Item description for Dazzle Gradually: Reflections on the nature of Nature (Sciencewriters) by Lynn Margulis & Dorion Sagan...
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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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.5" Width: 6.25" Height: 9" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Aug 15, 2007
Publisher Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN 1933392312 ISBN13 9781933392318
Availability 0 units.
More About Lynn Margulis & Dorion Sagan
Lynn Margulis, Distinguished Professor of Botany at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, is the modern originator of the symbiotic theory of cell evolution. Once considered heresy, her ideas are now part of the microbiological revolution.
Lynn Margulis currently resides in Amherst, in the state of Massachusetts. Lynn Margulis was born in 1938 and has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts University of Mass.
Reviews - What do customers think about Dazzle Gradually: Reflections on the nature of Nature (Sciencewriters)?
Subtle Re-evolutions Nov 30, 2007
Profound science combined with wit and the subtlety of Dickinson. Not to be missed..Nature loves this book!
A great book, with extra comments on kefir Oct 2, 2007
"Dazzle gradually" is another great book by Margulis and Sagan. It engages your intellect and emotions in bringing together and taking apart myriads of the living world's dazzling puzzles, or (quoting the famous Russian poet Nikolay Gumilev) "as if not all stars are yet counted, as if our world is not yet all discovered".
Let me add to one of those dazzles by commenting on kefir, the Caucasian drink and a wonderful symbiotic consortium of yeast and bacteria.
There indeed is a Caucasian legend about "Muhammad pellets" (or "Prophet's grain") but it talks about the Prophet bringing it (in his hollowed staff) to Muslim people of Caucasus - definitely not to the Christians!
The legend comes from the Karachay, a Sunni Muslim people still inhabiting the valleys of northern Caucasus north of the (Orthodox Christian) Georgia, indeed near Mt Elbrus. In fact, the legend said explicitly that the secret of kefir has to be hidden from the infidels, and its disclosure will bring Allah's anger and the destruction of Karachay people. The kefir secret was held so tightly that it became known outside of Caucasus only in early 20th century through Russian dairy producers.
We even know exactly how this happened: Ten pounds of kefir culture were given by a Karachay nobleman Bekmurza Baichorov to a young Russian dairy researcher Irina Sakharova in 1906. The story of their love can be now read on every packet of kefir in Russia!
The entire Karachay people (80,000), along with a number of other ethnic groups, were exiled by Stalin to Central Asia in 1943. Out of 28,000 exiled children, 22,000 died. The Karachay were allowed to return to the Caucasus in 1957. The world never noticed.
Victor Fet, Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia