The Story of Life in 10 1/2 Species

The Story of Life in 10 1/2 Species

Hardback (20 Oct 2020)

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Publisher's Synopsis

Souvenirs of the planet: Ten (and a half) life forms, each of which explains a key aspect of life on Earth.

If an alien visitor were to collect ten souvenir life forms to represent life on earth, which would they be? This is the thought-provoking premise of Marianne Taylor's The Story of Life in 10 and a Half Species. Each life forms explains a key aspect about life on Earth. From the sponge that seems to be a plant but is really an animal to the almost extinct soft-shelled turtle deemed extremely unique and therefore extremely precious, these examples reveal how life itself is arranged across time and space, and how humanity increasingly dominates that vision.

Taylor, a prolific science writer, considers the chemistry of a green plant and ponders the possibility of life beyond our world; investigates the virus in an attempt to determine what a life form is; and wonders if the human-"a distinct and very dominant species with an inevitably biased view of life"- could evolve in a new direction. She tells us that the giraffe was one species, but is now four; that the dusky seaside sparrow may be revived through "re-evolution," or cloning; explains the significance of Darwin's finch to evolution; and much more. The "half" species is artificial intelligence. Itself an experiment to understand and model life, AI is central to our future-although from the alien visitor's standpoint, unlikely to inherit the earth in the long run.

Book information

ISBN: 9780262044486
Publisher: MIT Press
Imprint: The MIT Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 578.012
DEWEY edition: 23
Language: English
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 780g
Height: 236mm
Width: 173mm
Spine width: 25mm