Lynn Margulis  introduced Jenny Stricker as  “my brilliant former student, Harvard grad, got her master's with me”.  After seeing the electron micrograph below and knowing Professor Margulis’s long battle to have her ideas accepted, Ms. Stricker wrote:

From: Jenny Stricker

Date: April 5, 2009 10:40:43 AM EDT

To: Lynn Margulis

Subject: Re: and this

Oh my gosh, Lynn.  Oh my gosh.  I have tingles on my skin.  What is this spirochete?  Where did you get this?  I mean, I can't even know what to say.  You must be ecstatic.  Oh my gosh.  I can't stop smiling...


How long did you have to hang on?...And now, there they are, clear as day...What a woman you are!  Oh Lynn, this is so exciting!  I want to know more!  Bless your heart.


I feel like the fact that can see your perseverance is almost more of a gift to me than the fact I can see those attachment sites.  It's your perseverance that makes me really smile.  And the sweet reward...  Ok, I know I'm not being much of a scientist by jumping to such conclusions.  But damn it, there are so few rewards for believing in yourself, and fighting for what you know is right and true.  It's the gift of your life.  So few people could possibly see what you've really given in order to hang on... Oh my gosh Lynn.  This does me good :-)


Now, your advice to me was 'do it now.'  Bless your heart :-)  I might even have to start crying.  Ok, first things first.  Today, I'm going to print me out some nice big copies of these beauties and hang them on my wall.  Just to remind me.


Thank you so much! 




Lynn Margulis fan mail

Click here for information on the paper Spirochete Attachment Ultrastructure: Implications for the Origin and Evolution of Cilia 

The Discover Magazine Interview

In April 2011, Discover magazine published an interview with Lynn Margulis by Dick Teresi. The interview made members of the neodarwinist religion, such as Prof. Jerry Coyne and Richard Dawkins, apoplectic. Their comments made be found here.  The Margulis lab also received responses some of which follow.

read Jim MacAllister’s send up of Prof. Coyne’s rant, Two Wrongs    

From: Todd LePine, MD ]
Sent: Saturday, March 19, 2011 10:00 AM
Subject: Discover Magazine interview.


Hi Celeste,
    Just read the article in Discover Magazine about Lynn....Please tell her it was great!!!!  I have several patients with chronic Lyme disease and after reading her article it makes so much sense.....Lyme is such a difficult clinical condition to treat.  Hope all is well with you and Lynn.
Best,  Todd

Todd R. LePine, MD


From: Andrew Torres []

Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 5:50 PM


Subject: Memories

Hey Lynn,

Read your  recent  interview in Discover mag.  I gather from it that all is

well with you and I am pleased to learn you are as feisty and contrary as


The article brought back memories of you and pivo bottles in Leningrad and

your memorable

seminar here at KU in '82.   Attached is a scan of a lovely post card

from you that I have

cherished over the years.

I retired in 1996, but still have a small refuge office at KU,  My wife,

Gee, and I are travelling a bit and have been in the Boston area several

times when I also think of you,

Would love to hear from you.

Fondly,  Andy

Andrew M. Torres

Lawrence,  KS  

From: PSowers
To: lmargulis
CC: patrick.j.sowers
Sent: 3/6/2011 9:42:21 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj: The enemy of my enemy is my friend...




I read you interview In Discover Magazine this morning regarding your latest research - fascinating! 


I am not a medical professional, but read a lot, and enjoy connecting the dots.


I'm amazed that some researchers are so narrow minded to dismiss the relevance of your work.  We need to pay more attention to natural interrelationships and the influence they play on our well being and in disease progression.  Your keen insight is telling.


I have read recently that hypoxia and dysfunctional mitochondria are now suspected in cancer. Since you determined that our fuel cells are fashioned after ancient bacterium, I'm wondering if increasing antibiotic use in animal feed, and over prescribed therapies could be causing harm to our bacterial energized mitos;  creating an environment favorable to cancerous growths?


I've always thought cancers' are aged or damaged stem cells in a "survival mode". Either that, or their selection and survival mechanisms are incorporated from some hidden devil within. Could you comment please?


As a sidebar,  are you familiar with John Pawelek's work at Yale?  He is examining an old theory that metastatic cancers are hybrid white blood cells fused with cancer cells.  He postulates this may explain the motility of metastasis.

Do White Blood Cells Make Cancer Deadly?: Scientific American


Gary Clark's work at the University of Missouri is also intriguing  -- copy cat carbohydrate sequences create a veil for immune evasion in cancer.  The same coat is found in AID's, intestinal worms, infection by H-pylori, and even in our germ cells.


