Microbial Detection of Kin and Kind

ISTE & WILEY have just published The Explosion of Life Forms: Living Beings and Morphology (2021)

We (Guillermo PAZ-Y-MIÑO-C and Avelina ESPINOSA) authored Chapter 6: The Many Shapes of Microbial Detection of Kin and Kind. The book was edited by our colleagues Georges Chapouthier, Emeritus Director of Research at the French National Centre for Scientific Research, and Marie-Christine Maurel, Professor at Sorbonne University and a researcher at the Institut de Systématique, Évolution, Biodiversité laboratory at the National Museum of Natural History.

Below are the publisher’s description and list of chapters in the book, as well as the abstract of our chapter:

“One of the essential characteristics of living beings is the explosion of variety in their forms that is intrinsically linked to the diversity of the environments they have adapted to. This book, the result of collaboration between international specialists, analyzes the multiplicity of these morphologies. It explores the origin of forms, their role in defining living things, and the relationship between form and function. It exposes the role of genes and epigenetics and examines the forms of bacteria, protists and plants. The Explosion of Life Forms also studies the memory of animals and their sensory processes, the forms of robots (built in the image of living things), and medical technologies aimed at restoring damaged living forms. Finally, this work questions a common principle of construction in the diversity of forms, as well as the idea of an abandonment of the form, a possible hidden defect of some modern philosophies.”

Chapter 1. Possible Traces and Clues of Early Life Forms by Marie-Christine MAUREL

Chapter 2. The Nature of Life by Andreas LOSCH

Chapter 3. From Form to Function by Jean-Pierre GASC

Chapter 4. On Growth and Form: Context and Purpose by Jean-Pierre GASC

Chapter 5. The Emergence of Form in the History of Epigenetics by Jonathan B. WEITZMAN

Chapter 6. The Many Shapes of Microbial Detection of Kin and Kind by Guillermo PAZ-Y-MIÑO-C and Avelina ESPINOSA – Bacteria, archaea and protists are anatomically/functionally equipped to detect close genetic relatives, as well as distantly related conspecifics. In this chapter, the authors discuss the adaptive value of a microbe’s ability to discriminate/recognize kin from non-kin. Because the theoretical framework of this field was initially developed for animals – and some plants, they first explain its foundations and later examine unicells’ examples. Emphasis is on “shapes” and genetics. The authors highlight the relevance of kin detection for altruistic cooperation (including among pathogens) or for the identification of “cheater cells” (the beneficiaries of others’ selfless acts, but that do not contribute to the collective well-being), and for the formation of temporary or permanent cell alliances, which are informative for understanding the evolutionary origins of multicellularity.

Chapter 7. Development and Evolution of Plant Forms 101 Florian JABBOUR and Guilhem MANSION

Chapter 8. Forms of Memory by Robert JAFFARD

Chapter 9. The Construction of Sensory Universes by Dalila BOVET

Chapter 10. Emotional and Social Forms of Robots by Laurence DEVILLERS

Chapter 11. When Medical Technology Mimics Living Forms by Didier FASS

Chapter 12. From Living to Thinking: Mosaic Architecture by Georges CHAPOUTHIER

Chapter 13. Converging Technologies or Paradoxes of Power by Jean-Michel BESNIER

2016 Selfies of “Measuring the Evolution Controversy” MTEC

How did MTEC do since its release six months ago?

Our 2016 book, Measuring the Evolution Controversy, came out in June (06-01-06) and is now available at 47 major libraries worldwide (hard copy and/or electronic edition). We learned about it via a search on worldcat.org. Here are some selfies of MTEC captured in different settings and cities; we have taken the book out quite a lot. Thus, more than a “book tour,” it has been a tour of the book. The images are shown in no particular order. The last one is our favorite. Enjoy!  And best wishes for 2017 to our friends, colleagues and followers — @gpazymino@EvoLiteracy – Facebook – ResearchGateAcademia.edu.


Above: MTEC at the National Zoo in Washington DC.


Above: MTEC with clones and advertising flyer (click on image to enlarge). “The great contribution of ‘Measuring the Evolution Controversy’ is the rich content of data and analysis that asks detailed questions about the social, economic and political backgrounds of those who tend to reject evolution vs. those who accept evolution as science. Paz-y-Miño-C and Espinosa deftly analyze their data drawn from institutions of higher learning in the United States and particularly New England —which stands as a microcosm of the rest of the country, and indeed elsewhere in the world. It is their scientific approach to these issues which makes this book stand out as a uniquely original contribution.” — Niles Eldredge, PhD, Curator Emeritus of Paleontology at The American Museum of Natural History, New York.


Above: MTEC posing with a “canvas” of books (painted on the wall), Boston; 4th of July.


Above: MTEC posing with book companions when they all were featured as “books of the month” by Cambridge Scholars. If you missed this, it was quite an opportunity because the prize went down to 40 percent during promotion. Now it is back to its regular price.


Above: MTEC at the downtown campus of Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia. Quite a stop to start our official visit to Moscow. The old university campus is located nearby the Kremlin. The new campus is located South of the city’s center.


Above: MTEC with companions posing a bit serious for formal photography.


