[[ Prime ]] The Diversity of LifeAuthor Edward O. Wilson – Kairafanan.co

As a biologist, I think is perhaps one of the most engaging and readable introductions to evolution and ecology Anyone can read this book and not even realize they are learning the fundamentals of these fields Wilson presents biology as a travelogue around the world and through time. The Diversity of Life is a practical book a book that shows you how to do something The first part of the book well over 3 4 is devoted to a general overview of evolution its history, the mechanisms through which it works, and particularly the process of extinction The last part is a plea, an argument to save our planet s biodiversity He shows a few of the already known benefits we have received from it, hoping to prove it is too valuable to be summarily destroyed Finally, he gives his plan for saving it which is why this is a practical book the rest is entirely theoretical 1 Survey the World s Biodiversity Learn about species, familiarize the public with them to motivate public support for preservation, and find benefits that will.2 Create Biological Wealth Make biodiversity economically valuable, if through tourism, long term harvesting of rain forest plots, pharmaceuticals, or new and improved agricultural products.3 Promote Sustainable Development The rural poor in the Third World are destroying the world s biodiversity to put off for a short time their hunger and poverty We must teach them ways to use biodiversity in a long term way, and ease their poverty by removing the competition of heavily subsidized farms in the developed world and lifting debt, which can also be done so as to 4 Save What Remains No scientific process like cloning, freezing, seed banks, arboretums, zoos, or botanical gardens can ever hope to truly restore an ecosystem to its original state the climate and conditions are very difficult to reproduce, and populations will have been reduced so low that their genetic diversity will be mostly lost anyway There is no feasible alternative to saving natural ecosystems One of the best ways to do this in the Third World near the equator and therefore home to a large part of the world s biodiversity is through debt for nature programs, in which foundations like The Nature Conservancy or WWF, etc, buy debt in exchange for the creation of reserves.5 Restore the Wildlands Finally, we need to retake the land lost to logging, and allow the forests to grow back This is accomplished in essentially the same way as 4 Wilson is very hopeful about this and says the next century will be the age of restoration So, I agree with Wilson I agree that his ends are of utmost importance, and that his ends would reach them But, though I am perhaps an idealist, I am skeptical those ideas will come about I feel like there are reasons to be skeptical, but I don t understand them yet, and want to read before I try to explain them.Mortimer Adler says that when you read a practical book, and you agree that its ends are good and that its means will achieve them, you ought to go do what the book says So, I suppose I do feel a lot inclined to spend my life cataloging and researching organisms right now But I am not sure I am in a position to realize the changes he suggests Is that an excuse Incidentally, I want to start an arboretum, or maybe something less ambitious to start with I want to grow those rare plants he talks about, like amaranth and winged bean and the delicious fruits, durian and mangosteen and such. This book written by double Pulitzer prize winning zoologist Edward Wilson is a little dated and at 30 years old the illustrations are a little amateurish..But Edward Wilson, as close to a modern day Charles Darwin as there is, provides a comprehensive understanding of life on earth ranging from blue whales to bacteria Highly recommended for science buffs and enjoyable for us curious lay persons It makes me smile to know that amazing people like Wilson populate our world. Admittedly I didn t read this from cover to cover, but rather dipped in and out for certain bits of information as I was prepping for Journey to the Ants by the same author The book is rich in knowledge and illustration, is engaging and captivating, and provides all the information you could ever require on the biodiversity of planet Earth The chapters are well laid out, allowing you to dip in if you wish or read straight through I don t know if its my slightly nihilistic attitude coming through but sentences that jumped out at me whilst reading were..humanity is ecologically abnormal indeed we are There is no way we can draw upon the resources of the planet to such a degree without drastically reducing the state of most other species In other words, humanity sucks the life of other species from the Earth. I heard about this book and this author scientist at roughly the same time probably scientist first, then book, then author , but it was not my first