionary theory. This book, like several of the others she's written, is about how evolution may have favored symbiotic relationships between individual cells and led, ultimately, to us and other vastly complex cellular communities.

  • Mike Smith
    2018-10-03 20:42

    Life has existed on Earth for nearly 4 billion years. For 80% of that time, according to Microcosmos, it consisted solely of pre-cellular and single-celled organisms. Authors Margulis and Sagan give a convincing and engrossing account of how atoms and molecules on the early Earth may have coalesced and combined, eventually forming more complex molecules that could make copies of themselves. Through a variety of chemical interactions, these complex molecules combined together to form bacterial cells -- groups of molecules contained within a membrane that separated "self" from "non-self" for the first time. Bacteria consumed chemicals from the surrounding environment to produce energy that they used to maintain themselves and to reproduce. The authors explain how early evolution depended as much on symbiosis between different bacteria specialized at different tasks (such as photosynthesis or movement) as it did on Darwin's "survival of the fittest". In the process, they completely changed the Earth, polluting the atmosphere with oxygen that later became a key element for later generations of bacteria. Eventually, the bacteria had developed and evolved almost all the basic biochemical reactions that drive all forms of life on Earth today. Only after the biochemistry problems were solved did multi-cellular life forms like plants and animals evolve.This is an amazing story, and one that was just becoming understood when I took biology in high school in the late 1970s. I would love to find out what discoveries have been made since this book was first published in 1985.One weakness of the book is the final couple of chapters. The authors leave microbes behind and outline the possible evolutionary history of plants, dinosaurs, and humans. The final chapter speculates on how humans might evolve as they colonize other planets and space environments. I found those chapters quite a departure from the earlier focus on the titular microscopic organisms.Be aware that there is a lot of scientific vocabulary in this book, and some descriptions of chemical reactions. You don't have to remember your high school science to understand the gist of this book, but it will certainly help if you do.

  • Julene
    2018-09-24 23:51

    Read many years ago as part of my study and practice of Continuum. She is a biologist and it resonates with the micromovement and being in contact with your body at a cellular level, including the microtubules.

  • Loek Vellekoop
    2018-09-23 00:47

    clear writing and very immersive. Lynn Margulis takes you to the realm of microscopic life, and offers a view on evolution trough cooperation. well put arguments against a view on evolution that only concerns the individual, as she shows that the whole concept of a individual is troublesome.

  • Glenn
    2018-10-06 22:47

    anyone w/high school experience can read and appreciate this book

  • Ismael Acosta Servetto
    2018-09-21 23:01

    Lynn Margulis nos presenta una hermosa y amena lectura acerca de la vida en la Tierra desde un punto de vista novedoso: a través de los microorganismos.

  • Natalia Fredes
    2018-10-01 00:49

    Excelente libro. Un recorrido ameno y entretenido por la evolución de la vida

  • Daniel Aguilar
    2018-10-20 00:41

    One of those mind-bending books that make you rethink many things about yourself, about the world... inspiring, entertaining, exciting... The authors make an excellent job at taking ideas from many different thinkers and scientists (Lovelock, Darwin, von Neumann, Dawkins... ) and create a coherent narrative that takes the reader (relatively) easily through disciplines such as biology, cybernetics, anthropology and more. At some points the arguments seem to get a bit too far, a bit too speculative, but you are always warned about that and, also, it helps pushing the boundaries of your mind frame set. All in all, a great new addition to my favourites shelf.

  • Kathline
    2018-09-18 21:06

    Microcosmos inspired in me a real awe for the complexity and the durability of this small world. We are literally swarming with microbes, and there isn’t much we touch that isn’t also teeming with them. We are intimately involved with the microbial world, from the moment the sperm cell with its flagellum (likely inherited from spirochetes, according to Margulis) punctures the egg—to when we rejoin the earth and are consumed by and reissued from, microbes. Since it is a book written toward a non-scientific readership, I was glad to have Microbes: Life at Small Scale on my desk, which is much more specific in scientific terms.

  • M
    2018-10-07 19:05

    I might not recommend it for the casual reader but I really liked it. I appreciated the picture of the biosphere as a place of balance, a universe of microbes. Lower organisms have no clue that they make up us higher organisms (and vice-versa).

  • Bart
    2018-10-01 02:48

    Very interesting hypotheses.

  • Dave
    2018-10-10 21:51

    Especially enjoyed the first several chapters that discussed early evolution. Her projections for the future were less interesting.

  • Ellen
    2018-10-09 23:06

    Standing on the shoulders of micro-organisms...

  • Brenda
    2018-10-05 03:07

    Nice book, but, unfortunately, some of it is a little out of date now.

  • Spacemummy
    2018-10-09 01:45

    I'm hot for microbes!

  • Jenny Wehinger
    2018-09-23 21:52

    It will change the way to see living systems for sure! An excellent eye-opener.

  • Erika
    2018-09-28 02:56


  • Shaun Joyce
    2018-10-11 01:05

    published in 1997 so a good bit of it may be outdated... may still be a good read though.

  • Tim
    2018-10-05 22:55

    Good source for the story of microbial evolution and the path to animals etc but the far too long philosophical and speculative section later in the book really detracts from the whole.

  • J.R. Ortiz
    2018-09-27 00:47


  • Kate
    2018-10-08 02:53

    I had to return it to the library. I'll hit it again later...