Between Us and Nature – A Reading Club #33 / Going Back Into the Big Tree

From Lynn Margulis we have learnt that symbiogenesis is obligatory for evolution (and the origin of life). Her scientific findings propose other ways of viewing our living Earth and the tree of life than those of our traditional human-centered western perspective. With this knowledge, can we better embrace images and stories of the Yanomani culture?

To delve deeper into our relations with nature we go back to Margulis’ revolutionary findings for evolutionary biology, continuing with a chapter on the origin of life. Reading together we train our brains in thinking about the intertwinedness of all species.

[…] The history of any organism is often depicted on a family tree. Family trees usually are grown from the ground up: a single trunk branches off into many separate lineages, each branch diverging from common ancestors. But symbiosis shows us that such trees are idealized representations of the past. In reality the tree of life often grows in on itself. Species come together, fuse, and make new beings, who start again […].”

Lynn Margulis,