The birth of bacterial genomics since the mid-1990s brought withit several conceptual modifications and wholly new controversies. Working beyond the scope of the neo-Darwinian evolutionary synthesis, a group of leading microbial evolutionists addresses the following and related issues, oftenwith markedly varied viewpoints: DT Did the eukaryotic nucleus, cytoskeleton and cilia also orginate from symbiosis? DT Do the current scenarios about he origin of mitochondria and plastids require revision? DT What is the extent of lateral gene transfer (between "species") among bacteria? DT Does the rDNA phylogenetic tree still stand in the age of genomics? DT Is the course of the first 3 billion years of evolution even knowable?