lynn margulies
Lynn Margulies



     Why these rates and not others? Where do they come from? What ties to nature do or did they express? Why are they so widely conserved? And crucial for our exploration: what do they tell us about love and wisdom and the other basic virtues? To make sense of the biological influences on human nature, we will have to speculate on their evolutionary origins.
    bacterial endosymbionts Lynn Margulies suggests that many of the functions in eukaryotic cells (cells with nuclei and organelles) entered the stream of life when bacterial symbionts invaded or were ingested and were eventually co-opted by their host cells and lost their independence. They became the mitochondria, ribosomes, mictrotubules, and other organelles of primitive single celled life. “The descendants of the bacteria that swam in primeval seas breathing oxygen three billion years ago,” she wrote, “exist now in our bodies as mitochondria. At one time, the ancient bacteria had combined with other microorganisms. They took up residence inside, providing waste disposal and oxygen-derived energy in return for food and shelter.”20  

Ameoba with organelles purportedly evolved  from bacterial endosymbionts

      Earlier still,  horizontal gene transfers between  bacterial microorganisms occurred. Carl Woese has done research on the rapid evolution this caused in the archea. We can guess that clock genes and rate-determining gene sequences were likely to have been among the transferred material. Later, Darwinian evolution carried them from species to species.
     Margulies speculated that neuronal functioning itself might have been structured originally around the behaviors of imported bacterial spirochetes. She wrote:

“I continually play with an idea, the origin of thought and consciousness is cellular, owing its beginnings to the first courtship between unlikely bacterial bedfellows who became ancestors to our mind-brains… The microbes are not just metaphors; their remnants inhabit our brain, their needs and habits, histories and health status help determine our behavior.”21
     By knowing the lineages of the conserved frequency bands, from horizontal gene transfers to bacterial endosymbiosis, – and by uncovering the primal functions of the ur-rhythms carried by them – we can learn more about ourselves. We can learn how we love and think.
     But a crucial question remains: where did the first organisms get their rhythms?
     Answer: from the sun, water and atmospheric electricity.