Peter Ward Future Evolution

ISBN 13: 9780716734963

Future Evolution

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9780716734963: Future Evolution
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Everyone wonders what tomorrow holds, but what will the real future look like? Not decades or even hundreds of years from now, but thousands or millions of years into the future. Will our species change radically? Or will we become builders of the next dominant intelligence on Earth- the machine?

These and other seemingly fantastic scenarios are the very possible realities explored in Peter Ward's Future Evolution, a penetrating look at what might come next in the history of the planet. Looking to the past for clues about the future, Ward describes how the main catalyst for evolutionary change has historically been mass extinction. While many scientist direly predict that humanity will eventually create such a situation, Ward argues that one is already well underway--the extinction of large mammals--and that a new Age of Humanity is coming that will radically revise the diversity of life on Earth. Finally, Ward examines the question of human extinction and reaches the startling conclusion that the likeliest scenario is not our imminent demise but long term survival--perhaps reaching as far as the death of the Sun!

Full of Alexis Rockman's breathtaking color images of what animals, plants and other organisms might look like thousands and millions of years from now, Future Evolution takes readers on an incredible journey through time from the deep past into the far future.

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About the Author:

Peter Ward is professor of geological sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is the co-author of Rare Earth and the author of Rivers in Time, The End of Evolution, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and On Methuselah's Trail which won the Paleontological Society's Golden Trilobite Award for best popular science book of 1992.

Alexis Rockman is an artist living in New York City whose works have appeared in Natural History, The Sciences and The New York Times.

From Library Journal:

Ward (geologic sciences, zoology, paleontology, Univ. of Washington, Seattle; The Call of Distant Mammoths) counters the majority of scientists who predict the extinction of our species as the price for the harm we've inflicted on our environment and on species worldwide. The future he forecasts is more chilling; Ward states unequivocally that humans are virtually "extinction-proof" owing to their ability to alter environmental conditions and insulate themselves from adverse conditions that affect every other species. Describing mass extinction as the primary catalyst for evolutionary change throughout our planet's history, the author makes a compelling case that we are well into the extinction phase of the Age of Megamammals and that future evolution will be seriously hampered by the lack of species diversity. He also foresees humankind's evolving alongside machines, in company with genetically altered plants that will infest the world as weeds and cloned animal species devoid of any evolutionary spark. Written in accessible prose by an expert in extinction theory with 37 color illustrations by top science illustrator Rockman, this book is highly recommended for its unique viewpoint and synthesis of scientific data. For public and academic libraries. Gloria Maxwell, Penn Valley Community Coll., Kansas City, MO
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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