Tag Archives: purpose in nature

Lynn Margulis, Evolutionary ‘Naturalism,’ Chance and Conspiracy

“The endosymbiosis hypothesis is retrogressive in the sense that it avoids the difficult thought necessary to understand how mitochondria and chloroplasts have evolved as a series of small evolutionary steps.” -Thomas Uzzell and Christine Spolsky, 1974

The above old quote may make us chuckle now that Margulis’ theory has been vindicated by DNA analysis. Uzzell and Spolsky imply that endosymbiosis seemed to them too easy and naïve, like a myth describing how the first humans sprang from sown dragon’s teeth. Even though there was nothing prima facie impossible about the idea — no physical laws violated — these critics nevertheless felt that the endosymbiosis hypothesis was tantamount to a “revival of special creation.” [1] Symbiogenesis, the idea championed by Lynn Margulis, is here associated with the supernatural because it was considered to be a rare and too fortuitous event. Continue reading

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2016 Top 20: Fine Lines: Vladimir Nabokov’s Scientific Art

The Book/Arts blog of the prestigious journal Nature has included Fine Lines in its top 20 book list for 2016.

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Fine Lines was also review in Doppiozero in Italy, Haibun in Romania, and science and art blog, and made the top 20 list bioteaching.com

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Smithsonian Magazine reviews Fine Lines

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Vladimir Nabokov might be best known as a novelist, specifically as the author of Lolita, but what many might not know is that one of his deepest passions was studying butterflies.

Now, a new book from Yale University Press honors his dedication to the delicate creatures. The book, Fine Lines, is a collection of more than 150 of his scientific illustrations of butterflies, rivaling John James Audubon in their detail.

Read more…

Fine Lines in The Lepidopterists’ Society News

“…The book also shed light on Nabokov’s confusing legacy with regard to mimicry…Seasoned experts on various aspects of Nabokov’s legacy weigh in on the tricky questions about his dual pursuits in science and arts.  Victoria Alexander of the Dactyl Foundation addresses Nabokov’s understanding of nature in light of more current ‘post-Darwinian’ views of evolutionary processes….”

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