The numerous charts, photographs, and diagrams are a huge plus. And this, my friends, is the stuff of life. Highly recommended. A good read, especially if you've heard of snowball earth and want some more background. He describes the so-called evo-devo (I.e., evolutionary developmental biology) revolution with verve-both as an obser. But in the full history of life, ancient animals, even the trilobites, form only the half-billion-year tip of a nearly four-billion-year iceberg. Life on a Young Planet: The First Three Billion Years of Evolution on Earth, Andrew H. Knoll, Princeton University Press, 2003, 0691120293, 9780691120294, 277 pages. Along the way, Knoll brings us up-to-date on some of science's hottest questions, from the oldest fossils and claims of life beyond the Earth to the hypothesis of global glaciation and Knoll's own unifying concept of ''permissive ecology.''. He has a great writing style and a quick sense of humor to get across his points about paleontology. So when he asks that people heed … It was definitely visible that the author has a vast knowledge in his field, and it was very interesting to read how he dissected different lines of arguments to draw conclusions. This book is a totally fascinating, if often impenetrable, review of the recent science of the early life and ecology of Earth. All phases of life are covered, from the very earliest up to the Cambrian Explosion itself at 541 million years ago. Knoll has a knack for writing understandable science and clearly explaining why scientists think what they think about early life and what evidence there is sup. In most popular science works on the history of life on Earth this is a time usually dispensed with in a few pages (which is too bad though perhaps understandable). There is always a charm to investigating origins, and the paleontologist and geologist Andrew Knoll does not disappoint in his survey of the early prehistory of the earth, from the Hadean epoch four billion years ago, when the planet had just forme. That means the vast majority of this book is about rocks, microbes and fossil microbes - with a bit of chemistry, earth science and comparative evolutionary biology to flesh things out. But Knoll has a poetic sensibility (and a tendency to start out each section with a literary epigraph that warmed my heart). Our most popular guides include quick quizzes, so you can test your retention before the test. This was a good, readable (occasionally a little technical) popular science book on the early years of life on Earth, before abundant animal fossils started appearing it the fossil record, well before dinosaurs, before even trilobites, the most famous of Paleozoic marine fauna. It includes first hand details of the fieldwork and laboratory analyses carried out by himself and many others, and the evidence painstakingly gleaned, that underpin the latest theories in evolutionary sciences. It covers all the major innovations of life in. Moving from Siberia to Namibia to the Bahamas, Knoll shows how life and environment have evolved together through Earth's history. Australopithecines, dinosaurs, trilobites--such fossils conjure up images of lost worlds filled with vanished organisms. Andrew Knoll explores the deep history of life from its origins on a young planet to the incredible Cambrian explosion, presenting a compelling new explanation for the emergence of biological novelty. All phases of life are covered, from the very earlie. The film acts as a "witness statement",through which Attenborough shares first-hand his concern for the current state of the planet due to humanity's impact … This book could be going straight for the deep end, requiring a background in paleontology, molecular biology, and geology. And what survives and brings life back each time the planet dies, as it does, either a little bit or a lot, every 26 million years. The origin of life. Though not simplified, the clear and logical writing make it accessible to the educated and curious layman. Finally, Knoll's conclusion attempts to reconcile the seemingly ever-opposed science and religion and is reminiscent of Stephen J. Gould's "twin magisteria" argument. The detection of a gas in the planet’s atmosphere could turn scientists’ gaze to a planet long overlooked in the search for extraterrestrial life. Nicely written and well argued, especially in later chapters when the concept of "snowball Earth" reared its head. Professor of Natural History and a Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University. He describes in some detail how the evolution of life is largely one of microbiologic changes through geologic time. The gate is locked, but Ransom hears a commotion and sneaks in through a hedge. You need to have some geology vocabulary to have an easy-read, but that also helps to dive deeper into the topics and show a more nuanced discussion. A flourishing life on land is the foundation for our life on this planet. The very latest discoveries in paleontology--many of them made by the author and his students--are integrated with emerging insights from molecular biology and earth system science to forge a broad understanding of how the biological diversity that surrounds us came to be. I very rarely give 5/5 reviews, and then only to classics, but this is too good to receive four stars. The long view of evolution is unmistakably one of accumulation through time, governed by rules of ecosystem function. But in the full history of life, ancient animals, even the trilobites, form only the half-billion-year tip of a nearly four-billion-year iceberg. Black Beach A lawyer with a promising future is forced to deep dive into his past when he agrees to negotiate with an old friend turned kidnapper. In laying bare Earth's deepest biological roots, Life on a Young Planet helps us understand our own place in the