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This book presents a hypothesis and evidence that organisms promote and ecosystems maximize biodiversity. All species have a net positive effect on their environment, other species, and diversity. The sun is 30% hotter than when life began, but the temperature has been kept moderate by life. Life created high oxygen, the ozone layer, and fertile soil, a diverse, living system. No species evolves in isolation, and most evolution is coevolution. The nature and number of links between species are as important as species number. Eukaryotes coevolve with complex ecosystems of microbes with which they exchange genes. Genomes and intraspecific interactions both act to promote evolution and diversification. Viruses increase diversity of their hosts and cause macroevolutionary transitions.
- Life alters the Earth in ways that increase biodiversity
- All species make their environment better for other species and promote diversity
- Life created the life-friendly atmosphere, temperature, and soil of today
About the Author
David Seaborg is a renowned evolutionary biologist. He originated the concept that organisms act as feedback systems with respect to their evolution, and that they thus play an important role in guiding their evolution. This concept is a mechanism for punctuated equilibrium. He showed that the standard genetic code is on an adaptive peak, and how populations cross over maladaptive valleys from one adaptive peak to another. He published a hypothesis to explain how homosexuality evolved even though it theoretically reduces the number of offspring produced. He wrote an article on the serious non-climatic effects of excess carbon in the atmosphere. He wrote two books on his influential Autocatalytic Biodiversity Hypothesis, which proposes that all species help their ecosystem and other species, and increase biodiversity, in natural ecosystems. He has taught biology from kindergarten to the university level. He founded and is President of the World Rainforest Fund, a nonprofit, tax exempt foundation dedicated to saving the Earth's tropical rainforests and biodiversity by empowering the indigenous people who live in rainforests. David conceived the idea for and organized a press conference of Nobel Prize winners on global environmental issues held at the 100th Nobel Prize ceremonies in Stockholm in 2001.