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The Diversity of Life (1992)
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393319407, Paperback)Humans, the Harvard University entomologist Edward O. Wilson has observed, have an innate--or at least extremely ancient--connection to the natural world, and our continued divorce from it has led to the loss of not only "a vast intellectual legacy born of intimacy" with nature, but also our very sanity. In The Diversity of Life, Wilson takes a sweeping view of our planet's natural richness, remarking on what on the surface seems a paradox: "almost all the species that ever lived are extinct, and yet more are alive today than at any time in the past." (Wilson's elegant explanation is a scientific education in itself.) This great variety of species is, of course, threatened by habitat destruction, global climate change, and a host of other forces, and Wilson revisits his oft-stated call for the protection of wilderness and undeveloped land, noting that "wilderness has virtue unto itself and needs no extraneous justification." We should, he continues, regard every species, "every scrap of biodiversity," as precious and irreplaceable, without attempting to quantify that regard with utilitarian measures such as "bio-economics." In short, Wilson offers with this book a simple, workable environmental ethic that extends the work of Aldo Leopold and other conservationists. A remarkably productive and influential scientist, Wilson is also a fine writer, and his survey of biodiversity makes for welcome and instructive reading. --Gregory McNamee
(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 24 Sep 2010 10:17:16 -0400)
"In this book a master scientist tells the great story of how life on earth evolved. Edward O. Wilson eloquently describes how the species of the world became diverse, and why the threat to this diversity today is beyond the scope of anything we have known before." "The Diversity of Life has quickly become a classic text in its definition of a new environmental ethic - our obligation to rescue ecosystems, not simply individual species - and its prescient call for an end to the conservation versus development argument. In an extensive new foreword for this edition, Professor Wilson addresses the explosion of the field of conservation biology and takes a clear-eyed look at the work still to be done."--BOOK JACKET.
An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.
An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.
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