The Diversity of Life / Edition 2

The Diversity of Life / Edition 2

1.5 2
by Edward O. Wilson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674058178

ISBN-13: 9780674058170

Pub. Date: 11/15/2010

Publisher: Harvard

View a collection of videos on Professor Wilson entitled "On the Relation of Science and the Humanities"

"In the Amazon Basin the greatest violence sometimes begins as a flicker of light beyond the horizon. There in the perfect bowl of the night sky, untouched by light from any human source, a thunderstorm sends its premonitory signal and begins a slow journey to

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Overview

View a collection of videos on Professor Wilson entitled "On the Relation of Science and the Humanities"

"In the Amazon Basin the greatest violence sometimes begins as a flicker of light beyond the horizon. There in the perfect bowl of the night sky, untouched by light from any human source, a thunderstorm sends its premonitory signal and begins a slow journey to the observer, who thinks: the world is about to change." Watching from the edge of the Brazilian rain forest, witness to the sort of violence nature visits upon its creatures, Edward O. Wilson reflects on the crucible of evolution, and so begins his remarkable account of how the living world became diverse and how humans are destroying that diversity.

Wilson, internationally regarded as the dean of biodiversity studies, conducts us on a tour through time, traces the processes that create new species in bursts of adaptive radiation, and points out the cataclysmic events that have disrupted evolution and diminished global diversity over the past 600 million years. The five enormous natural blows to the planet (such as meteorite strikes and climatic changes) required 10 to 100 million years of evolutionary repair. The sixth great spasm of extinction on earth--caused this time entirely by humans--may be the one that breaks the crucible of life. Wilson identifies this crisis in countless ecosystems around the globe: coral reefs, grasslands, rain forests, and other natural habitats. Drawing on a variety of examples such as the decline of bird populations in the United States, the extinction of many species of freshwater fish in Africa and Asia, and the rapid disappearance of flora and fauna as the rain forests are cut down, he poignantly describes the death throes of the living world's diversity--projected to decline as much as 20 percent by the year 2020.

All evidence marshaled here resonates through Wilson's tightly reasoned call for a spirit of stewardship over the world's biological wealth. He makes a plea for specific actions that will enhance rather than diminish not just diversity but the quality of life on earth. Cutting through the tangle of environmental issues that often obscure the real concern, Wilson maintains that the era of confrontation between forces for the preservation of nature and those for economic development is over; he convincingly drives home the point that both aims can, and must, be integrated. Unparalleled in its range and depth, Wilson's masterwork is essential reading for those who care about preserving the world biological variety and ensuring our planet's health.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674058170
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
11/15/2010
Series:
Questions of Science Series, #1
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
440
Sales rank:
188,709
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Violent Nature, Resilient Life
1Storm over the Amazon3
2Krakatau16
3The Great Extinctions24
Biodiversity Rising
4The Fundamental Unit35
5New Species51
6The Forces of Evolution75
7Adaptive Radiation94
8The Unexplored Biosphere131
9The Creation of Ecosystems163
10Biodiversity Reaches the Peak183
The Human Impact
11The Life and Death of Species215
12Biodiversity Threatened243
13Unmined Riches281
14Resolution311
15The Environmental Ethic343
Notes355
Glossary391
Acknowledgments408
Credits411
Index413

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The Diversity of Life 1.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Dane13 More than 1 year ago
This book was issued to me by a teacher at school and when i first started reading the book i thought it was going to be really boring. Now that i have finished this book i feel the complete opposite. In the beginning of this book he paints a beautiful picture about how wonderful the world is and all of its sites and places. Then he goes on to talk about how people are the cause for major problems worldwide such as loss of biodiversity and global warming. The way this book is written changes the way you look at things and gets you really thinking about your environmental footprint and how you could change it ( Since reading this book i have started recycling). Granted, this book can become dry at times because of the large amounts of facts and statistics but overall i rate this book a 4. I recommend this book to anyone who cares about the longevity of diversity or has any interest in the Issues that are threatening our world.
Lemon_Frog More than 1 year ago
This book doesn't even deserve half a star, for all the people who love science, good luck to you. To be honest, this was my nap time book, everytime I felt like I needed a nap, I would pick this book up, read a few pages and use it as a pillow. It was boring, and terrible. Worst book in my life. I can't fathom the past few weeks of patience I have had with this book. I used to love science and biology until I encountered this book, I mean it was well written, but it was like reading fact over fact over fact. Worst book of my life. Oh, and also my teacher said not to spoil the end... It wasn't even a story to have an ending! This book made watching grass grow look like fun. GEEZ. Enjoy. (: