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(io9)   The 10 books you absolutely must read to understand the history of Earth   (io9.com) divider line 84
    More: Interesting, Earth, Stephen Jay Gould, multicellular organisms, Cambrian Explosion, origin of life, science books, geological history, symbiosis  
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9128 clicks; posted to Geek » on 20 Nov 2012 at 6:46 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-19 10:33:22 PM
Blasphemy! Ain't no books on that list about Jeebus ridin' his pet velociraptor.
 
2012-11-19 10:58:34 PM
Big thumbs up for Annals of the Former World! It's a simply fantastic collection of books. Anything by John McPhee really is worth the read.
 
2012-11-19 11:13:35 PM
CNN today tells me that 46% of Americans believe the Earth is only 6,000 to 10,000 years old. Jesus wept.
 
2012-11-20 12:07:01 AM

WorldCitizen: CNN today tells me that 46% of Americans believe the Earth is only 6,000 to 10,000 years old. Jesus wept.


Well at least we know your numeral keypad is working.
 
2012-11-20 01:15:57 AM
if #1 isn't the bible, i'm not interested
 
2012-11-20 01:34:08 AM

shaft6969: if #1 isn't the bible, i'm not interested


That's a testament to something...
 
2012-11-20 01:46:34 AM

phlegmmo: shaft6969: if #1 isn't the bible, i'm not interested

That's a testament to something...


/you're goddamn right it is. amen brother
 
2012-11-20 01:57:03 AM
I already have a fairly good grasp on the history of the world and I've never heard of any of those books.

shiat happened, it sucked, I was born, now it's awesome.
 
2012-11-20 02:02:42 AM
Amazon: "Microcosmos brings together the remarkable discoveries of microbiology of the past two decades"

Amazon: "Publication date 1997"

Hmmmm, wonder if anything has changed in the last 15 years.
 
2012-11-20 06:47:41 AM

This About That: Amazon: "Microcosmos brings together the remarkable discoveries of microbiology of the past two decades"

Amazon: "Publication date 1997"

Hmmmm, wonder if anything has changed in the last 15 years.


Yes, Americans have gotten stupider.
 
2012-11-20 06:55:10 AM
Just give me a dinosaur picture book and I will be happy.
 
2012-11-20 07:23:49 AM
But, but, what about:

cdn.www.carm.org 

Subby, stop submitting links spreading lib lies and blasphemy. Science has no place in our society. Your lies only serve to diminish the importance of our Lord and savior.

/I'll give myself a 2/10
 
2012-11-20 07:27:19 AM
No "A Brief History of Time"?

I've never actually read it so hey everybody a phony posts here but it just sounds like the perfect thing for this topic and there's no questioning the author's bona fides
 
2012-11-20 07:27:34 AM
www.kcrw.com
 
2012-11-20 07:40:54 AM
I've been reading Annals of the Former World. It's awesome, slow-going. It would choke a fifth grader.
 
2012-11-20 07:42:17 AM
Any ghost written book by our esteem political masters.
 
2012-11-20 07:42:52 AM
More like "ten arbitrary books you should read if your science education stopped at high school and you still lack the attention span to actually learn any". Not that there's anything wrong with that, I guess, better pop science than no science.
 
2012-11-20 07:48:40 AM

Hueg_Redd: No "A Brief History of Time"?

I've never actually read it so hey everybody a phony posts here but it just sounds like the perfect thing for this topic and there's no questioning the author's bona fides


That's a neat book but unless you've got a pretty good math & physics background it starts to get unintelligible towards the end.
 
2012-11-20 07:51:44 AM
I'd like to add

ecx.images-amazon.com

...to the list, if I may. There's a liiiiitle bit of editorializing in there which might annoy U.S. Republicans, but not too much.

NowhereMon: Big thumbs up for Annals of the Former World! It's a simply fantastic collection of books. Anything by John McPhee really is worth the read.


