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Rare Earth

Author: Peter D. Ward
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0387218483
Size: 21.29 MB
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What determines whether complex life will arise on a planet, or even any life at all? Questions such as these are investigated in this groundbreaking book. In doing so, the authors synthesize information from astronomy, biology, and paleontology, and apply it to what we know about the rise of life on Earth and to what could possibly happen elsewhere in the universe. Everyone who has been thrilled by the recent discoveries of extrasolar planets and the indications of life on Mars and the Jovian moon Europa will be fascinated by Rare Earth, and its implications for those who look to the heavens for companionship.

Die Neuentdeckung Des Himmels

Author: Florian Freistetter
Publisher: Carl Hanser Verlag GmbH Co KG
ISBN: 3446438823
Size: 49.84 MB
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Seit wenigen Jahren haben wir den Beweis: Es gibt sie, fremde Welten, auf denen ideale Bedingungen für die Entstehung von Leben herrschen. Dank der Erkenntnisse moderner Astrophysik erhöht sich die Wahrscheinlichkeit täglich, dass wir dieses Leben irgendwo dort draußen aufspüren. Florian Freistetter schildert, wie die moderne Astronomie erst lernen musste, das Unsichtbare zu sehen, um Supererden und Heiße Jupiter zu finden. Wie die fremden Welten beschaffen sein müssen, damit auf ihnen Leben entstanden sein kann – und wie wir mit Hilfe neuer Teleskope bald herausbekommen, wie Außerirdische wirklich aussehen. "Die Neuentdeckung des Himmels" ist die Chronik eines der größten Abenteuer der Menschheit: der Suche nach einer Antwort auf die Frage "Sind wir allein im Universum?".

Eine Neue Geschichte Des Lebens

Author: Joe Kirschvink
Publisher: DVA
ISBN: 3641149924
Size: 62.81 MB
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Das neueste Wissen über die Entwicklung des Lebens auf der Erde Eine neue Geschichte des Lebens vereint erstmals die erst in den letzten Jahrzehnten gewonnenen Erkenntnisse verschiedener Fächer von der Geologie über Paläontologie, Geo- und Astrobiologie, Physik, Chemie bis zur Genetik, Zoologie und Botanik in einer großen, umfassenden Erzählung – und schreibt in entscheidenden Punkten die bisherige Darstellung der Evolution des Lebendigen auf der Erde um. Nach Darwin waren wir davon ausgegangen, dass sich die Veränderungen eher gleichförmig und allmählich vollzogen, aber der jetzt mögliche Blick in die Erdgeschichte zeigt, dass die Entwicklung stärker durch Katastrophen geprägt wurde und zwar nicht nur solche, die Meteoriteneinschläge von außen verursachten. Peter Ward und Joe Kirschvink schildern das spannende Zusammenspiel von Lebewesen und Ökosystemen, von Atmosphäre und Klima, das mehrmals im Lauf der Evolution dazu führte, dass sich die Bedingungen auf der Erde gravierend veränderten und Lebensformen massenhaft ausstarben. Sie geben einen faszinierenden Einblick in die seit 4,6 Milliarden Jahren dauernde Geschichte des Lebens und zeigen zugleich, wie fragil unsere heutige Lebenswelt ist.

The Medea Hypothesis

Author: Peter Ward
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400829887
Size: 64.59 MB
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In The Medea Hypothesis, renowned paleontologist Peter Ward proposes a revolutionary and provocative vision of life's relationship with the Earth's biosphere--one that has frightening implications for our future, yet also offers hope. Using the latest discoveries from the geological record, he argues that life might be its own worst enemy. This stands in stark contrast to James Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis--the idea that life sustains habitable conditions on Earth. In answer to Gaia, which draws on the idea of the "good mother" who nurtures life, Ward invokes Medea, the mythical mother who killed her own children. Could life by its very nature threaten its own existence? According to the Medea hypothesis, it does. Ward demonstrates that all but one of the mass extinctions that have struck Earth were caused by life itself. He looks at our planet's history in a new way, revealing an Earth that is witnessing an alarming decline of diversity and biomass--a decline brought on by life's own "biocidal" tendencies. And the Medea hypothesis applies not just to our planet--its dire prognosis extends to all potential life in the universe. Yet life on Earth doesn't have to be lethal. Ward shows why, but warns that our time is running out. Breathtaking in scope, The Medea Hypothesis is certain to arouse fierce debate and radically transform our worldview. It serves as an urgent challenge to all of us to think in new ways if we hope to save ourselves from ourselves.

Under A Green Sky

Author: Peter D. Ward
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0061755451
Size: 64.19 MB
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By looking backward at the course of great extinctions, a paleontologist sees what the future holds. More than 200 million years ago, a cataclysmic event known as the Permian extinction destroyed more than 90 percent of all species and nearly 97 percent of all living things. Its origins have long been a puzzle for paleontologists. During the 1990s and the early part of this century, a great battle was fought between those who thought that death had come from above and those who thought something more complicated was at work. Paleontologist Peter. D. Ward, fresh from helping prove that an asteroid had killed the dinosaurs, turned to the Permian problem, and he has come to a stunning conclusion. In his investigations of the fates of several groups of mollusks during that extinction and others, he discovered that the near-total devastation at the end of the Permian period was caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide leading to climate change. But it's not the heat (nor the humidity) that's directly responsible for the extinctions, and the story of the discovery of what is responsible makes for a fascinating, globe-spanning adventure. In Under a Green Sky, Ward explains how the Permian extinction as well as four others happened, and describes the freakish oceans—belching poisonous gas—and sky—slightly green and always hazy—that would have attended them. Those ancient upheavals demonstrate that the threat of climate change cannot be ignored, lest the world's life today—ourselves included—face the same dire fate that has overwhelmed our planet several times before.

The Cause And Evolution Of The Universe Fact And Myth In Modern Astrophysics

Author: John Auping
Publisher: Universidad Iberoamericana
ISBN: 1910301523
Size: 66.84 MB
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This book differentiates observationally verified aspects of cosmology from ideas whose verification is distant or perhaps impossible by careful application of orthodox scientific method. This English edition is a part of his original work devoted to describing the dynamics of stars, and analysing the Big Bang, steady state and multiverse models.

A New History Of Life

Author: Peter Ward
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1608199088
Size: 62.17 MB
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Charles Darwin's theories, first published more than 150 years ago, form the backbone of how we understand the history of the Earth. In reality, the currently accepted history of life on Earth is so flawed, so out of date, that it's past time we need a 'New History of Life.' In their latest book, Joe Kirschvink and Peter Ward will show that many of our most cherished beliefs about the evolution of life are wrong. Gathering and analyzing years of discoveries and research not yet widely known to the public, A New History of Life proposes a different origin of species than the one Darwin proposed, one which includes eight-foot-long centipedes, a frozen "snowball Earth†?, and the seeds for life originating on Mars. Drawing on their years of experience in paleontology, biology, chemistry, and astrobiology, experts Ward and Kirschvink paint a picture of the origins life on Earth that are at once too fabulous to imagine and too familiar to dismiss--and looking forward, A New History of Life brilliantly assembles insights from some of the latest scientific research to understand how life on Earth can and might evolve far into the future.

Life In The Universe

Author: CTI Reviews
Publisher: Cram101 Textbook Reviews
ISBN: 1478416823
Size: 16.72 MB
Format: PDF
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Facts101 is your complete guide to Life in the Universe. In this book, you will learn topics such as as those in your book plus much more. With key features such as key terms, people and places, Facts101 gives you all the information you need to prepare for your next exam. Our practice tests are specific to the textbook and we have designed tools to make the most of your limited study time.