From Publishers Weekly
Dunn, a biologist at North Carolina State University, does an admirable job of exploring the human drive to find and understand the manifold forms of life that surround them. With his light and enjoyable style, he also provides fascinating character sketches of some of the scientists (often obsessive, usually brilliant, occasionally half-mad) who made the most important discoveries, with enough scientific context for readers to understand their significance. Dunn ranges from Antoine van Leeuwenhoek's amazing microscopic discoveries in the scientific backwater of 17th-century Delft to a major 20th-century undertaking to explore life near deep sea vents where the ocean floor is expanding. But Dunn has a deeper message: life is more diverse and less like us than we had imagined. Indeed, he says, humans are far from central in the story of life's evolution on Earth; most life is microscopic, living in and deeply below the soil and likely comprising at least half of the planet's biomass. Finally, Dunn writes about scientific hubris: virtually every scientific prediction about conditions limiting life have been proven incorrect. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“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)
“His writing is concise and entertaining. So entertaining that I found myself laughing out loud and following my husband around saying, “Listen to this!” over and over again as I read.” (Internet Review of Books)