It's very gratifying to see Lynn Margulis finally getting the recognition that she deserves. As the originator of the serial endosymbiosis theory (SET) for the origin of eukaryotes, Lynn's work provides an excellent example of how ID should (but currently doesn't) proceed. During the late 1960s, Lynn published a series of revolutionary papers on the evolution of eukaryotic cells, culminating in her landmark book Symbiosis and Cell Evolution, in which she carefully laid out the empirical evidence supporting the theory that mitochondria, choloroplasts, and undulapodia (eukaryotic cilia and flagella) were once free living bacteria (purple sulfur bacteria, cyanobacteria, and spirochaetes, respectively).
Her theory was greeted with contempt and scorn by almost all evolutionary biologists (sound familiar?), who believed at the time that all eukaryotic cellular organelles evolved by gradual elaboration of invaginations of the plasma membrane. But Lynn didn't give up, or continue to simply restate her original theory (sound familiar?).
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Allen MacNeill, with a great piece on Lynn Margulies: