The Diversity of Life (Questions of Science) 2nd Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 86 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-0393319408
ISBN-10: 0393319407
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

From Library Journal

This is still the best book on biodiversity. Wilson, an eminent Harvard entomologist, details the rise of biodiversity on earth and the human threats to it. His eloquent plea to save the rich variety of plant and animal life will resonate with readers of all ages and educational backgrounds.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
86 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on January 20, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on April 24, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on November 6, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on January 14, 2012
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Reviewed in the United States on April 23, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on September 7, 2008
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Reviewed in the United States on October 1, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on January 20, 2012
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Top international reviews

Eileen Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars The loss of life's diversity endangers not just the body but the spirit...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 20, 2011
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Moondance
5.0 out of 5 stars my book for Desert Island Discs (apart from the Bible and Shakespeare)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 28, 2013
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Jade
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly informative and very enjoyable
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 7, 2011
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Pablo Valverde
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading, marvellous author
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 4, 2013
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Andrew Leslie
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 12, 2015
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ChrisBauer
5.0 out of 5 stars Purchase recommendation
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 15, 2012
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Jon Boy
5.0 out of 5 stars A very well written treatise on us human beings and evolution
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 21, 2013
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Mr. J O
5.0 out of 5 stars ... mandatory reading for all in order to understand life better!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 3, 2016
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Mrs Sue Dancey
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 28, 2012
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Gary White
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 13, 2012
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iammeg
5.0 out of 5 stars Diverse.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 10, 2013
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in Canada on January 30, 2017
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Rebeca Elliott
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 8, 2015
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Jacques Bert
5.0 out of 5 stars Livre extraordinaire
Reviewed in France on August 10, 2011
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David Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 12, 2017
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