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Major events in the history of life

Author: J William Schopf; University of California, Los Angeles. IGPP Center for the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life.
Publisher: Boston : Jones and Bartlett Publishers, ©1992.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Conference publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Major Events in the History of Life, present six chapters that summarize our understanding of crucial events that shaped the development of the earth's environment and the course of biological evolution over some four billion years of geological time. The subjects are covered by acknowledged leaders in their fields span an enormous sweep of biologic history, from the formation of planet Earth and the origin of
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Genre/Form: Conference papers and proceedings
Kongreß
Congresses
Material Type: Conference publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: J William Schopf; University of California, Los Angeles. IGPP Center for the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life.
ISBN: 0867202688 9780867202687
OCLC Number: 24544590
Notes: Proceedings from a symposium convened by the IGPP Center for the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life at the University of California, Los Angeles, held January 11, 1991.
"A contribution of the IGPP Center for the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life (CSEOL), University of California, Los Angeles"--Title page verso.
Description: xv, 190 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
Contents: The prebiotic synthesis of organic compounds as a step toward the origin of life / Stanley L. Miller --
The oldest fossils and what they mean / J. William Schopf --
Evolution of the earliest animals / Bruce Runnegar --
Origin and evolution of the earliest land plants / John B. Richardson --
A history of vertebrate successes / John H. Ostrom --
Major events in the history of mankind / Phillip V. Tobias.
Responsibility: edited by J. William Schopf.

Abstract:

Major Events in the History of Life, present six chapters that summarize our understanding of crucial events that shaped the development of the earth's environment and the course of biological evolution over some four billion years of geological time. The subjects are covered by acknowledged leaders in their fields span an enormous sweep of biologic history, from the formation of planet Earth and the origin of living systems to our earliest records of human activity. Several chapters present new data and new syntheses, or summarized results of new types of analysis, material not usually available in current college textbooks.

These six chapters, which were originally presented as lectures, fall halfway between a textbook and a conference proceedings. They might best serve as recommended readings or a course reference, as the lack of connection or continuity among the chapters nearly precludes light reading. Each topic is presented by a world-renowned expert, but intentionally circumscribed, and thus many important questions are not covered. Rather than aiming for completeness, the focus is on "major events": the chemical synthesis of organic molecules as a prelude to life; the world's oldest fossils and the development of atmosphere and cells; the evolution of the earliest animals and land plants; an overview of vertebrate evolutionary stages (without much on mammals); and the origin and evolution of humans. Each chapter is well written and well illustrated, with full references, but styles vary between semitechnical and pedagogical. A good reference work for larger science collections. Advanced undergraduate. E. Delson; Herbert H. Lehman College, CUNY--Choice review.

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