Lynn Margulis to speak at STIAS (2010.11.11)
The fourth public STIAS lecture of 2010 will be given by Prof Lynn Margulis (University of Massachusetts Amberst) and Donald Gordon (Fellow, STIAS). The seminar, "Gaia & Symbiogenesis: The living Earth from Space" will be held on Thursday, 2010 November 11, at 13:00, on the Univ.Stellenbosch campus (JS Gericke Library Auditorium).
We will explore the basis for, extentions and current status of the Gaia hypothesis. "Gaia," now a theory, may be best understood as "symbiosis as seen from space" and evolution perhaps best summarized as "symbiogenesis as seen from space." Gaia theory postulates that certain surface conditions on Earth, specifically concentration of reactive atmospheric gases (e.g., oxygen, methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide), ocean acidity/alkalinity and surface temperature are regulated by behavior, growth, reproduction and interaction of burgeoning, diverse populations of organisms. The worldview concept generated by the international space program and the lively imagination of its inventor James E. Lovelock, FRS was named by author William Golding. The fundamental concepts of Darwinian evolution: all life forms evolved from common ancestors; more organisms are born, budded and otherwise produced than can ever survive (i.e., natural selection) and some variation is heritable have been well established by observations in genetics, anatomy and physiology, molecular biology and biochemistry and other fields. The 3500 million-year-history of life on Earth as measured by the fossil record on international geological time scale supports Darwin`s vision in general. However many beliefs taught to biology students purported to explain evolution (e.g., the "gene" or the "individual" is the unit of "selection," group selection does not occur, evolutionary innovation derives from "gradual accumulation of random mutations," sex generates variation) are patently absurd. We will see how the major source of evolutionary novelty (symbiogenesis) was independently detailed by Boris Mikaylovich Kozo-Polynsky (1921, 1924) and by Ivan Emanuel Wallin in 1927.
Lynn Margulis is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1983, received from William J. Clinton the Presidential Medal of Science in 1999. The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., announced in 1998 that it will permanently archive her papers. She was a faculty mentor at Boston University for 22 years. Her publications, spanning a wide range of scientific topics, include original contributions to cell biology and microbial evolution.
Enquiries: Maryke Hunter-Husselmann 021 808 4623 or mh3[at]sun.ac.za
via: Lynnette Foster, Maciej Soltynski
nothing more to see. please move along.