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The Diversity of Life (Questions of Science)by Edward O Wilson
Synopses & Reviews
In this book a master scientist tells the story of how life on earth evolved. Edward O. Wilson eloquently describes how the species of the world became diverse and why that diversity is threatened today as never before. A great spasm of extinction — the disappearance of whole species — is occurring now, caused this time entirely by humans. Unlike the deterioration of the physical environment, which can be halted, the loss of biodiversity is a far more complex problem — and it is irreversible. Defining a new environmental ethic, Wilson explains why we must rescue whole ecosystems, not only individual species. He calls for an end to conservation versus development arguments, and he outlines the massive shift in priorities needed to address this challenge. No writer, no scientist, is more qualified than Edward O. Wilson to describe, as he does here, the grandeur of evolution and what is at stake. "Engaging and nontechnical prose. . . . Prodigious erudition. . . . Original and fascinating insights." — John Terborgh, New York Review of Books, front page review "Eloquent. . . . A profound and enduring contribution." — Alan Burdick, Audubon
Book News Annotation:
This classic by the distinguished Harvard entomologist tells how life on earth evolved and became diverse, and now, how diversity and life are endangered by us, truly. While Wilson contributed a great deal to environmental ethics by calling for the preservation of whole ecosystems rather than individual species, his environmentalism appears too anthropocentric: "We should judge every scrap of biodiversity as priceless while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity." And: "Signals abound that the loss of life's diversity endangers not just the body but the spirit." This reprint of the 1992 Belknap Press publication contains a new foreword.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
"A superb blend of lyrical description, sweeping historical writing, lucid scientific explanation, and dire warnings. . . . The most important scientific book of the year." — Boston Globe
This resource provides students with review materials for each chapter.
The classic story of how life on Earth evolved and how the diversity of the species is threatened unless whole ecosystems are rescued. Color plates.
About the Author
Edward O. Wilsonis the author of more than twenty books, including the Pulitzer Prize'"winning The Antsand The Naturalist. Born and raised in Alabama, the Harvard biologist makes his home in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Table of Contents
Violent nature, resilient life — Biodiversity rising — The human impact.
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Science and Mathematics » Biology » Evolution