BOOK REVIEW: The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet by Robert M. Hazen | Science News

SUPPORT SCIENCE NEWS

Science News is a nonprofit.

Help us keep you informed.


Reviews & Previews

BOOK REVIEW: The Story of Earth: The First 4.5 Billion Years, from Stardust to Living Planet by Robert M. Hazen

Review by Sid Perkins

By
1:04pm, May 4, 2012

Earth’s history is a saga of change. The planet has evolved ever since it and its solar system companions coalesced from a massive interstellar cloud of gas and icy dust. What was once a barren lava planet is now a teeming orb where life occupies nearly every conceivable niche on and near its surface.

Cramming billions of years of geological evolution into a single book is a daunting challenge, but it’s one that Hazen, a geophysicist, has risen to splendidly. He chronicles the major events and eras in Earth’s history, from “The Big Thwack” (a collision with another planet thought to have formed the moon) to the greening of Earth’s landscape as life emerged from shallow waters worldwide.

And, Hazen says, the “Boring Billion,” an interval from 1.85 billion to 850 million years ago that many scientists have viewed as uneventful in te

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content