Examples of mimicry abound.  Are these explained by your symbiotic theories?


How can we understand the disease progression and the elephant in the room without connecting the dots?


Keep up the great work!


Kindest regards,

Patrick Sowers


From: Carey Carlson 
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 5:52 PM
To: celeste
Subject: evolution and its basis in physics, new findings


Dear Ms. Margulis, (in care of Celeste?)
   I've discovered something extraordinary that I think you would like to know.  I read about your ideas in the recent Discover magazine.  The resistance you have met in the mainstream of biology is similar to what I've found in the mainstream of physics.  My training is philosophy of science with Grover Maxwell at the U of Minnesota, many years ago.  More recently, I published my "belated thesis for Grover," a study of Russell and Whitehead's "eventism."  In the course of writing, I resorted to arrow diagrams to depict what Russell calls "causal structure," and Whitehead calls "temporal succession."  I noticed that relative frequency ratios are formed in such arrow diagrams, and these may serve physics as energy ratios in accord with Planck's E=hf.  This means that quantized energy is inherent in patterns of sheer temporal succession.  This crucial fact was unknown to Russell or Whitehead.  It was then nearly automatic to spin up all the number and structure of theoretical physics from a temporal successor relation.  (The formalism used is also called "causal set theory" today.)
   The reduction to time means that there are no spatial relations or geometry in physics, but only the topology of time sequence patterns.  This is a conceptual hurdle for the physicists.  Nevertheless, it's no accident that physics can be reconstructed from a single dyadic ordering relation.  There is no continuity or calculus in the theory, and the graphic modeling means that it can be taught at the primary grade level.
   Evolution is an important idea in biology.  For those who hold to the unity of the sciences, evolution must have its basis in physics.  The new physics presents the world as an accretion of irrevocable momentary events.  You can "see the accretion grow" in the handful of childlike diagrams contained in the paper below.  It is evolution at its most basic.  I think you could leverage it to buttress support for your ideas on biological evolution, which should be seamless with the new physics.  Eventism was intended to do two things: provide a more coherent basis for physics; and solve the mind-body problem.  The latest discovery fulfills both goals.  If you follow up with this, I have an article in a recent book edited by David Skrbina.  The book is Mind that Abides: Panpsychism in the new millennium.  The article is chapter 12, "Finite eventism."  I can send you a PDF of the article.  It includes an account of mind-brain interaction (following Russell's account) in which the serial human mind serves as the executive function and the cortical homunculi serve to locate the moments of the human series by providing its immediate causal predecessors (sensory homunculi) and successors (motor homunculus.)  The brain scientists today face the same conceptual hurdle as the physicists.  Their thinking begins with spatial conceptions of the brain and its homunculi.  They think of the homunculi as patches of instantaneous spatial extent, which prevents the natural interpretation of their function.
   I wish you the best in your work.  Thank you.  -- Carey R. Carlson

"Causal Set Theory and the Origin of Mass-ratio"
Quantum theory is reconstructed using standalone causal sets. The frequency ratios inherent in causal sets are used to define energy-ratios, implicating the causal link as the quantum of action.  Space-time and its particle-like sequences are then constructed from causal links.  A 4-D time-lattice pattern is defined and used to model neutrinos and electron clouds, which together constitute our 4-D manifold.  A 6-D time-lattice is used to model the nucleons.  The integration of the nucleus with its electron cloud allows calculation of the mass-ratio of the proton (or the neutron) with respect to the electron.  Arrow diagrams, along with several ball-and-stick models, are used to streamline the presentation.

James Cunnar M.D.

Aurora, IL

Professor Lynn Margulis

Margulis Lab, Geosciences Dept.

Morrill Science Bldg.

611 North Pleasant St.

Amherst, MA 01003

Dr. Margulis,

    My name is Dr. Jim Cunnar. I am a family physician, practicing in suburban Chicago. I wanted to send you a quick note to say how much I enjoyed your interview in the April 2011 Discover Magazine.

    I joke with my patients that I am a biological scientist, not really a physician. live been in private practice 14 years, and after all this time, I am still amazed at how disease presents differently from person to person. Within the difference though, there are patterns within disease presentation which are consistent, independent of ethnicity or sex. Over time, I think live become a pretty good diagnostician, simply by being able to extract the right information from the patient and applying that data to the general patterns live noticed (which means I actually sit and talk to my patients...).

    I have always been interested in evolution, and until I read your article, I would of put myself in the NeoDarwinist camp. Not any more. Symbiogenesis makes complete sense. And as someone who gets to play mechanic on the greatest machine there is, there is no question in my mind. I loved your arguments about sperm flagella, and the cilia in semicircular canals.