universe--and our responsibility as stewards of a world four billion years in the making. Before photosynthesis, at a time when the atmosphere contained only trace amounts of oxygen, early bacteria were using chemosynthesis to obtain the nutrients they needed from methane and sulfur compounds. It's a great read, fascinating, and very well written. Needs a little basic understanding of middle school science to get through. This book ends just as stuff starts growing legs and arms and wings and crawling out of the ocean and generally becoming *interesting*. Most exoplanets are found through indirect methods: measuring the dimming of a star that happens to have a planet pass in front of it, called the transit method, or monitoring the spectrum of a star for the tell-tale signs of a planet pulling on its star and causing its light to subtly Doppler shift. He explains the complex geochemistry that became, in time, a biochemistry. I was very pleased. But in the full history of life, ancient animals, even the trilobites, form only the half-billion-year tip of a nearly four-billion-year iceberg. The book doesn't shy away from explaining controversies in detail, and gives a solid idea of where the boundaries of this field lie, both in terms of what was known when it was published, and what is likely to be forever unknown. The study of the history of life on this planet has come a long way. mostly precambrian). This is a great book for students with a background in biology (you will need to be familiar with some biological terms), and specialists in the field. He has a great writing style and a quick sense of humor to get across his points about paleontology. It explains what early life was like and how it evolved. Knoll pulls it all together nicely in this well-written volume. Australopithecines, dinosaurs, trilobites--such fossils conjure up images of lost worlds filled with vanished organisms. It gives a good idea of the development of the field and some of the controversies in it. Refresh and try again. Christopher Collier & James Lincoln Collier. The Little Prince, fable and modern classic by French aviator and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery that was published with his own illustrations in 1943. Nor do you need much scientific knowledge to appreciate this book; it's written with style and clarity. Chemistry was my science of choice in college, but I hadn't really kept up in the interim, I found the more recent advances in our understanding of how early single-celled life developed and evolved and created the conditions for more complex life by modifying the atmosphere engrossing. .. expresses better than most the bumptious vitality and sheer fun of open-minded research.---Stefan Bengtson, Nature"Andrew Knoll, one of the world's foremost paleontologists, here presents the origin and early evolution of life the way it … We owe our habitable planet (and its established biogeochemical cycles) to the metabolism of tiny living beings from long, long ago. It's a great read, fascinating, and very well written. He describes the so-called evo-devo (I.e., evolutionary developmental biology) revolution with verve-both as an observer, and a participant/contributor. He has his own theories, and is careful to present them as such. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been. Knoll deftly defeats this prejudice by pointing out that while animals are the kings of morphological variety, it is the microorganisms that are the exemplars of metabolism. An example of a planet that has gas giants would be Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The geological eon that is the focus of this book was a time when the world was alien, with at times relatively little oxygen, or covered almost to the equator in ice, or when the largest organism for staggeringly long periods of time was bacteria, a time that in some locations leaves abundant fossils, but are not a bone or a shell or carapace sticking out on a cliffside but microscopic ones, only able to be seen in a lab after preparation (though one learns on reading the book, towards the end there were definitely fossils that could easily be seen with the naked eye or even before the end if one knows what one is looking at such as with stromatolite fossils). Other interesting topics include how periodic extinction events may have cleared the. This is a beautifully written, well argued account of the history of life on Earth from earliest signs of biochemical evolution 3.8 Bya to the Cambrian explosion of multicellular organisms 550Mya, by one of the leading experts in this field. Considering it's mostly about slime--AKA bugs (prehistoric germs), algae, fungi, and these other weird things called archaea, you'd think it wouldn't have been so hard to put down. I was very pleased. It makes a great companion to Fortey's "Life: A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth", which mostly discusses the multi-cellular animals we are more familiar with. In addition it stresses the complex interplay between biology, geology and environment such as plate tectonics and global glaciations in stimulating evolutionary innovation. Clearly explaining the theories and practices of the interdisciplinary sciences involved, this book is one of the best books on evolution I've read. Daniel Quinn's philosophical novel Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit opens with the narrator reading the newspaper and finding himself both disgruntled and intrigued by a personal advertisement. He points out areas where more research is needed. Innovations in biology have helped shape our air and oceans, and, just as surely, environmental change has influenced the course of evolution, repeatedly closing off opportunities for some species while opening avenues for others. The idea of life on Mars led British writer H. G. Wells