A New History of Life: The Radical New Discoveries About the Origins and Evolution of Life on Earth

Author(s): Peter Ward


An estimated 4.6 billion years ago, the Earth and Moon were formed in a violent impact. On this, many agree, and even more that a long time after that, life began. However, few know that the first life on the Earth may not have emerged on this planet, but could, in fact, have begun on Mars, brought here by meteorites. In this revolutionary book, leading scientists Peter Ward and Joe Kirschvink rewrite the principal account of the history of life on Earth. They show not only how the rise of animals was delayed for billions of years, but also what it was that first forced fish out of the sea and onto the land. Together, the two scientists explain how developments in the environment led to multiple Ice Ages before the emergence of dinosaurs and other giant animals, and what the true cause of these great beasts' eventual extinction was. Finally, charting the course of our own evolution, they explore whether this generation will see the end of the human species. A New History of Life proves not only that much of what we think we know should be unlearned, but also that the true history of life on Earth is much more surprising and wonderful than we could ever have imagined.


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Revolutionary scientists Joe Kirschvink and Peter Ward unravel the true story of life on Earth, from our beginnings on Mars to our eventual extinction

Powerful Economist on Rare Earth Likely to cause a revolution in thinking New York Times Has hit the world of astrobiologists like a killer asteroid Newsday (New York) A sobering and valuable perspective Science Fascinating ... The authors make a compelling case ... There is much to learn from Ward and Kirschvink's dinsosaurs and cyanobacteria New Scientist

Peter Ward is a Professor of Biology and Professor of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, and has appeared in numerous television documentaries and his eight-hour series, Animal Armageddon, was televised in 2009. He is the author of many books, including the bestselling Rare Earth and On Methuselah's Trail, which was nominated for a Los Angeles Times Book Award. Joe Kirschvink received his PhD from Princeton University and is the Nico and Marilyn Van Wingen Professor of Geobiology at the California Institute of Technology. He originated the 'Snowball Earth' concept to explain weird features of Earth's oldest glaciations, discovered the tiny magnets that animals use for navigation, and has recognised several major shifts in Earth's spin axis that have driven biological evolution.

General Fields

  • : 9781408855584
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : January 2016
  • : 198mm X 129mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : January 2016
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Peter Ward
  • : Paperback
  • : 576.8
  • : 400