I'll third this recommendation. Like everything else McPhee's written, it's a wonderful read.
 
2012-11-20 07:53:42 AM

Jim_Callahan: More like "ten arbitrary books you should read if your science education stopped at high school and you still lack the attention span to actually learn any". Not that there's anything wrong with that, I guess, better pop science than no science.


Some of us are too busy making money with real degrees to waste time with those stupid BS degrees.

/poli sci+philosophy = more money than engineering and science monkeys
//and easier
///suck it nerds
 
2012-11-20 07:54:58 AM
If you're lazy, you can read just this one book:

images.betterworldbooks.com
 
2012-11-20 07:59:35 AM
I'll add Charles Pellegrino's "Ghosts of Vesuvius" despite the author being a name-dropping sensationalist. If anything his stuff is useful to read because you know that you're going to have to flex your research skills checking out whether the sky was actually blue that day.
 
2012-11-20 08:00:13 AM
In this book, Morton introduces us to the single most important life form on Earth

Somebody wrote a book about me? About time.
 
2012-11-20 08:03:12 AM
Fark all that shiat.

static.kinokopilka.tv

All you ever need.
 
2012-11-20 08:03:39 AM
I thought about posting a snark about the bible, but after reading the article and seeing McPhee's book, I had to chime in. It is a book every aspiring Geologist should read. I got derailed in Mineralogy because I couldn't find the words to write a paper. After reading McPhee, I realized that the story was a story to tell beyond the dry formulae and fracture patterns.

I've made a point of driving across country while listening to the audio book version several times.

For fans, check out his essay on Plimouth Rock.
 
2012-11-20 08:13:28 AM
Anything by Zacharia Stichin
 
2012-11-20 08:22:28 AM

WorldCitizen: CNN today tells me that 46% of Americans believe the Earth is only 6,000 to 10,000 years old. Jesus wept.


Do you have any details about the poll they are citing?

Because the classic one everyone cites asks about humans appearing in their current form in the last 10,000 years. That still leaves room for some forms of old-Earth creationism.

And everyone knows that you can get different questions depending on the order in which you ask questions. Ask a innocent-sounding question about T-Rex or some other popular dinosaur, then ask them how old the Earth is, and you might get a different answer.
 
2012-11-20 08:23:31 AM
Everything McPhee. Loved farking Basin and Range, and I cannot for the life of me understand why. Encounters with the Arch Druid, while not really falling under this same topic heading, is deeply fascinating and not at all what I expected.

/no naked bonfire dancing
 
2012-11-20 08:36:27 AM
As if something could ever be over four billion years old, you guys will believe anything!
 
2012-11-20 08:44:12 AM
I prefer my history in movie form
 
2012-11-20 08:45:46 AM

StrangeQ: I prefer my history in movie form


erm, I said MOVIE form...

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-11-20 08:46:29 AM
I'm surpised Guns, Germs and Steel by Jarod Diamond wasn't include
 
2012-11-20 08:48:52 AM
Job 38:4-7 : "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the Earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements-surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" ~ God

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-11-20 08:49:48 AM
 
2012-11-20 08:50:01 AM
You're better off with cable television. On the History Channel, you get to learn about Earth's formation, evolution, mass extinction, conspiracy theories, how to pawn and UFOs on the same channel!
 
2012-11-20 08:59:56 AM

This About That: Amazon: "Microcosmos brings together the remarkable discoveries of microbiology of the past two decades"

Amazon: "Publication date 1997"

Hmmmm, wonder if anything has changed in the last 15 years.


Yes, Lynn Margulis went off the deep end and started believing things for which she had zero evidence.
 
2012-11-20 09:00:47 AM
Checked the list to make sure at least one book by Stephen Jay Gould was on the list, was relieved to see there is one.
 
2012-11-20 09:08:54 AM

WorldCitizen: CNN today tells me that 46% of Americans believe the Earth is only 6,000 to 10,000 years old. Jesus wept.


