A New History of Life

The Radical New Discoveries about the Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth

Author: Peter Ward,Joe Kirschvink

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1608199088

Category: Science

Page: 400

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Charles Darwin's theories, first published more than 150 years ago, form the backbone of how we understand the history of the Earth. In reality, the currently accepted history of life on Earth is so flawed, so out of date, that it's past time we need a 'New History of Life.' In their latest book, Joe Kirschvink and Peter Ward will show that many of our most cherished beliefs about the evolution of life are wrong. Gathering and analyzing years of discoveries and research not yet widely known to the public, A New History of Life proposes a different origin of species than the one Darwin proposed, one which includes eight-foot-long centipedes, a frozen "snowball Earth†?, and the seeds for life originating on Mars. Drawing on their years of experience in paleontology, biology, chemistry, and astrobiology, experts Ward and Kirschvink paint a picture of the origins life on Earth that are at once too fabulous to imagine and too familiar to dismiss--and looking forward, A New History of Life brilliantly assembles insights from some of the latest scientific research to understand how life on Earth can and might evolve far into the future.

Life

A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth

Author: Richard Fortey

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307761185

Category: Science

Page: 400

View: 8280

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By one of Britain's most gifted scientists: a magnificently daring and compulsively readable account of life on Earth (from the "big bang" to the advent of man), based entirely on the most original of all sources--the evidence of fossils. With excitement and driving intelligence, Richard Fortey guides us from the barren globe spinning in space, through the very earliest signs of life in the sulphurous hot springs and volcanic vents of the young planet, the appearance of cells, the slow creation of an atmosphere and the evolution of myriad forms of plants and animals that could then be sustained, including the magnificent era of the dinosaurs, and on to the last moment before the debut of Homo sapiens. Ranging across multiple scientific disciplines, explicating in wonderfully clear and refreshing prose their findings and arguments--about the origins of life, the causes of species extinctions and the first appearance of man--Fortey weaves this history out of the most delicate traceries left in rock, stone and earth. He also explains how, on each aspect of nature and life, scientists have reached the understanding we have today, who made the key discoveries, who their opponents were and why certain ideas won. Brimful of wit, fascinating personal experience and high scholarship, this book may well be our best introduction yet to the complex history of life on Earth. A Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection With 32 pages of photographs From the Hardcover edition.

History of Life

Author: Richard Cowen

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118510933

Category: Science

Page: 312

View: 9861

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This text is designed for students and anyone else with an interest in the history of life on our planet. The author describes the biological evolution of Earth’s organisms, and reconstructs their adaptations to the life they led, and the ecology and environment in which they functioned. On the grand scale, Earth is a constantly changing planet, continually presenting organisms with challenges. Changing geography, climate, atmosphere, oceanic and land environments set a stage in which organisms interact with their environments and one another, with evolutionary change an inevitable result. The organisms themselves in turn can change global environments: oxygen in our atmosphere is all produced by photosynthesis, for example. The interplay between a changing Earth and its evolving organisms is the underlying theme of the book. The book has a dedicated website which explores additional enriching information and discussion, and provides or points to the art for the book and many other images useful for teaching. See: www.wiley.com/go/cowen/historyoflife.

