...And he died almost exactly a year after the death of another important 20th century biologist, Lynn Margulis. Woese and Margulis transformed my entire view of life. Reading their works was like discovering a new planet and even a new poetry. Just listen to Woese:

If you wiped out all multi-cellular life forms off the face of the earth, microbial life might shift a tiny bit... If microbial life were to disappear, that would be it–instant death for the planet...
You will completely miss my reason for loathing The Tree of Life if you are cold to this deeper and truer kind of understanding. Even Plato could get the tired ideas in that lazy film but never the thinking in the page of Symbiotic Planet.