Every Living Thing

Author(s): Rob R Dunn


In a series of vivid portraits of determined--even obsessed--scientists, Rob Dunn shows that we are not even close to knowing all life on earth. We are not close to naming it, studying it, not even close to knowing the basic kinds of organisms. How much is left to know? If history is a lesson, there is more left to know than we have yet discovered. And yet, biologists and lay people alike have repeatedly through history claimed victory over life. A thousand years ago we thought we knew almost everything; a hundred years ago too. But, even today we are unable to see what is beyond our immediate radar. Discoveries we can?t yet imagine still await. Dunn traces the history of human discovery from the establishment of classification in the 18th century to today?s attempts to (first find, and then) describe life in space. The narrative telescopes from a scientist?s attempt to find one single thing (a rare ant-emulating beetle species) to a scientist?s attempt to find everything (all the insects living in a section of the Smoky Mountains). His scientific heroes include: Lynn Margulis, who explained how our cells gained the ability to make energy; Carl Woese, who defined a new kingdom of life in 1977; and Carl Sagan, who pioneered the search for life in space. Dunn is one of the rare scientists who can really write. With poetry and humor, he reminds us how tough and exhilarating it is to study the natural world and why it matters.

Product Information

"If you have any interest in life beyond your own, you should read this book...Between the covers of EVERY LIVING THING you'll learn both about life's amazing diversity and that process of their discovery. Savor this fascinating volume and then help to preserve life's wonders." -- Paul R. Ehrlich, author of THE DOMINANT ANIMAL: HUMAN EVOLUTION AND THE ENVIRONMENT

General Fields

  • : 9780061430312
  • : HarperCollins Publishers
  • : HarperCollins Publishers
  • : 0.204
  • : April 2010
  • : 201mm X 132mm X 20mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Rob R Dunn
  • : Paperback / softback
  • : English
  • : 578.012
  • : 288