to write the novel The War of the Worlds in 1897, telling of an invasion by aliens from Mars who were fleeing the planet's desiccation. I loved almost every moment of this book. The story was first published in serial form from October 1978 through December 1980 under the title Signal From Space, first in the Kitchen Sink Press … The stronger part of his conclusion reminded us that past may be prologue: That current action or inaction may have consequences in what could be, but doesn't have to be, our own evolutionary endgame. I very rarely give 5/5 reviews, and then only to classics, but this is too good to receive four stars. What I like about it is that its not so abstract and heavy on the theory like other books on similar subjects seem to be, it focuses mostly on the facts and presents a few theories very clearly when facts are not present. We are all part of the planet’s ecosystem and we have caused severe damage to it through deforestation, loss of natural habitats and land degradation. A little slow going at first, but a fascinating look at the study of ancient microfossils. An absolute joy to read. It's an exceptional guide to the current state of thinking about the three billion years of the evolution of life leading up to the Cambrian Explosion. This is a detailed, careful examination of how life evolved on planet Earth from procaryotic bacteria and archaea to the Cambrian animals, from an author who doesn't lack charisma or humor (I'm fascinated with his "Pax cyanobacteriana" parallel), and narrates some personal explorations as a framework for the necessary details and the relevant debates. Life thrived on young Earth: scientists discover 3.7-billion-year-old fossils: Remarkable find by team of Australian researchers points to earliest existence of diverse life on Earth. Andrew Knoll explores the deep history of life from its origins on a young planet to the incredible Cambrian explosion, presenting a compelling new explanation for the emergence of biological novelty. I loved almost every moment of this book. This was a good, readable (occasionally a little technical) popular science book on the early years of life on Earth, before abundant animal fossils started appearing it the fossil record, well before dinosaurs, before even trilobites, the most famous of Paleozoic marine fauna. mostly precambrian). Simply put, the evolutionary idea of millions of years is diametrically opposed to the Bible’s teaching about death.19Evolution says that during the course of millions of years, death, bloodshed, suffering, disease, and extinction eventually led to man’s existence. Nevertheless, at some points it felt like I was reading something alond the lines of ''Dear Diary,....'' in the parts where he introduced his field work, which felt a bit boring and not as well written. In this cryptically titled book, earth is the little-known planet, for we know so very little of the insect creatures which dominate it in sheer number and variety. He explains the complex geochemistry that became, in time, a biochemistry. In a new preface, Knoll describes how the field has broadened and deepened in the decade since the book's original publication. I read this book in parallel with Nick Lane's Mitochondria book. The author is fair-handed, giving alternative evaluations where appropriate and mentioning all the main players in the field. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published We’d love your help. A beautifully written book with numerous explanatory diagrams, B&W photographs and a section of colour plates. Life finds a way. Written by an expert in the field, with a whole professional life behind him, it's superbly, clearly and engagingly written - I haven't read a natural history book as good as this for a while. After all, on planet Earth it took just a few hundred million years to create the first bacteria, but it took almost 3 billion years to create the first large creatures, like worms or trilobites. Because our Sun has nurtured life on Earth for nearly 4 billion years, conventional wisdom would suggest that stars like it would be prime candidates in the search for other potentially habitable worlds. Very well researched and presented. This book is all about discovering what life was like on the early earth - the first three billion years of evolution on earth (i.e. Thing to keep in mind: The First Three Billion Years of Evolution on Earth sounds fascinating, but nothing much bigger than a microbacteria actually *evolved*. Andrew Knoll explores the deep history of life from its origins on a young planet to the incredible Cambrian explosion, presenting a compelling new explanation for the emergence of biological novelty. In most popular science works on the history of life on Earth this is a time usually dispensed with in a few pages (which is too bad though perhaps understandable). It covers all the major innovations of life including the first pre-biotic molecules, the formation of cell membranes, various prokaryotic metabolic strategies, symbiosis and the origins of photosynthesis, leading to eukaryotic cells sexual reproduction and finally the creation of the first multicellular organisms. Chemistry was my science of choice in college, but I hadn't really kept up in the interim, I found the more recent advances in our understanding of how early single-celled life developed and evolved and created the conditions for more complex life by modifying the atmosphere engrossing. Is unmistakably one of microbiologic changes through geologic time basic understanding of middle school science to get across points. Planet, the gas giant is found in a planet that has gas giants would be Jupiter, Saturn Uranus. A totally fascinating, and despite the book’s publication 15 years ago ( 2003 ), it predominantly... 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