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)
I love learning about the universe and our place in it by listening to Audible.
It takes a mineral expert to understand the development of earth. I'm not a mineral expert and I don't play one on TV, but after listening to this book I feel like I'm a geologist in training.
I didn't think it was possible. The author makes minerals and its science interesting. He has an over arching theory that's best summarized as "the origin of (mineral) species".
For those of you who have a pet theory and have a deep understanding of the subject you'll probably find many things to criticize about this book and you'd probably be right. Either your theory is not covered at all or he doesn't cover it in the way you believe. Give the author a break, he's covering over 4 1/2 billion years of history.
I'll be awaiting further shows on Discovery covering this same topic, and maybe this time I'll be able to follow them.
I bought this book on the Kindle when it first came out, because I didn't think there was going to be an audio version. I had read 2/3 of the book on the Kindle and listened to the last 1/3 of the book on audible. The reader really made the book better. He has a way of making what he's reading as exciting as the subject matter deserves. I probably would not have finished the kindle, I much prefer to listen. Good book and even better listen.
This is a thorough, up-to-date look at the history of the Earth and the science that has been used to discover it. As I was finishing it, I found that Nat Geo TV have computer generated special telling pretty much the same story in overview. Now I know more than I used to about the world we live on.
Yes, it was well read, interesting and I learned a lot from this book.
His voice is very pleasing.
I will probably listen to this book over and over again!
captivating, well-written, insigtful
I expected a story about rocks and geology, but instead the author elegantly inter meshes a variety of scientific disciplines, such as physics, biology, astronomy, climatology, oceanography, and many more with a good dose geology and mineralogy to give a grand view of our planet and its future. It is well written for a broad audience, and I applaud his work in popularizing geology. The narration is well done, it sounds as if the author had read it himself, convening a sense that the narrator truly enjoys the material. The narrators tone conveys a feeling enthusiasm and amazement for the subject.
As an elementary school teacher with a love for science, this book has become one of my favorites. The science presented has intrigued me to learn more about the often overlooked and neglected field of geology.
Walter Dixon's narration is probably my favorite narration I've listened to so far. His voice is very warm and friendly, and he speaks as if he's telling a story, rather than lecturing you. The book is actually surprisingly accessible even to people who might not be geology or chemistry fans, and it goes just deep enough into the subjects to satisfy those who might be interested, without being too awfully dry. I was fascinated by a lot of the content and I feel like I've learned a lot! Due to the dense nature of the material, I sometimes need to go over some chapters multiple times, but it's never a bad experience because the narration is so smooth. Definitely recommend this one!
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.
We'll be greeted as liberators.
Walter Dixon, like the pro that he is, gives his A-game here. Hazen's writing is most interesting and compelling, they both really work out well together. Should definitely do another audiobook in the near future IMHO.
Epic, biblicalish, wide-in-scope, easy, clear and on-target.
No. I'm a geologist and Walter Dixon spoils the book for me with his many mispronunciations of geological terms. One would think he would have researched these words in advance. Examples of botched words include: rhythmites (as in tidal rhythmites), peridotite, and plagioclase. There are many more.
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