Luckily facts arent up to the results of polls taken of the dumbest people on earth. Let they and their spawn stomp the aisles of their local Wal-Mart thinking whatever their trailer-trash-idiot-brains want.

Supid is as stupid does....lol
 
2012-11-20 09:18:46 AM
^F rubio ... "Phrase not found"

I am disappoint. Where's the page to contribute to send these to Senator Rubio?
 
2012-11-20 09:27:01 AM
I will wait until They Might Be Giants writes a song about it.
 
2012-11-20 09:29:37 AM
List fails w/o Oasis in Space: Earth History from the Beginning
 
2012-11-20 09:30:00 AM
2.bp.blogspot.com

Amateurs
 
2012-11-20 09:30:11 AM

pkellmey: You're better off with cable television. On the History Channel, you get to learn about Earth's formation, evolution, mass extinction, conspiracy theories, how to pawn and UFOs on the same channel!


You say this like it's a bad thing.
 
2012-11-20 09:30:57 AM

Dear Jerk: I've been reading Annals of the Former World. It's awesome, slow-going. It would choke a fifth grader.


That's why I rented 'Anal in a Firmer World' instead. I finished in 5 minutes...
 
2012-11-20 09:35:06 AM
missing a peoples history of the united states by howard muthafarkin' zinn.
 
2012-11-20 09:36:26 AM

Jim_Callahan: More like "ten arbitrary books you should read if your science education stopped at high school and you still lack the attention span to actually learn any". Not that there's anything wrong with that, I guess, better pop science than no science.


can i hire you?!
 
2012-11-20 09:37:58 AM

LazarusLong42: Yes, Lynn Margulis went off the deep end and started believing things for which she had zero evidence.


heh I was wondering if anyone would bring that up about Lynn.
 
2012-11-20 09:41:29 AM

This About That: Amazon: "Microcosmos brings together the remarkable discoveries of microbiology of the past two decades"

Amazon: "Publication date 1997"

Hmmmm, wonder if anything has changed in the last 15 years.


Yeah but Margulis has also gotten progressively kookier over the last 15 years as well, trying to shoehorn everything into her symbiosis model even when it is not supported by the evidence. I don't think I would want to read a current book on her views of how eukaryotes evolved.

Jim_Callahan: More like "ten arbitrary books you should read if your science education stopped at high school and you still lack the attention span to actually learn any". Not that there's anything wrong with that, I guess, better pop science than no science.


Quite a few of those were written either by pretty well-respected scientists or very, very good science writers. I worked in some of the fields covered by those books and many people I know had a lot of respect (and read) Nick Lane, Switek, etc.
 
2012-11-20 09:42:39 AM

WorldCitizen: CNN today tells me that 46% of Americans believe the Earth is only 6,000 to 10,000 years old. Jesus wept.



the thumpers also believe that man coexisted with dinos. all ya' have to do is believe. no scientific evidence of man and dinos, but hey, just believing makes it so.
 
2012-11-20 09:47:31 AM
CNN today tells me that 46% of Americans believe the Earth is only 6,000 to 10,000 years old. Jesus wept.

my peter is older than that. at least it looks older.
 
2012-11-20 09:49:04 AM
hey gaiz is this the thread where we air out our anti-theist butt hurt pout rage?

invisible sky lizards lol lol lol lol

/lulz
//trololololol
///u mad
 
2012-11-20 09:52:06 AM
And though it's 1400 plus pages long and nominally a textbook, Gould's The Structure of Evolutionary Theory is a very good read and easily accessible to the lay reader.
 
2012-11-20 09:52:45 AM
Can someone post the list? My smartphone, to which my laptop is tethered, won't load Gawker sites. I have no idea why.
 
2012-11-20 09:53:51 AM
This one's easier:

i.walmartimages.com
 
2012-11-20 10:02:43 AM
I've read #2 and it was really good. #3 is even better. #10 is also excellent. One of my favorite books. I suppose the rest will end up in on my wishlist.
 