The Tangled Tree

A Radical New History of Life

Author: David Quammen

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476776644

Category: Science

Page: 480

View: 1297

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Longlisted for the National Book Award for Nonfiction Nonpareil science writer David Quammen explains how recent discoveries in molecular biology can change our understanding of evolution and life’s history, with powerful implications for human health and even our own human nature. In the mid-1970s, scientists began using DNA sequences to reexamine the history of all life. Perhaps the most startling discovery to come out of this new field—the study of life’s diversity and relatedness at the molecular level—is horizontal gene transfer (HGT), or the movement of genes across species lines. It turns out that HGT has been widespread and important. For instance, we now know that roughly eight percent of the human genome arrived not through traditional inheritance from directly ancestral forms, but sideways by viral infection—a type of HGT. In The Tangled Tree David Quammen, “one of that rare breed of science journalists who blends exploration with a talent for synthesis and storytelling” (Nature), chronicles these discoveries through the lives of the researchers who made them—such as Carl Woese, the most important little-known biologist of the twentieth century; Lynn Margulis, the notorious maverick whose wild ideas about “mosaic” creatures proved to be true; and Tsutomu Wantanabe, who discovered that the scourge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a direct result of horizontal gene transfer, bringing the deep study of genome histories to bear on a global crisis in public health. “Quammen is no ordinary writer. He is simply astonishing, one of that rare class of writer gifted with verve, ingenuity, humor, guts, and great heart” (Elle). Now, in The Tangled Tree, he explains how molecular studies of evolution have brought startling recognitions about the tangled tree of life—including where we humans fit upon it. Thanks to new technologies such as CRISPR, we now have the ability to alter even our genetic composition—through sideways insertions, as nature has long been doing. The Tangled Tree is a brilliant guide to our transformed understanding of evolution, of life’s history, and of our own human nature.

The History of Love: A Novel

Author: Nicole Krauss

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393328627

Category: Fiction

Page: 252

View: 3243

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Sixty years after a book's publication, its author remembers his lost love and missing son, while a teenage girl, named for one of the book's characters, seeks her namesake, as well as a cure for her widowed mother's loneliness. By the author of Man Walks Into a Room. Reader's Guide included. Reprint.

Major Events in the History of Life

Author: J. William Schopf

Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Learning

ISBN: 9780867202687

Category: Science

Page: 190

View: 1025

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Major Events in the History of Life, present six chapters that summarize our understanding of crucial events that shaped the development of the earth's environment and the course of biological evolution over some four billion years of geological time. The subjects are covered by acknowledged leaders in their fields span an enormous sweep of biologic history, from the formation of planet Earth and the origin of living systems to our earliest records of human activity. Several chapters present new data and new syntheses, or summarized results of new types of analysis, material not usually available in current college textbooks.

Trees of Life

A Visual History of Evolution

Author: Theodore W. Pietsch

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421411857

Category: Science

Page: 376

View: 3956

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Evolution.

Who Wrote the Book of Life?

A History of the Genetic Code

Author: Lily E. Kay

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 9780804734172

Category: Science

Page: 441

View: 9678

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This is a detailed history of one of the most important and dramatic episodes in modern science, recounted from the novel vantage point of the dawn of the information age and its impact on representations of nature, heredity, and society. Drawing on archives, published sources, and interviews, the author situates work on the genetic code (1953-70) within the history of life science, the rise of communication technosciences (cybernetics, information theory, and computers), the intersection of molecular biology with cryptanalysis and linguistics, and the social history of postwar Europe and the United States. Kay draws out the historical specificity in the process by which the central biological problem of DNA-based protein synthesis came to be metaphorically represented as an information code and a writing technology—and consequently as a “book of life.” This molecular writing and reading is part of the cultural production of the Nuclear Age, its power amplified by the centuries-old theistic resonance of the “book of life” metaphor. Yet, as the author points out, these are just metaphors: analogies, not ontologies. Necessary and productive as they have been, they have their epistemological limitations. Deploying analyses of language, cryptology, and information theory, the author persuasively argues that, technically speaking, the genetic code is not a code, DNA is not a language, and the genome is not an information system (objections voiced by experts as early as the 1950s). Thus her historical reconstruction and analyses also serve as a critique of the new genomic biopower. Genomic textuality has become a fact of life, a metaphor literalized, she claims, as human genome projects promise new levels of control over life through the meta-level of information: control of the word (the DNA sequences) and its editing and rewriting. But the author shows how the humbling limits of these scriptural metaphors also pose a challenge to the textual and material mastery of the genomic “book of life.”

Paleontology

A Brief History of Life

Author: Ian Tattersall

Publisher: Templeton Foundation Press

ISBN: 1599473682

Category: Religion

Page: 232

View: 905

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"Endlessly absorbing and informative. It would be hard to imagine a better introduction to this most important and fascinating field.”—Bill Bryson, author of A Short History of Nearly Everything Paleontology: A Brief History of Life is the fifth title published in the Templeton Science and Religion Series, in which scientists from a wide range of fields distill their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties. In this volume, Ian Tattersall, a highly esteemed figure in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, and paleontology, leads a fascinating tour of the history of life and the evolution of human beings. Starting at the very beginning, Tattersall examines patterns of change in the biosphere over time, and the correlations of biological events with physical changes in the Earth’s environment. He introduces the complex of evolutionary processes, situates human beings in the luxuriant diversity of Life (demonstrating that however remarkable we may legitimately find ourselves to be, we are the product of the same basic forces and processes that have driven the evolutionary histories of all other creatures), and he places the origin of our extraordinary spiritual sensibilities in the context of the exaptational and emergent acquisition of symbolic cognition and thought. Concise and yet comprehensive, historically penetrating and yet up-to-date, responsibly factual and yet engaging, Paleontology serves as the perfect entrée to science's greatest story.

The History of Life: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Michael J. Benton

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199226326

Category: Science

Page: 170

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This Very Short Introduction presents a succinct and accessible guide to the key episodes in the story of life on earth - from the very origins of life four million years ago to the extraordinary diversity of species around the globe today.

Fossils

Author: Richard A. Fortey

Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.

ISBN: 9781402762543

Category: Nature

Page: 256

View: 9593

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Discusses the formation of fossils, describes how they are used by scientists to reconstruct the history of the earth, and offers guidance on starting a fossil collection.

A History of Life in 100 Fossils

Author: Paul D. Taylor,Aaron O'Dea

Publisher: Smithsonian Institution

ISBN: 1588345025

Category: Nature

Page: 224

View: 6613

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A History of Life in 100 Fossils showcases 100 key fossils that together illustrate the evolution of life on earth. Iconic specimens have been selected from the renowned collections of the two premier natural history museums in the world, the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, and the Natural History Museum, London. The fossils ahve been chosen not only for their importance in the history of life, but also because of the visual story they tell. This stunning book is perfect for all readers because its clear explanations and beautiful photographs illuminate the significance of these amazing pieces, including 500 million-year-old Burgess Shale fossils that provide a window into early animal life in the sea, insects encapsulated by amber, the first fossil bird Archaeopteryx, and the remains of our own ancestors.

Evolution in Four Dimensions, revised edition

Genetic, Epigenetic, Behavioral, and Symbolic Variation in the History of Life

Author: Eva Jablonka,Marion J. Lamb,Anna Zeligowski

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262525844

Category: Science

Page: 563

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A pioneering proposal for a pluralistic extension of evolutionary theory, now updated to reflect the most recent research.

The Monkey's Voyage

How Improbable Journeys Shaped the History of Life

Author: Alan de Queiroz

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465069762

Category: Science

Page: 304

View: 1845

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How did species wind up where they are today? Scientists have long conjectured that plants and animals dispersed throughout the world by drifting on large landmasses as they broke up, but in The Monkey's Voyage, biologist Alan de Queiroz offers a radical new theory that displaces this passive view. He describes how species as diverse as monkeys, baobab trees, and burrowing lizards made incredible long-distance ocean crossings: pregnant animals and wind-blown plants rode rafts and icebergs and even stowed away on the legs of sea-going birds to create the map of life we see today. In the tradition of John McPhee's Basin and Range and David Quammen's The Song of the Dodo, The Monkey's Voyage is a beautifully told narrative of a profound investigation into the importance of contingency in history and the nature of scientific discovery.

