The Sixth Extinction: Patterns of Life and the Future of Humankind

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Anchor Books, 1996 - Science - 271 pages
9 Reviews
Richard Leakey, One Of The World's  Foremost Experts On Man's Evolutionary Past, Now Turns  His Eye To The Future And Doesn't Like What He  Sees.

To the philosophical the  earth is eternal, while the human race -- presumptive  keeper of the world's history -- is a mere speck  in the rich stream of life. It is known that  nothing upon Earth is forever; geography, climate, and  plant and animal life are all subject to radical  change. On five occasions in the past, catastrophic  natural events have caused mass extinctions on  Earth. But today humans stand alone, in dubious  distinction, among Earth's species: Homo  Sapiens possesses the ability to destroy  entire species at will, to trigger the sixth  extinction in the history of life. In The Sixth  Extinction, Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin  consider how the grand sprawl of human life is  inexorably wreaking havoc around the world. The  authors of Origins and  Origins Reconsidered, unimpeachable  authorities on the human fossil record, turn their  attention to the most uncharted anthropological territory  of all: the future, and man's role in defining it.  According to Leakey and Lewin, man and his  surrounding species are end products of history and  chance. Now, however, humans have the unique  opportunity to recognize their influence on the global  ecosystem, and consciously steer the outcome in order  to avoid triggering an unimaginable upheaval.


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Review: The Sixth Extinction: Patterns of Life and the Future of Humankind

User Review  - Aaron Rodriguez - Goodreads

This book is comprehensive overview regarding earths past mass extinction events. The "sixth extinction" according to Leaky and Lewin is an observable, consequential end game scenario for biodiversity ... Read full review

Review: The Sixth Extinction: Patterns of Life and the Future of Humankind

User Review  - Sean - Goodreads

Had to read this one in chunks over time. Not because its boring, but because it's a lot of heavy sledgehammer blows of reality and rude awakenings. Definitely not for the faint of heart...but ... Read full review

Contents

A Personal Perspective
1
Lifes Salient Mystery
13
3 The Mainspring of Evolution
25
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Leakey is the world's most famous living paleoanthropologist.

Roger Lewin is a prize-winning author and wrote the acclaimed Complexity: Life at the Edge of Chaos; recipient of the inaugural Lewis Thomas Award for excellence in the communication of life sciences; and the 1992 Award for contribution to issues in conservation by the Society of Conservation Biology. Between 1990 and 1993, he was a visiting professor in biology at Wayne State University, and an associate of the Peabody Museum, Harvard University from 1993 to 1998. He speaks frequently around the world at conferences on complexity science and business.

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