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Symbiogenesis is a school of evolutionary thought that attempts to explain the origin of new genetic information. The chief current proponents of symbiogenesis are Dr. Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan. Dr. Margulis argues that symbiogenesis is a primary force behind evolution.[1] Dr. Margulis is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dr. Margulis is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Natural Science. She received a National Medal of Science from President Bill Clinton in 2000. The idea of symbiogenesis originated with Konstantin Mereschkowsky in his 1926 book Symbiogenesis and the Origin of Species.

In an article entitled The Century-and-a-half failure in the quest of new genetic information the creation scientist Dr. Jerry Bergman writes concerning symbiogenesis:

....the theory that the source of genetic variety is from gene, cell, and organelle exchanges and cooperation. In other words, evolution occurs mainly as a result of ‘the inheritance of incorporated parts of genomes’. In Margulis and Sagan’s words, the ‘source of genetic novelty’ is ‘usually symbio-genesis’ which they define as the ‘acquisition of new traits by inheritance of acquired genomes’.

This still does not explain the source of new information, but actually only postulates that its spread was important in evolution. The origin of the new information is the concern that needs to be explained by Darwinists, not its spread. Most of the examples used by Margulis and Sagan to prove their theory are pure symbiosis—bacteria that live in cows, in termites, or in legumes in gall tumors. Other examples include lichenized fungi (a symbiosis between a green alga or cyanobacterium and a fungus) and other life that exists in a symbiotic relationship. Another problem is that life forms most active in exchanging genes are supposedly the most primitive (such as bacteria). We would expect, if the basis of evolution was the exchange of genes, then those life forms most active in exchanging genes would evolve faster. Bacteria are by far the most active known gene exchangers, yet are considered by evolutionists among the most primitive, lowest evolved, life forms known. As a result of this problem, symbiogenesis has been widely criticized—even in the introduction to the major recent work on symbiogenesis.[2]

An example for Symbiogenesis is the Endosymbiotic hypothesis.

Symbiogenesis and Russian evolutionary thought

Russian evolutionary thought has been more receptive towards symbiogenesis due to the antipathy of many Russians intellectuals to Malthusian thought and the Darwinian notion of natural selection via competition.[3] In an April 2009 interview with the writer Suzan Mazur Dr. Lynn Margulus stated: "In the Russian equivalent of the Encyclopedia Britannica, some 250 pages describe symbiogenesis."[4]

See also