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The Deep Hot Biosphere

The Deep Hot Biosphere

4.0 1
by Thomas Gold, Freeman Dyson, F. Dyson (Foreword by)

Suppose someone claimed that we are not running out of petroleum? Or that life on Earth began below the surface of our planet? Or that oil and gas are not "fossil fuels"? Or that if we find extraterrestrial life it is likely to be within, not on, other planets? You might expect to hear statements like these from an author of science fiction. But what if they came


Suppose someone claimed that we are not running out of petroleum? Or that life on Earth began below the surface of our planet? Or that oil and gas are not "fossil fuels"? Or that if we find extraterrestrial life it is likely to be within, not on, other planets? You might expect to hear statements like these from an author of science fiction. But what if they came from a renowned physicist, an indisputably brilliant scientist who has been called "one of the world's most original minds"?
In the The Deep Hot Biosphere, Thomas Gold sets forth truly controversial and astonishing theories about where oil and gas come from, and how they acquire their organic "signatures." The conclusions he reaches in this book might be at first difficult to believe, but they are supported by a growing body of evidence, and by the indisputabel stature and seriousness Gold brings to any scientific enterprise. In this book we see a brilliant and boldly orginal thinker, increasingly a rarity in modern science, as he developes a revolutionary new view about the fundamental workings of our planet.
Thomas Gold is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and an Emertius Professor at Cornell University. Regarded as one of the most creative and wide-ranging scientists of his generation, he has taughtat Cambridge University and Harvard, and for 20 years was the Director of the Cornell Center for Radiophysics and Space Research.

Editorial Reviews

Wall Street Journal
...Thomas Gold, a respected astronomer and professor emeritus at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., has held for years that oil is actually a renewable, primordial syrup continually manufactured by the Earth under ultrahot conditions and pressures.
USA Today
Gold might have grown tired of tilting at windmills long ago had he not destroyed so many.
...you have to appreciate his fresh and comprehensive approach.... This book demonstrates that scientific debate is alive and well.
Physics World
Whatever the status of the upwelling gas theory, many of Gold's ideas deserve to be taken seriously.... the existence of The Deep Hot Biosphere could prove to be one of the monumental discoveries of our age. This book serves to set the record straight.
Current Science
Thomas Gold has questioned the very foundations of the entrenched conventional models.... The Deep Hot Biosphere is evidently one of the most controversial of all books published in recent history. It is bound to cause much debate, and, if found correct, is likely to revolutionize the face of science.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When scientists discovered thermophiles--primitive microorganisms that live in deep seafloor vents and eat hydrocarbons (chemicals like gasoline)--experts assumed the mysterious bugs had little to tell us about ourselves or about the earth's core. Cornell University Professor Emeritus Gold, however, who for 20 years directed the Cornell Center for Radiophysics and Space Research, here proposes the striking theory that "a full functioning... biosphere, feeding on hydrocarbons, exists deep within the earth, and that a primordial source of hydrocarbons lies even deeper." Most scientists think the oil we drill for comes from decomposed prehistoric plants. Gold believes it has been there since the earth's formation, that it supports its own ecosystem far underground and that life there preceded life on the earth's surface. The "deep hot biosphere" hypothesis would explain the thermophiles, the minerals and the oil Swedish drillers found in 1990 under rock where no one expected them. The hot goo and massed gas far under our feet would also explain some mysterious historical earthquakes (notably the New Madrid, Mo., shocker of 1811), and it would tell puzzled geologists why so many oil reserves just happen to sit underneath coal fields. As later chapters explain, if Gold is right, the planet's oil reserves are far larger than policymakers expect, and earthquake-prediction procedures require a shakeup; moreover, astronomers hoping for extraterrestrial contacts might want to stop seeking life on other planets and inquire about life in them. (Nov.)

Product Details

Springer-Verlag New York, LLC
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.41(w) x 9.57(h) x 0.98(d)

What People are Saying About This

John P. Miller
John P. Miller, Director, Center of Computational Biology, Montana State University
The Deep Hot Biosphere is a real eye-opener. Actually my fundamental reaction is that none of this should seem controversial: it makes such good sense that I feel embarrassed for the biology community for not having established this as a fundamental alternate hypothesis 20 years ago. I have a sickening sensation that, in a decade or so, scientists will be looking back on the state of the field at the turn of the century as if we were intellectual barbarians, much the way we look back on those who questioned Darwin's work when it was first presented.
Robert A. Hefner III
Robert A. Hefner III, The GHK Companies, Oklahoma City
My knowledge and experience of natural gas, gained from drilling and operating many of the world's deepest and highest pressure natural gas wells, lends more credence to your ideas than the conventional theories of the biological/thermogenic origin of natural gas. Your theory explains best what we actually encountered in deep drilling operations.
Freeman Dyson
Gold's theories are always original, always important, and usually right. It is my belief, based on fifty years of observation of Gold as a friend and colleague, that The Deep Hot Biosphere is all of the above: original, important, controversial, and right.

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The Deep Hot Biosphere: The Myth of Fossil Fuels 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The more I've searched, the more I've encountered good detailed arguments for ideas that upset the foundations of the postmodern world-- from Duesberg's Inventing the Aids Virus to Mill's Hydrino theory that upsets quantum theory and QED. Gold's theory seems to be another major shift-- and perhaps part of a shift waiting to happen in the Western world's paradigms at large. What if the calls for reexamining global warming are also correct, and in fact CO2 rises as warmer seas release it, rather than warming being caused by its release? I am a dedicated environmentalist, and in the past I would have thought all these ideas were economically-self serving propaganda of the oil industry-- but these days I'm no longer so sure of what I accepted without further inspection. I urge others interested in environmental/energy issues to investigate the possible policy ramifications if the thesis of this book is correct. We should be prepared for what it might mean, both the good and the bad. Would a world liberated of oil (and perhaps global warming) concerns allow for an expansion of wealth and positive development for the poor of the world, or would it lead to a filthy, polluted oily mess? We keep thinking the pollution problems of the current stage will end when the oil ends-- but what if it does not end? Let's consider all the options.