Life, the Great Story
by Juan Luis Arsuaga
Paleontology describes the history of life on earth and chronicles evolutionary events in distinctly narrative terms. This book tells that story, covering over three thousand five hundred million years and going further still, seeking out explanations.
Faced with any big historical fact, it’s perfectly natural to wonder whether it’s the result of an inexorable process, or whether things might have turned out quite differently or perhaps never even happened at all. Clearly, this line of reasoning can be applied to evolution too. Was life on Earth inevitable? Was it bound to result in an intelligent and technologically advanced species in the end? Was it just a matter of time (and a very long wait - more than three and a half thousand million years)? How much in our evolutionary history was pure chance and how much was inescapable?
There are obvious philosophical implications to these questions. How would you react to the news that - as science fiction would have us believe - the universe is teeming with life and there are civilizations just like ours on countless other planets? How would you feel about finding out we’re not so special after all, certainly not the centre of the universe, but just one little corner tucked away among dozens of others? Alternatively, what if scientists concluded it’s virtually impossible for life to exist anywhere other than Earth (given that conditions are so exacting and the likelihood of them being realized is so infinitely remote)? What if they told you that once life had developed here (the only place it could), it was simply a matter of course that a human being would one day appear? If that turns out to be true, the human race once again takes centre stage, despite the fact that our planet revolves around a humble yellow star perched on the periphery of a galaxy that is just one of hundreds of billions of others in the visible universe.
Sold to: Spanish/Destino; China/Guomai; France/Leduc-Albin Michel; Italy/La nave di Teseo; Poland/Znak; Portugal/Temas e Debates-Leya; Romania/TREI
“Arsuaga is one of the world's leading experts on human evolution, as well as a prestigious scientist and a natural born communicator.” Ixone Díaz Landaluce, ABC
“We love that wise people explain things to us when they do it in an interesting and affordable way. That is what makes Arsuaga’s new book such a wonder: a luminous treatise on life, the universe and human existence.” Víctor M. Amela, La Vanguardia
“His life testament.” Sergio González, El Mundo
“A look into our past to predict our future, giving us a complete analysis of the uncertain paths that we, as human species, will follow.” J. Ors, La Razón
"Arsuaga’s viewpoint comes as a refreshing and instructive contrast to much of the English language literature." Dr. Ian Tattersall, American Museum of Natural History, NY
"The work of noted Spanish paleoanthropologist Arsuaga at excavations at Atapuerca (where he is codirector) has influenced our understanding of human evolution." Library Journal
"He certainly knows his stuff...necessary evolutionary and environmental background to this complex story, all well told for the general reader..." New Scientist
Dr. Arsuaga (Madrid, 1954) is a Professor of Paleontology at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid and Director of the Human Evolution and Behavior Institute (UCM-ISCIII). He is a member of the American National Academy of Sciences, Member of the Musée de l’Homme of Paris and vice-president of the Comission of Human Paleontology of the International Union Quaternary Research., Visiting Professor at the University College of London and co-director of excavations at Sierra de Atapuerca (WorldHeritage Site). He is the recipient of many national and international awards, among which the renowned Príncipe de Asturias in 1997
Dr. Arsuaga is a regular contributor to Nature, Science, American Journal of Physical Anthropology and editor of the Journal of Human Evolution as well as a regular lecturer at the universities of London, Cambridge, Berkeley, New York, Tel Aviv, Zurich, among others.
He is the author of more than a dozen works. Among them, one should mention the perennial long-sellers: La especie elegida (1997), El collar de Neandertal (1999) and Amalur (2002), all published by Temas de Hoy; La saga humana (Edaf, 2007), El reloj de Mr. Darwin (Temas de Hoy, 2009) and El primer viaje de nuestra vida (Temas de Hoy, 2012) and El sello indeleble (Debate, 2013). His latest work is Vida. Una gran historia (Destino, 2019) is an instant bestseller and will be translated into several languages.
MB Agencia Literaria
From its creation in 1997, MB Literary Agency manages the rights of authors writing in Spanish and Catalan worldwide. It also represents foreign agencies and publishing houses for Spain, Latin American countries, as well as Portugal and Brazil.View all titles
- Publisher/Imprint Planeta / Destino
- Orginal LanguageSpanish
- ISBN/Identifier 9788423355747
- Publication Country or regionSpain
- Primary Price 20.90 EUR
- Publish StatusPublished
- Original Language TitleVida, la gran historia
- Original Language AuthorsSpanish
- Copyright Year2019
- Dimensions22,7x14,5 cm
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