Here on Earth: A Natural History of the Planet

Here on Earth: A Natural History of the Planet

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by Tim Flannery
     
 

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Credited with discovering more species than Darwin, praised for his “ability to take complex ideas and—seemingly effortlessly— make them accessible” (Sydney Morning Herald), Tim Flannery is one of the world’s most influential scientists, head of Australia’s Climate Change Commission, and a best-selling author. In his newest

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Overview

Credited with discovering more species than Darwin, praised for his “ability to take complex ideas and—seemingly effortlessly— make them accessible” (Sydney Morning Herald), Tim Flannery is one of the world’s most influential scientists, head of Australia’s Climate Change Commission, and a best-selling author. In his newest book, Here on Earth—an immediate best seller in Australia—he has written a captivating and dramatic narrative about the origins of life and the history of our planet.

Beginning at the moment of creation with the Big Bang, Here on Earth explores the evolution of Earth from a galactic cloud of dust and gas to a planet with a metallic core and early signs of life within a billion years of being created. In a compelling narrative, Flannery describes the formation of the Earth’s crust and atmosphere, as well as the transformation of the planet’s oceans from toxic brews of metals (such as iron, copper, and lead) to life-sustaining bodies covering 70 percent of the planet’s surface. Life, Flannery shows, first appeared in these oceans in the form of microscopic plants and bacteria, and these metals served as catalysts for the earliest biological processes known to exist.

From this starting point, Flannery tells the story of the evolution of our own species, exploring several early human species—from the diminutive creatures (the famed hobbits) who lives in Africa around two million years ago, to Homo erectus—before durning his attention to Homo sapiens, who first started leaving Africa some fifty thousand years ago. Drawing on Charles Darwin’s and Alfred Russell Wallace’s theories of evolution and Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis, Tim Flannery’s Here on Earth is a dazzling account of life on our planet.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In his latest work, Flannery (The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth), an internationally acclaimed scientist, explorer, and conservationist, traces the history of our planet and the evolution of our species with remarkable detail in a "twin biography" format. Flannery is guided by two strands of evolutionary theory—reductionist science as epitomized by Charles Darwin, and the more holistic analyses of Alfred Russel Wallace and James Lovelock—and he believes that these opposing theories reflect the different ways humans approach the custodianship of planet Earth. He describes Earth's formation from the beginning at the moment of the creation with the big bang and the transformation of the ocean from all kinds of metals, which, he believes, are catalysts in the formation of the earliest process of life. VERDICT Flanney's storytelling style of narrative and his razor-sharp observations and expansive knowledge of the subject enliven the material. Highly recommended for science readers.—Norah Xiao, Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802145864
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
04/10/2012
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
1,341,004
Product dimensions:
5.54(w) x 8.06(h) x 0.91(d)

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