Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
There are many theories about the origin and fate of earth. They range from religion to science to science fiction. Robert Hazen’s theory revolves around minerals, time, and Darwinism.
The nature and history of earth suggest yesterday, today, or tomorrow may be the beginning of the end for human life. Hazen suggests, as long as space-ship-earth is humanity’s only safe harbor, human survival is probabilistic.
contained a lot of good information; covered a wide range of topics relating to earth history and the history of the universe. actually gave a pretty good treatment of dark matter, as i recall. did not have a lot of unnecessary fluff. good listen.
While the information was interesting enough, the narration sounded computer generated. I nearly fell asleep a few times. It would also have been helpful when the reader was reading a section title that he state it as such.
I found the book to be well written and well read. As a professional geologist I found that I even learned a few things. I highly recommend it.
I slept through high school geology. If this book had been the text, I would have listened in rapt attention
Very thorough was more technical than I thought from a geological pov, overall very interesting though. It gives a very deep view of risk and life symbiosis
I am ambivalent about this book. As it turns out, it was much more in depth science than I was in the mood for. Not that that's bad, it robustly covered every branch of physical science as it came into play- everything from astrophysics and geology to chemistry and microbiology... The author did include some "attention keepers" and amusing anecdotes peppered throughout, but if the subject matter isn't your cup of tea, it is not worth the read.
If you are not opposed to discussions that get down into the chemical makeup of obscure minerals and the theories on evolution of early microbes, then by all means give this a shot. Proportionally, my interests were in the first and final thirds on the genesis and most recent history of the planet. Even during those though, I still found myself zoning out and having to backtrack.
I nodded off not once, but twice during his chapter on the plate tectonics, something which, though being a little dry, I studied with interest in high school, and certainly it had never put me to sleep before. The mood picked up when he finally hit the Cambrian period and the trilobites (clearly a passion of his). Unfortunately he lost me entirely in the final chapter and epilogue when he digressed from the future of the planet into environmentalist preaching... say what you will about the climate change debate, that is not what I wanted to hear about here.
The narrator was adequate but not at all engaging. I gave it three stars across the board because I neither liked it nor disliked it. Maybe if I'm more in the mood for mineralogical history some day in the future, this will be worth revisiting.
Anyway, a solid nonfiction book, trove of wide ranging science on all things Earth, and worth it if you can keep focused on it.
It's hard to believe that a step on to any natural surface of any area I ever go again ...it will not be the same with the knowledge I have recieved from this book, of what is under my feet.
I can’t say enough good things about The Story of Earth. Even though I have a doctorate in biological science from decades ago, I found literally hundreds of ideas and facts I was totally unaware of. For example, I had no idea the moon was formed by “the Big Thwack” with proto-earth of a very early planet called “Thea”, nor that the weathering of rock is a far bigger sequesterer of carbon dioxide than are all plants on earth. Nor that there is now a real debate about an abiogenic origin of the earth’s petroleum resources. The author does a fantastic job of describing how the evolution of life on earth – going back billions of years, far earlier than the pre-Cambrian – is totally bound up with the evolution of minerals and geology of the planet. Us short-lived humans are actually lucky we are not around long enough to experience most of the repeated cataclysms (asteroid impacts, massive volcanic explosions, continental drift) that rock this planet from the distant past to the distant future. Absolutely fascinating book.
The reader's style was a bit sing-songy and repetitive (inducing drowsiness because of the technical material). He also made a few verbal typos, not caught by the editor.