Principles of Evolution: Systems, Species, and the History of Life

Author: Jonathan Bard

Publisher: Garland Science

ISBN: 1351854771

Category: Science

Page: 392

View: 7893

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Principles of Evolution considers evolution in the context of systems biology, a contemporary approach for handling biological complexity. Evolution needs this systems perspective for three reasons. First, most activity in living organisms is driven by complex networks of proteins and this has direct implications, particularly for understanding evo-devo and for seeing how variation is initiated. Second, it provides the natural language for discussing phylogenetic trees. Third, evolutionary change involves events at levels ranging from the genome to the ecosystem and systems biology provides a context for integrating material of this complexity. Understanding evolution means, on the one hand, describing the history of life and, on the other, making sense of the principles that drove that history. The solution adopted here is to make the science of evolution the primary focus of the book and place the various parts of the history of life in the context of the research that unpicks it. This means that the history is widely distributed across the text. This concise textbook assumes that the reader has a fair amount of biological knowledge and gives equal weight to all the major themes of evolution: the fossil record, phylogenetics, evodevo, and speciation. Principles of Evolution will therefore be an interesting and thought-provoking read for honors-level undergraduates, and graduates working in the biological sciences.

The History of Everyday Life

Reconstructing Historical Experiences and Ways of Life

Author: Alf Ludtke

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691008929

Category: History

Page: 318

View: 9742

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Alltagsgeschichte, or the history of everyday life, emerged during the 1980s as the most interesting new field among West German historians and, more recently, their East German colleagues. Partly in reaction to the modernization theory pervading West German social history in the 1970s, practitioners of alltagsgeschichte stressed the complexities of popular experience, paying particular attention, for instance, to the relationship of the German working class to Nazism. Now the first English translation of a key volume of essays (Alltagsgeschichte: Zur Rekonstruktion historischer Erfahrungen und Lebensweisen) presents this approach and shows how it cuts across the boundaries of established disciplines. The result is a work of great methodological, theoretical, and historiographical significance as well as a substantive contribution to German studies. Introduced by Alf Lüdtke, the volume includes two empirical essays, one by Lutz Niethammer on life courses of East Germans after 1945 and one by Lüdtke on modes of accepting fascism among German workers. The remaining five essays are theoretical: Hans Medick writes on ethnological ways of knowledge as a challenge to social history; Peter Schöttler, on mentalities, ideologies, and discourses and alltagsgeschichte; Dorothee Wierling, on gender relations and alltagsgeschichte; Wolfgang Kaschuba, on popular culture and workers' culture as symbolic orders; and Harald Dehne on the challenge alltagsgeschichte posed for Marxist-Leninist historiography in East Germany.

The Book of Life

Author: Stephen Jay Gould

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393321562

Category: Science

Page: 256

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An illustrated natural history of the Earth and its denizens combines paintings, drawings, and computer-generated images with a chronicle of the world's variegated organisms and species.

A Brief History of Creation: Science and the Search for the Origin of Life

Author: Bill Mesler,H. James Cleaves

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393248542

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 1330

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The epic story of the scientists through the ages who have sought answers to life’s biggest mystery: How did it begin? In this essential and illuminating history of Western science, Bill Mesler and H. James Cleaves II seek to answer the most crucial question in science: How did life begin? They trace the trials and triumphs of the iconoclastic scientists who have sought to solve the mystery, from Darwin’s theory of evolution to Crick and Watson’s unveiling of DNA. This fascinating exploration not only examines the origin-of-life question, but also interrogates the very nature of scientific discovery and objectivity.

The Prime of Life

Author: Steven Mintz

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674425685

Category: History

Page: 427

View: 2753

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Steven Mintz reconstructs the emotional interior of a life stage too often relegated to self-help books and domestic melodramas. He describes the challenges of adulthood today and puts them into perspective by exploring how past generations achieved intimacy and connection, raised children, sought meaning in work, and responded to loss.