Dazzle Gradually: Reflections on the Nature of Nature by Lynn Margulis, Dorion Sagan

By Lynn Margulis, Dorion Sagan

On the crossroads of philosophy and technological know-how, the sometimes-dry issues of evolution and ecology come alive during this new choice of essays--many by no means earlier than anthologized. find out how know-how could be a kind of moment nature, how the systemic human fungus Candida albicans may end up in cravings for carrot cake and beer, how the presence of lifestyles can be why there's water on the earth, and plenty of different attention-grabbing facts.

The essay "Metametazoa" offers views on biology in a philosophical context, demonstrating how the highbrow librarian, pornographer, and political agitator Georges Bataille was once prompted via Russian mineralogist Vladimir Vernadsky and the way this resulted in his suggestion of the absence of that means within the face of the sun--which later stimulated Jacques Derrida, thereby setting up a causal chain of effect from the not easy sciences to issues as summary as deconstruction and post-modernism.

In "Spirochetes Awake" the weird connection among syphilis and genius within the lifetime of Friedrich Nietzsche is traced. The extraordinary similarities of the Acquired-Immune-Deficiency-Syndrome signs with these of power spirochete an infection, it really is argued, distinction sharply with the inability of facts that "HIV is the reason for AIDS". all through those readings we're dazzled via the intimacy and necessity of relationships among us and our different planetmates. In our lack of knowledge as "civilized" humans we brush aside, disdain, and deny our kinship with the one efficient existence types that maintain this residing planet.

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Wolves in the Punjab in India and on the Arabian Peninsula might average 55 pounds. I spent a couple of days south o f the Alaska Range on the Susitna River one spring weighing and measuring wild wolves and when 1 returned home, a friend asked how wolves compared in size to his Alaskan malamute, which m any people think o f as a sort o f carbon copy o f the wolf. I took a tape measure, and using the figures from my notebook for a typ i­ cal male o f the same age and weight came up with the following differ­ ences: T h e w o lf’s head was w ider, longer, and generally larger.

In the w ild, a traveling alpha animal either scent-marks or inspects a scent mark on the average o f once every two minutes— an indication o f the singular importance o f the activity. It is commonly believed that the prim ary function o f scent marking is to mark out a pack’s territory and so warn off intruders; but American behavioral psychologist Roger Peters, one o f the first to study the phenomenon, believes that territorial mark­ ing is a secondary function. T h e prim ary one is to mark territory on a regular basis for the benefit o f the resident pack.

A l d a O r t o n , Alaskan trapper What emotions prompt a howl remain unknown, though field and laboratory researchers both suggest that solo howls and group howling alike arc brought on by restlessness and anxiety. ” Murie writes o f four wolves assembled on a skyline, wagging their tails and frisking together. They began to howl, and while they did so a gray female ran up from the den a hundred yards aw ay and joined them. She was greeted with energetic tail wag­ ging and general good feeling, then they all threw back their heads and howled.

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