complexity the evolution of earths biodiversity and the future of humanity

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Author : William C. Burger
ISBN : 9781633881945
Genre : Science
File Size : 44. 80 MB
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This very readable overview of natural history explores the dynamics that have made our planet so rich in biodiversity over time and supported the rise and dominance of our own species. Tracing the arc of evolutionary history, biologist William C. Burger shows that cooperation and symbiosis have played a critical role in the ever increasing complexity of life on earth. Life may have started from the evolution of cooperating organic molecules, which outpaced their noncooperating neighbors. A prime example of symbiosis was the early incorporation of mitochondria into the eukaryotic cell (through a process called “endosymbiosis”). This event gave these cells a powerful new source of energy. Later, cooperation was again key when millions to trillions of individual eukaryotic cells eventually came together to build the unitary structures of large plants and animals. And cooperation between individuals of the same species resulted in complex animal societies, such as ant colonies and bee hives. Turning to our own species, the author argues that our ability to cooperate, along with incessant inter-group conflict, has driven the advancement of cultures, the elaboration of our technologies, and made us the most “invasive” species on the planet. But our very success has now become a huge problem, as our world dominion threatens the future of the biosphere and confronts us with a very uncertain future. Thought-provoking and full of fascinating detail, this eloquently told story of life on earth and our place within it presents a grand perspective and raises many important questions.

Can Neuroscience Change Our Minds

Author : Steven Rose
Genre :
File Size : 24. 56 MB
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Life Of Earth

Author : Stanley A. Rice
ISBN : 9781616142735
Genre : Science
File Size : 34. 45 MB
Format : PDF
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In this portrait of Planet Earth-at just about the mid point of its probable lifespan-biologist Stanley A. Rice discusses the evolution of the network of life and the crucial role played by humans in determining the future of our world.Unlike most books on earth history, which present the story of life on our planet in terms of one chronological period after another, Rice discusses Earth's teeming diversity in terms of pivotal evolutionary developments. Among these he stresses the importance of symbiosis, sex, and altruism as key determinants of the Earth's biodiversity.Symbiosis-when single cells began working together-sparked the sudden appearance of complex animals. Much later symbiotic relationships led to flowering plants that depended on animals for pollination and seed dispersal.With the advent of sexual selection, there developed an astonishing world of complex behavior and a dizzying array of life forms. In humans, sexual selection exerted a great influence on the development of our large brains.Altruism-when species learned to work together-resulted in even greater variety and complexity. In early humans, altruism gave rise to ever-widening social circles and the spread of culture.Rice also discusses the role of photosynthesis in establishing and maintaining life on earth; the evidence for ancient natural catastrophes, which caused widespread extinctions; and the importance of religion and the recent use of scientific reasoning in the development and the future of the human species.Rice's eloquent, panoramic perspective is well designed to foster an appreciation for the scope of life on Earth and to encourage wise stewardship of the natural world on which our survival depends.Stanley A. Rice, PhD (Durant, OK) is the author of Green Planet: How Plants Keep the Earth Alive, The Encyclopedia of Evolution, The Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, and (forthcoming) The Encyclopedia of Biodiversity. He is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

The Sixth Extinction

Author : Elizabeth Kolbert
ISBN : 9781408851210
File Size : 23. 43 MB
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A major book about the future of the world, blending natural history, field reporting and the history of ideas and into a powerful account of the mass extinction happening today

The Real Environmental Crisis

Author : Jack Hollander
ISBN : 0520938402
Genre : Nature
File Size : 90. 22 MB
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Drawing a completely new road map toward a sustainable future, Jack M. Hollander contends that our most critical environmental problem is global poverty. His balanced, authoritative, and lucid book challenges widely held beliefs that economic development and affluence pose a major threat to the world's environment and resources. Pointing to the great strides that have been made toward improving and protecting the environment in the affluent democracies, Hollander makes the case that the essential prerequisite for sustainability is a global transition from poverty to affluence, coupled with a transition to freedom and democracy. The Real Environmental Crisis takes a close look at the major environment and resource issues—population growth; climate change; agriculture and food supply; our fisheries, forests, and fossil fuels; water and air quality; and solar and nuclear power. In each case, Hollander finds compelling evidence that economic development and technological advances can relieve such problems as food shortages, deforestation, air pollution, and land degradation, and provide clean water, adequate energy supplies, and improved public health. The book also tackles issues such as global warming, genetically modified foods, automobile and transportation technologies, and the highly significant Endangered Species Act, which Hollander asserts never would have been legislated in a poor country whose citizens struggle just to survive. Hollander asks us to look beyond the media's doomsday rhetoric about the state of the environment, for much of it is simply not true, and to commit much more of our resources where they will do the most good—to lifting the world's population out of poverty.

Half Earth

Author : Edward O. Wilson
ISBN : 1631492527
Genre : Nature
File Size : 42. 92 MB
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"A brave expression of hope, a visionary blueprint for saving the planet. Stephen Greenblatt"

The Earth S Biosphere

Author : Vaclav Smil
ISBN : 0262692988
Genre : Science
File Size : 47. 95 MB
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A comprehensive overview of Earth's biosphere, written with scientific rigor and essay-like flair.

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