Why reinvent the wheel when you can just incorporate it? It ls so simple.

    The AIDS/syphilis diSCUSSion was fascinating as well. I have wondered why, in such an

amazingly short amount of time, HIV has become a chronic condition, and not a death

sentence. I believe it has to be symbiosis - HIV simply needs the human host to remain alive,

and it figured that out very quickly.

    Have you heard of a new medical treatment called fecal bacteriotherapy? I recently read an article about it, and became very interested in the science behind it. We physicians are

recommending more and more "probiotics" for our patients, particularly in patients at risk for C. Difficile enteritis (a severe intestinal infection caused by taking certain antibiotics). The general public may be wary of such an "icky"procedure, but the idea of your feces as a living organ, and thus being able to IItransplant" it, is novel. Science thought Dr. Barry Marshall was crazy before he proved that peptic ulcers actually were caused by bacteria, too.

    Anyway, I wish I lived out east, because I would love to take one of your classes. I appreciate you reading this, and again, thank you for sparking my new interest in symbiogenesis.


June 5,2011

Dr. Lynn Margulis

University of Massachusetts

Department of Geosciences

Morrill Science Center

611 North Pleasant Street

Amherst MA 01003-9297

Dear Dr. Margulis,

    Ok, I might as well admit it. I love you (well, not "that" way). Since this letter amounts to fan mail, I will explain mysel£ About twenty years ago I looked into my phase contrast microscope, and much to my surprise, I did not see the usual suspects found in the human mouth. (I am a dentist and used the scope and video hookup to scare my periodontal patients into effective home care.) What I saw was, if memory serves was a ''bottle brush" structure. Spirochetes, ciliated, flagellated, round, strips, bars and shapes and sizes of bacteria all

lined up according do size and shape and surrounding a hollow inside. It reminded be of a certain sponge. I was looking at bacteria of unrelated (or so I was taught) forms and species. I was struck with how incredibly organized they were, and the thought ''Well, evolution is not so hard to explain after all." These little beasties we cooperating to more efficiently eat my patient. Talk about "intelligent design". When shown this structure in real time even my patient was astounded. For me, at the time, my attention was on cure and prevention of

disease. Now that I am semi-retired I can indulge my adult ADD.

    The interview in Discoverwas such a delight! I even had an epiphany with regard to why we are unable to treat some patients with advanced chronic problems. Unfortunately, this epiphany, like most, will take a bit of time to be able to explain to others.

    Thank you for your work and your irreverence.

Steven J. Negelow, DDS, FASH

Other Fan Mail


Dear Dr. Margulis -

Consider this a fan letter as I want to thank you for your interesting talk last evening at the Fish&Wildlife building. It was the first time I had heard of Symbiosis [I'm not a scientist - I'm an artist who is a bad speller.] The entire concept is so much more pleasing to the soul than 'Survival of the Fittest' which always grated on my nerves. And, in the scheme of things, visually and conceptually, it fits the pattern of evolving life so beautifully!

I came expecting to hear about the DNA progress on Neanderthal but instead was enlightened even more so. There are, however, two points which I may enlighten you on a bit. New England winters are indeed very beautiful and desirous. One only has to snow shoe to the deep woods and listen quietly to the wind as it blows through the tops of the trees in the forest to know that we are all part of something which is more than the sum of all it's parts. It is communication of another sort.

The second point would be the importance of language as a 'giant step forward' of the human species. Language is simply a means of communication, and, if I might add, rather an inefficient means at that. Even our beautiful Canadian Geese have been identified as having twelve distinct calls which communicate different meanings. Human babies too young to have developed language skills still have little problem communicating to their mothers. Instinct is more valuable than language as a communication tool.

Needless to say, what I am thanking you for is invigorating my mind with concepts which induce interesting and thought provoking ideas. And I apologize for using so many words to say 'thanks!' Please don't just talk to scientists...keep going out and grabbing those 'Intelligent Design' people by the ear and give them a good thrashing! Better yet, give them a good idea which they can live with comfortably, such as symbiosis.

Thank you again -

Jule Dupre

Bark of a 400 year old black gum, the oldest tree in Harvard Forest, Petersham, MA

Stand of red pine in Harvard Forest, one of the favorite sites for field trips.

Dear Lynn Margulis,

I am reading your books and it brings the open ends together.  Even science makes real sense again.  Your work infuses a new inspiration to the challenge of living for me!

Greetings, a great hug,

And thanks,

Best regards,

Kai Vogt Westling


Autumn leaves in New England

Updated 01/20/2014