From the Publisher
"Where do I come from? Why does anything exist? For too long, young minds have been fobbed off with traditional answers, which are not only false but actually rather boring compared with the truth. Michael Rubino tells the true story—which means the scientific story—illustrated with his captivating paintings. Children will be fascinated by this book, and they’ll use it to educate their parents."
"The illustrations in Michael Rubino’s Bang! How We Came to Be are lively, breathtaking, flowing, thought provoking, colorful, and sharp. If they do not transport you and your children to the past and enchant . . . with the wonder that is nature and evolution—I give up. The narrative flows easily, carrying nothing pedantic or political; it simply recounts what science has learned of the history of the particular life-form called humans. This wonderful book would be a life-affirming gift for any child."
—Cameron M. Smith, PhD, Author of The Top Ten Myths about Evolution and The Fact of Evolution
Children's Literature - Tina Chan
For curious young minds who want to know more about astronomy and evolution, this book gives a descriptive time line of major events of how life came to be in existence. Beginning with 3,800 million years ago through today, each page vividly describes the evolution of species. Equally vivid are the color and black-and-white illustrations on every page. The book would not be complete without a lesson to be learned. The author contends that for new life forms to be created, we must preserve Earth's natural resources by conserving energy, recycling, and reducing dependence on fossil fuels. Good advice to instill in tomorrow's generation. The vocabulary and writing style are appropriate for middle level elementary school students through middle school. Included is a brief bibliography of age appropriate sources. Although the sources listed in the bibliography may be dated (the most recent is 2004), they are adequate for this book. Reviewer: Tina Chan
Read an Excerpt
How We Came To Be
By Michael Rubino
Copyright © 2011 Michael Rubino
All right reserved.
Chapter One BEFORE TIME BEGAN ...
The entire universe was squeezed to a point so tiny that it could have gotten lost in the palm of a child's hand.
Of course, there were no children then.
And beyond that tiny point, there was simply nothing.
Nothing at all.
When, suddenly ...
AND THAT WAS IT, THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING ...
More than 13 billion years ago, from an infinitely hot, incredibly tiny, supercondensed state, the universe exploded.
IN THE BLOOM OF EXPANDING GASES AND COSMIC DUST, BRILLIANT GALAXIES OF STARS WERE BORN ...
As stars spun into being, many large and small cast-off bits remained in the orbits of these stars, colliding and coalescing to form planets. In time, billions upon billions of stars would be formed and they would shine their life-sustaining light and warmth, as suns, upon countless planets in the universe. Many worlds may now be home to unimaginable life-forms.
EARTH, IN ITS BLAZING, MOLTEN INFANCY, WAS PUMMELED BY ASTEROIDS AND METEORITES ...
Eventually, however, planet Earth finally cooled. The scum upon its surface hardened into crust. Condensing steam rained down to form the oceans. And Earth continued on its steady path, revolving around and around its sun. Like millions of other planets in the Milky Way Galaxy and beyond, Earth had the extraordinary potential to support life.
LIGHTNING STRUCK, VOLCANOES ERUPTED, AND RADIATION POURED FROM THE SUN ...
This excited chemicals in Earth's oceans to intermingle and become simple organic molecules. While attached to a flat mineral surface amid boiling, turbulent waters, some of these molecules began to come in contact with one another. They linked together into chains, took in more organic molecules from their watery surroundings, and began to self- replicate. Eventually, fatty by-products formed protective membranes around these strands of self-replicating, information-carrying molecules ... and so it was that WE made our first appearance—as single-celled organisms. We broke free of the crystal surface and wandered throughout the open sea.
3,800 MILLION YEARS AGO ...
We consumed energy, we grew, we divided, and we multiplied. As we reproduced, each new molecule created was just a little different from the one before it. Over several million years' time, as we adapted to changing environments and new ways of life, our populations evolved into a variety of species. Some of us—the blue-green algae—derived our energy from the Sun and released pure oxygen every time we fed. The increased levels of oxygen in the atmosphere killed some cells ... but actually stimulated others. While many such cells continue to thrive today as a vast array of bacteria, others encountered organisms with different abilities and, instead of devouring them, formed mutually beneficial partnerships and fused together. As a result, we became more complex.
Excerpted from Bang! by Michael Rubino Copyright © 2011 by Michael Rubino. Excerpted by permission of Prometheus Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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