Earth evolves. From first atom to molecule, mineral to magma, granite crust to single cell to verdant living landscape, ours is a planet constantly in flux. In this radical new approach to Earth’s biography, senior Carnegie Institution researcher and national best-selling author Robert M. Hazen reveals how the co-evolution of the geosphere and biosphere - of rocks and living matter - has shaped our planet into the only one of its kind in the Solar System, if not the entire cosmos.
With an astrobiologist’s imagination, a historian’s perspective, and a naturalist’s passion for the ground beneath our feet, Hazen explains how changes on an atomic level translate into dramatic shifts in Earth’s makeup over its 4.567 billion year existence. He calls upon a flurry of recent discoveries to portray our planet’s many iterations in vivid detail - from its fast-rotating infancy when the Sun rose every 5 hours and the Moon filled 250 times more sky than it does now, to its sea-bathed youth, before the first continents arose; from the Great Oxidation Event that turned the land red, to the globe-altering volcanism that may have been the true killer of the dinosaurs. Through Hazen’s theory of “co-evolution,” we learn how reactions between organic molecules and rock crystals may have generated Earth’s first organisms, which in turn are responsible for more than two-thirds of the mineral varieties on the planet - thousands of different kinds of crystals that could not exist in a nonliving world.
The Story of Earth is also the story of the pioneering men and women behind the sciences. Listeners will meet black-market meteorite hawkers of the Sahara Desert, the gun-toting Feds who guarded the Apollo missions’ lunar dust, and the World War II Navy officer whose super-pressurized “bomb” - recycled from military hardware - first simulated the molten rock of Earth’s mantle. As a mentor to a new generation of scientists, Hazen introduces the intrepid young explorers whose dispatches from Earth’s harshest landscapes will revolutionize geology.
Celebrated by The New York Times for writing “with wonderful clarity about science . . . that effortlessly teaches as it zips along,” Hazen proves a brilliant and entertaining guide on this grand tour of our planet inside and out. Lucid, controversial, and intellectually bracing, The Story of Earth is popular science of the highest order.
©2012 Robert M. Hazen (P)2012 Gildan Media, LLC
“A fascinating new theory on the Earth’s origins written in a sparkling style with many personal touches. . . . Hazen offers startling evidence that ‘Earth’s living and nonliving spheres’ have co-evolved over the past four billion years.” (Kirkus Reviews)
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.
The narrator seemed as if he was showing a praying mantis to a group of six year olds. Then again, a story about rocks could easily drone on, and this narration did not.
written and read in a clear and easy to follow manner. looking forward to another listen someday. the more complex subjects were still presented in a palatable way for laymen such as myself.
The author manages to avoid that happy fate in the last hour of his presentation by indulging in a fit of poetic hysteria. I saw it coming, of course. It includes a despirate need to colonize Mars and ended [ I am not making this up] with killer attack penquins.
The information given is astonishing and could inspire the next generation. From geology to paleontology, and a cozy reference to biology, this book is a brilliant told story of the earth from the very beginning until the possible future. This book is amazingly written, wonderfully narrated and a treat for any geology and biology enthusiast. I strongly recommend it.
As a geologist, this book provides an excellent review of Earth history with a focus on defining moments over the 4.5 billion years since Earth was born.
Geology and Earth Science is usually made to be boring in schools. I hadn't realized how wrong that is until I listened to this book. the story of our planet is pretty dam exciting and interesting. It just took a professor with passion and story telling ability to show me that. Bravo!
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.
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