Above: MTEC at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. How majestic… both look =)


Above: MTEC in Provincetown, Massachusetts. At the famous “First Landing Place of the Pilgrims, November 11, 1620.” See close up below.


Above: MTEC at the famous “First Landing Place of the Pilgrims, November 11, 1620” in Provincetown, Massachusetts.


Above: MTEC enjoying a lovely day outside the Library of Lomonosov Moscow State University. MTEC was not allowed in the Library due to lack of proper “pass,” which was required for visitors. In any event, the book took some time for selfies and promotion.


Above: MTEC with its kin… Evolution Stands Faith Up (2013).


Above: MTEC at the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics in Moscow, Russia.


Above: MTEC at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, US.


Above: MTEC at the Supreme Court of the United States in DC.


Above: MTEC and clones showing maps content. “Pro-science activists and educators constantly bemoan the resistance to the teaching of evolution in the United States. All of us have anecdotes about encounters with the public, parents and students who are misinformed by their churches, Religious-Right groups, and creationist organizations. Paz-y-Miño-C and Espinosa present hard data that support the anecdotal evidence. They also show that although anti-evolutionism typically begins with religion, it is a multi-faceted problem that intersects with political and cultural ideologies. Gathered through careful research over a period of years, their data will enable scientists and defenders of science education to comprehend the roots of the evolution controversy and counteract resistance to evolution more strategically and effectively.”Barbara Forrest, PhD, co-author with Paul R. Gross of Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design (2007), and expert witness for plaintiffs, Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District (2005).


Above: MTEC at the Boston Public Library.


Above: MTEC planning the next day’s activities in Moscow. The Metro system is quite efficient to explore the city’s historic buildings, monuments and museums.


Above: MTEC enjoying a visit to one of the reading rooms at the Russian State Library in Moscow.


Above: MTEC posing before The Senate, Kremlin, Moscow.


Above: MTEC resting on an old tree outside the Newport Public Library in Rhode Island, US.


Above: MTEC outside the Supreme Court of the United States in DC.


Above: We found him captivated by it…

Measuring the Evolution Controversy can be ordered directly from Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Amazon US, or Amazon CA . The publisher has made available a “VIEW EXTRACT” (in PDF), which includes the first 30-pages of the book: Cover, Table of Contents, Acknowledgments, Preface, Chapter ONE and the beginning of Chapter TWO. For PDF of color illustrations go to Image Resources of Didactic Relevance. — GPC — EvoLiteracy 2016.

How to cite the book:

Paz-y-Miño-C, G & Espinosa, A. 2016. Measuring the Evolution Controversy: A Numerical Analysis of Acceptance of Evolution at America’s Colleges and Universities. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, United Kingdom. ISBN (10): 1-4438-9042-1, ISBN (13): 978-1-4438-9042-7.

You can contact Guillermo Paz-y-Miño-C via email at guillermo.pazyminoc@gmail.com — Follow us on Twitter @gpazymino and Facebook.

Suggested Readings and Related Links

The Incompatibility Hypothesis: Evolution vs. Supernatural Causation

Evolution Stands Faith Up: Reflections on Evolution’s Wars

Darwin’s Skepticism about God

Evolution Wars: Debunk II

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Evolution Stands Faith Up: Reflections on Evolution’s Wars (2013). By NOVA Publishers, New York Soft Cover. Find it at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.comAmazon UK.

Paz-y-Mino-C_Book_Cover_Evolution_Stands_Faith_Up_JPEG“The sweet spot of this collection of essays is the interface of science, history and literacy. Paz-y-Miño-C is, in essence, a champion of rationalism and a passionate defender of literacy standards. His essays deftly weave hard survey data and memorable turns of phrase with evocative imagery… While the essays in this collection are vast in coverage —from climate change to energy policy, stem cell research, vaccinations and, especially, evolution— a clear underlying theme emerges: [the author’s] goal is no less than to counter, through the lens of history and the majesty of rationalism, social forces that sanction ignorance, celebrate denial and… continue to diminish our global status in the fields of science and technology.” Jeff Podos, PhD, Professor of Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA.

“Paz-y-Miño-C  is a firm believer in evolutionary processes. He would like to see decisions made on the basis of facts, not unsupported opinion. He abhors and fears irrational thinking, especially ‘the views of those who see evil in truth and menace in the realities discovered by science.’ He marvels at the intricacy and diversity of life, and how it came about through natural selection… and is clearly frustrated by the unwillingness of so many to see the beauty and majesty in this view of the world and all that it explains.” – Jan A. Pechenik, PhD, Professor of Biology, Tufts University, USA, author of The Readable Darwin: The Origin of Species, as Edited for Modern Readers.

Why editorials?

Dr Guillermo Paz-y-Mino C image four evolution literacyDr. Guillermo Paz-y-Miño C. contributes with editorials on science, technology and the environment to periodicals, newspapers, newsletters and specialized science magazines. He conducts research on the patterns of acceptance of evolution by college students and university professors in the United States, particularly in New England. He considers it crucial to communicate science to the public and promote science and evolution literacy. He is an Assistant Professor of Biology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMassD).

Links: G. Paz-y-Miño C. profile and affiliation to the Department of Biology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMassD)