Reflections on the Nature of Nature
Foreword by Roald Hoffman
"Biological phenomena are usually viewed in terms of plants and animals. Margulis and Sagan look at them from their extremes: Gaia—the living system of the Earth as a whole—and bacteria. Both Gaia and bacteria dazzle the reader accustomed to conventional fare. It is re-viewing of this kind that paves the way for real advance in science."
—John B. Cobb, Jr., Professor Emeritus, Claremont School of Theology
A Sciencewriters Book
At the crossroads of philosophy and science.
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 postmodernism.
In "Spirochetes Awake" the bizarre connection between syphilis and genius in the life of Friedrich Nietzsche is traced. The astonishing similarities of the Acquired-Immunity-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.
Sciencewriters Books Imprint
With the publication of Dazzle Gradually Chelsea Green adds to the newly launched Sciencewriters Books, a new imprint to develop outstanding works of science for the general public. Sciencewriters Books is codirected by Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan, founders of Sciencewriters, an educational partnership devoted to advancing science through fantastic and informative books, videos, and other media (www.sciencewriters.org). Blending exciting writing with depth of knowledge and dedication to scientific integrity, Sciencewriters Books will publish new and established authors on cutting-edge topics that are key to our survival.