Basic Profile

Name:

James MacAllister

Organizational Title:

EnvEvo newsletter

Organization:

editor-publisher http://www.environmentalevolution.org, www/envevo.org; volunteer archivist for the Lynn Margulis Archive at University of Massachusetts-Amherst

City:

Amherst

State/Province:

MA

Zip/Postal Code:

01002

Country:

United States

Extended Profile

What do you (or organization) hope for in connection with a deep time perspective?

I am the founder of the field of evolution geography. The aim of evolution geography is to bring geography from the Holocene to the study of deep time.

I am a volunteer archivist for  the Lynn Margulis Archive at ScholarWorks , W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts-Amherst. I was a student and colleague of Lynn Margulis for the last decade of her life and she tasked me with converting her teaching materials and research video library to digital files.

I am also the webmaster for the Environmental Evolution website (www.environmentalevolution.org) . The EnvEvo website currently functions as a clearinghouse for news and information on Gaia Theory and the 21st century Integrative Synthesis in evolution and biology.  The other function of the website is to provide a home and database of audiovisual materials for the online courses in Environmental Evolution – the Origin and Effect of Life on Earth” designed and taught by Dr. Bruce Scofield. Dr. Scofield was the co-instructor with Lynn Margulis for the course as offered to Biology, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Geosciences senior and graduate students at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. The course is now being offered by Continuing and Professional Education at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

I am also the editor of the Environmental Evolution newsletter available on the http://www.envevo.org website. The newsletter is a quarterly publication.

I am also the video editor of the NSF-funded Developmental Biology Film Series produced in the early 1970s.  Saving these films from being lost, preserving them to digital files and making them freely available was a project started by Lynn Margulis. She used these films extensively in her Environmental Evolution course.  Lynn Margulis and a host of science-minded persons, including filmmaker Terrence Malick and 124 other contributors to the OBTAINIUM Kickstarter project made the rescue, preservation and distribution of these national treasures possible. I am currently at work doing some final fixes to the online versions that are available on an official Developmental Biology Films YouTube channel of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and distributed by OpenStax with their free courseware in biology.

Short description of your (or organization's) current interest/work in an deep time perspective:

As an evolution geographer, I am interested in extending geography’s limited time frame from the Holocene (11,700 BP to the present) into deep time and to education that understands that evolution (change through time) is a scientific fact. I am also interested in promoting the Copernican Revolution to those who suffer from our “species specific arrogance” and a profound ignorance of deep time. We are not “all the action” in deep time. All of the important evolutionary milestones preceded our arrival by millions of years. Humans are not the pinnacle of evolution nor do we control the Earth nor can we Save the Planet. It is the Earth that takes care of us. We must save ourselves from our own hubris. This will come as a shock to most folks, even most of us on the Deep Time Journey Network. It is the 99.9% of life that is the microcosmos that has controlled the Earth system (Gaia) for over 3200 million years. They will still be here long after we have caused our own extinction.

Background: Your bio if an individual, or description if an organization (Let us know who you are!):

I spent a 30-year career in video production with a speciality in programs in medicine and science. I was also involved in the production of an eclectic mix of documentaries covering subjects from art education to art history, polymer science, plastic pollution, Earth-centered faiths, piano pedagogy, and the sport of hang gliding. As a career change, I began working for the late visionary evolutionist, Lynn Margulis, first as an animator, then as her student, digital content creator, teaching assistant and colleague. I have a Master’s of Science degree in geography and I am a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London.

What are you (or organization) looking for from the Network?

Science-based education and debate on evolutionary topics. Creationism, Intelligent Design, Scientism and an implicit belief in human exceptionalism differ from evidence-based science. The former start with belief or certainty in a Truth or an implicit assumption that humans are special and/or separate from nature. Science is the opposite: it starts with the best-evidence from observation, experiment and measurement and is always open-minded and corrigible. Science is the study of nature and understands that all life is embedded in nature and radically interdependent.

What do you (or organization) bring to the Network?

A Margulisian perspective, including the New Symbiotic Biology, the Third Way of evolution and environmental evolution (the origin and effect of life on Earth over deep time).

Year became interested in a deep time evolutionary perspective:

2001 formally, but I have always had a keen interest in the past, archeology and history.

Originally inspired to do this work by:

Distinguished University Professor Lynn Margulis, UMass-Amherst

Also inspired to do this work by:

Richard Wilkie, Alexander von Humboldt, Vladimir Vernadsky, Ivan Wallin, Boris Kozo-Polyansky, James Lovelock, Robert Hazen, Michael Williams, Stephan Harding, Whitey Hagadorn, Denis Noble, Martin Brasier, James Shapiro and many others.

Call this work:

Other

If you call it something else, what do you call it?

Environmental Evolution, Gaia Theory, Symbiogenetics, Evolution Geography

Organizations involved with that have a Deep Time evolutionary perspective:

GeoBook Studio, International Big History Association, Linnean Society of London, http://www.musicoflife.co.uk, http://www.environmentalevolution.org

Applying a Deep Time evolutionary perspective to what fields/issues:

Education, Ecology

Favorite Quote Having to do With a Deep Time Evolutionary Perspective:

We are no more capable to be the stewards or developers of the Earth than are goats to be gardeners. – James E. Lovelock

Are you a teacher/professor?

Yes

If yes, what institution?

environmentalevolution.org

Offer programs with a deep time evolutionary perspective:

Yes

If Yes, Programs Offered With a Deep Time Evolutionary Perspective:

Teacher Training Programs, Programs in Schools and Colleges, Workshops/Seminars, Other

Other kinds of programs:

speaking at international meetings

(Optional) Endorsements from people who have participated in your programs:

Prof. Denis Noble, Physiology, Oxford University and President, International Union of Physiological Sciences

Published Books/Movies/Other With a Deep Time Evolutionary Perspective:

Endosymbiosis animation in video Eukaryosis – The Origin of Eukaryotic Cells by Lynn Margulis
Chapter “Nested Communities” in Chimeras and Consciousness, MIT Press
Homage to Darwin Debate on Evolution (2009) – http://www.voicesfromoxford.org/video/Homage-to-Darwin-part-1/74
Commentary on the Margulis-Dawkins Homage to Darwin Debate – http://www.musicoflife.co.uk
A New View of Evolution -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmNheBhEuqc

One line bio for display on the map and on your profile:

evolution geographer

One website address for display on the map:

http://www.environmentalevolution.org

Your other websites:

Environmental Evolution:
http://www.environmentalevolution.org/environmentalevolution.org