E O Wilson book to read Sometimes, when I hear too much about a book, it makes me want to read it less.So, when I found myself amongst the impossibly tall stacks in the evolutionary biology section of Powells Books for the first time, E O Wilson s name immediately jumped out at me as familiar, as did the title The Diversity of Life, but I was not yet ready to read it I chose instead Consilience, and found myself immediately enad with Wilson s eloquence, and his ability to make science accessible without for a moment dumbing it down The Diversity of Life follows this pattern of eloquence, and I steamrolled my way through it far faster than I had expected Toward the end, I felt a little as I did about Rachel Carson s Silent Spring, in the sense that Wilson wasn t telling me anything he hadn t already beaten to death over the first three quarters of the book Despite the repetitive subject matter, Wilson s writing is still fascinating to read, and I look forward to my next Wilson book. This book was not on my To Read List but should have been Instead, I picked it up for a buck at our library s used book sale.For an amateur naturalist and docent for 4th graders at a nature preserve this book perfectly addressed the main topics we try to get across to the kids how important and delicate ecosystems are and how if you remove certain keystone species the whole habitat may collapse like the London Bridge.Given that the book is now than 20 years old, I am keen to read a recent book on the same topic to see if Wilson s predictions have come true with respect to estimates of species yet undiscovered and unnamed and importantly, of those that have gone extinct.I wonder if kids of the future will see tigers, lions, wolves, elephants, gorrillas, etc the same way we have seen dinosaurs, mammoths and saber toothed tigers only in cartoons and movies. This is an important book that everyone should read but I couldn t help but feel Wilson missed a great opportunity here Those of us who are familiar with the importance of bio diversity will find much to appreciate in this book His analysis is cogent and it would take someone who is willfully ignorant to take issue.Nevertheless, for the amateur naturalist, I think that the failure to include even a short section on what one can do in their own community was a terrible missed opportunity I understand the rain forests contain the greatest number of plants and animals, but I ll never see these places, let alone be able to make much of a difference by helping to preserve that diversity I couldn t help but think it would have been really great for him to mention something as simple as planting milkweed for our fast disappearing Monarch butterflies Oh well, still a very good book. EO Wilson is just excellent Writer Ant Entomologist Ecologist This 400 page paperback is an introduction to biogeography, paleontology including paleobotany , how humans are impacting various ecosystems from the rainforests, to the oceans, to the temperate regions like the US, to the Arctic Extremely clearly written Lets you in on the secrets of what s being destroyed as we humans expand our activities And tells you the rate of death Those species with only 500 individuals will not survive No black rhinos This book lays out the reasons why breeding populations are usually 10% of the whole population and 50 males with 50 females will not preserve enough of the species diversity to reproduce with out destructive genes being expressed. All my linguistics friends made fun of me when I took environmental biology at BYU, but it was honestly of the most spiritual classes I took there I read this for a report in that class, and I absolutely loved it If you want to learn about how ecosystems work in the world in a way that will really make you appreciate the blessings of the Lord, this is a great book. In This Book A Master Scientist Tells The Story Of How Life On Earth Evolved Edward O Wilson Eloquently Describes How The Species Of The World Became Diverse And Why That Diversity Is Threatened Today As Never Before A Great Spasm Of Extinction The Disappearance Of Whole Species Is Occurring Now, Caused This Time Entirely By Humans Unlike The Deterioration Of The Physical Environment, Which Can Be Halted, The Loss Of Biodiversity Is A Far Complex Problem And It Is Irreversible Defining A New Environmental Ethic, Wilson Explains Why We Must Rescue Whole Ecosystems, Not Only Individual Species He Calls For An End To Conservation Versus Development Arguments, And He Outlines The Massive Shift In Priorities Needed To Address This Challenge No Writer, No Scientist, Is Qualified Than Edward O Wilson To Describe, As He Does Here, The Grandeur Of Evolution And What Is At Stake Engaging And Nontechnical Prose Prodigious Erudition Original And Fascinating Insights John Terborgh, New York Review Of Books, Front Page Review Eloquent A Profound And Enduring Contribution Alan Burdick, Audubon