Chimeras and Consciousness is not just another conference book; it is a transformation of world-view. If you believe that the cell is an information-processing machine for reading the genetic code, if you think that evolution is a struggle of discrete units to survive long enough to reproduce, if you think the human world, like Maxwell's Demon, is a difference engine for sorting out creatures in a competitive market place of rational self-interest, if you think the immune system is a military force defending Self against Other, or if you think the nation-state is threatened by the infection of the Other in the form of alien immigrants, then you need this book, for everything you think is wrong. This is a book that, like Darwin's Origin, changes everything.(William Irwin Thompson, poet, cultural historian, and founder of the Lindisfarne Association)
I consider this to be an extremely important collection of papers that could change the nature of the currently unhealthy and unhelpful arguments about evolution...It is a rich introduction to a vast field of research still little known to the general public and insufficiently appreciated by mainstream scientists.(John B. Cobb Jr., from the foreword)
In this volume a group of bold and imaginative scholars probe the edges of the paradigm to investigate the 'hard problem' of consciousness by exploring its evolutionary roots from deep in the microbial world to its cultural embodiments. This is a new view of the biosphere, natural philosophy at its most challenging.(Harold J. Morowitz, Robinson Professor of Biology and Natural Philosophy, George Mason University)
The message from editors Margulis, Asikainen, and Krumbein is an important one for numerous disciplines, biology, environmental science, philosophy, and theology among them. Undoubtedly, this book will also make a significant contribution to the study of our own species. In a palpable sense, it will help re-define what it means to be human in the context of 30 million co-evolved organisms on an ancient Earth system.(Bruce Rinker, ecologist, science educator, and explorer; co-editor of Gaia in Turmoil)
About the Author
Celeste A. Asikainen, a geologist, is the administrator of the Margulis Laboratory and a doctoral student.
Wolfgang E. Krumbein, formerly at Oldenburg University in Germany, is counted among the founders of geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry, new scientific fields especially relevant to global climate and planetary biology.