From the Publisher
From the reviews:
"always original, always important, usually controversial, and usually right"
- FROM THE FOREWORD BY FREEMAN DYSON
"an extraordinary theory from one of the world's most original minds."
- NIGEL HAWKES, THE TIMES, LONDON
"The leading supporter of the abiotic theory in the U.S. is Prof. Thomas Gold of Cornell. His 1999 book, The Deep Hot Biosphere (Springer-Verlag) is a thorough discussion of the issues. It is based in part on research financed by the U.S. Geological Survey. Among prominent scientists whose work supports the abiotic theory are Jean Whelan of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Mahlon Kennicutt of Texas A&M University, and J.F Kenny of the Gas Resources Corporation."
"There is much to be said about this important book … . Gold exhibits the irreversible and universal genius that we recognize in Aristotle and Leonardo da Vinci. … The versatility and range of knowledge exhibited is remarkable. … The Deep Hot Biosphere is a highly interesting and important book; it should be required reading for every geology student." (David Deming, Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 17 (2), 2003)
"Thomas Gold is a physicist who is not afraid of controversy. … His big new theory … is that oil and natural gas are produced by geology and chemistry of the hot deep layers below the Earth’s surface … . The book is the best kind of science writing: contentious and passionate, with all the evidence there for you to weigh up." (New Scientist, August, 2001)
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.
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.
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.
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.)