2012-11-20 10:09:48 AM

gilatrout: I thought about posting a snark about the bible, but after reading the article and seeing McPhee's book, I had to chime in. It is a book every aspiring Geologist should read. I got derailed in Mineralogy because I couldn't find the words to write a paper. After reading McPhee, I realized that the story was a story to tell beyond the dry formulae and fracture patterns.

I've made a point of driving across country while listening to the audio book version several times.


Describe the country.
 
2012-11-20 10:12:24 AM

Mid_mo_mad_man: I'm surpised Guns, Germs and Steel by Jarod Diamond wasn't include


Count me as equally disappointed.
 
2012-11-20 10:12:47 AM
Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Evolution from Our Microbial Ancestors

Hey, baby, we've got biological history together.
 
2012-11-20 10:13:47 AM

kyleaugustus: Mid_mo_mad_man: I'm surpised Guns, Germs and Steel by Jarod Diamond wasn't include

Count me as equally disappointed.


Anthropological history, not earth.
 
2012-11-20 10:26:17 AM

Linux_Yes: WorldCitizen: CNN today tells me that 46% of Americans believe the Earth is only 6,000 to 10,000 years old. Jesus wept.


the thumpers also believe that man coexisted with dinos. all ya' have to do is believe. no scientific evidence of man and dinos, but hey, just believing makes it so.


Actually there are a bunch of fossilized footprints. But this probably indicates that some dinos survived alot longer than thought. There are native stories that indicate plesiosours may still survive in the Amazon. Among other other possible survivors.
Just Google "human and dinosaur footprints".
 
2012-11-20 10:38:58 AM

Wrencher: Actually there are a bunch of fossilized footprints. But this probably indicates that some dinos survived alot longer than thought. There are native stories that indicate plesiosours may still survive in the Amazon. Among other other possible survivors.
Just Google "human and dinosaur footprints".


If you look into it in the geological literature you can see that it is actually just an artifact of geological formations and shifting. I don't recall all of the technical details as geology isn't my thing but it has been shown that they aren't actually of the same age.
 
2012-11-20 10:41:56 AM

DarnoKonrad: kyleaugustus: Mid_mo_mad_man: I'm surpised Guns, Germs and Steel by Jarod Diamond wasn't include

Count me as equally disappointed.

Anthropological history, not earth.


Unfortunately. While I have nothing at all against the history of the Earth and do finding it deeply interesting, I was expecting the list to at least touch upon the development of Homo Sapiens at the end of it all.
 
2012-11-20 10:44:40 AM
If it ain't on a kindle, I ain't reading it. Only 3 or 4 of the books are.
 
2012-11-20 10:50:17 AM
I was hoping for at least a little bit of human history in there.

So I'll pop in the book I'm currently working through, The World That Never Was by Alex Butterworth. It's about anarchism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and- fair warning- you need a sizable vocabulary just to keep up.
 
2012-11-20 10:55:09 AM
Anything by John McPhee is good.
 
2012-11-20 11:00:32 AM

Mid_mo_mad_man: I'm surpised Guns, Germs and Steel by Jarod Diamond wasn't include


It seems like the list was more about natural history than human history; otherwise I would agree with you.
 
2012-11-20 11:06:44 AM

HMS_Blinkin: Mid_mo_mad_man: I'm surpised Guns, Germs and Steel by Jarod Diamond wasn't include

It seems like the list was more about natural history than human history; otherwise I would agree with you.


True then maybe his book Collapse then?
 
2012-11-20 11:08:36 AM

NowhereMon: Big thumbs up for Annals of the Former World! It's a simply fantastic collection of books. Anything by John McPhee really is worth the read.


read as "Anal in the Former World". Probly a better book, too.
 
2012-11-20 11:10:58 AM
I thought this was the only book I needed?


ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2012-11-20 11:17:25 AM

kvinesknows: I thought this was the only book I needed?


Sadly, it was first when this came out that I suddenly saw how interconnected many of my history classes were and I never realized it. More history classes need this type of reference.
 
2012-11-20 11:20:01 AM

Mid_mo_mad_man: HMS_Blinkin: Mid_mo_mad_man: I'm surpised Guns, Germs and Steel by Jarod Diamond wasn't include

It seems like the list was more about natural history than human history; otherwise I would agree with you.

True then maybe his book Collapse then?


Collapse is also about human history.
 
2012-11-20 11:23:54 AM
If you prefer your history with a dash of humor, read this series:
upload.wikimedia.org 
/hot image
 
2012-11-20 11:25:33 AM

miniflea: Mid_mo_mad_man: HMS_Blinkin: Mid_mo_mad_man: I'm surpised Guns, Germs and Steel by Jarod Diamond wasn't include

It seems like the list was more about natural history than human history; otherwise I would agree with you.

True then maybe his book Collapse then?

Collapse is also about human history.


Was trying to tie in the climate/environmental change theme in it
 
2012-11-20 11:27:21 AM
I think we really need to know what the other five were...

i2.listal.com
 
2012-11-20 11:27:53 AM
manilovefilms.com
 
2012-11-20 11:28:58 AM
img.gawkerassets.com

/Wishlist
 
2012-11-20 11:39:00 AM
No Carl Sagan's Cosmos?

As much as I am a book geek, I am as well a big fan of this place.... The Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta.

/raddest museum ever
 
2012-11-20 12:25:39 PM

Mid_mo_mad_man: I'm surpised Guns, Germs and Steel by Jarod Diamond wasn't include


Agree.
 
2012-11-20 01:18:14 PM

pkellmey: kvinesknows: I thought this was the only book I needed?

Sadly, it was first when this came out that I suddenly saw how interconnected many of my history classes were and I never realized it. More history classes need this type of reference.


its actually pretty neat to have if you ignore the stuff at the start. its a really good reference point once it starts dealing in reality
 
2012-11-20 03:00:16 PM

Mid_mo_mad_man: miniflea: Mid_mo_mad_man: HMS_Blinkin: Mid_mo_mad_man: I'm surpised Guns, Germs and Steel by Jarod Diamond wasn't include

It seems like the list was more about natural history than human history; otherwise I would agree with you.

True then maybe his book Collapse then?

Collapse is also about human history.

Was trying to tie in the climate/environmental change theme in it


To be fair, I agree with both of you, both of those books should be required reading for anyone with an interest in history. There is a universal human tendency to think one's own group is better than all the others, and no other book I've read better explains the fact that group A being intrinsically superior to group B is not a factor, or even true at all.
 
Ant
2012-11-20 04:04:54 PM

phaseolus: I'd like to add

[ecx.images-amazon.com image 160x160]

...to the list, if I may. There's a liiiiitle bit of editorializing in there which might annoy U.S. Republicans, but not too much.

NowhereMon: Big thumbs up for Annals of the Former World! It's a simply fantastic collection of books. Anything by John McPhee really is worth the read.

I'll third this recommendation. Like everything else McPhee's written, it's a wonderful read.


I'd add Climbing Mount Improbable as well:

ecx.images-amazon.com
 
Ant
2012-11-20 04:06:16 PM

Epicedion: This one's easier:

[i.walmartimages.com image 500x500]


I love that book (Bill Bryson: A Short History of Nearly Everything)
 
2012-11-20 05:08:58 PM
Piling on the Annals of the Former World love. Maybe one of the greatest non-fiction books I've ever read.
 
2012-11-20 06:52:38 PM

InmanRoshi: Piling on the Annals of the Former World love. Maybe one of the greatest non-fiction books I've ever read.


Indeed. I was shocked by how quickly I read it, and how much I learned.
 
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