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An Abridged History of the World by William T. Beran

An Abridged History of the World

by William T. Beran

114 pages
This treatise addresses the evolution of our planet from a red-hot ball of space debris to our human-dominated modern world. Itís a concise account of the changes over time to earthís geology, geography, atmosphere, and living creatures.

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Category: History
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About the Book
A history book of unusually comprehensive scope, this treatise manages to cover the evolution of our planet from red-hot ball of space debris to modern times in just over a hundred pages. The writing style is conversational rather than pedantic, to also engage the interest of those readers not academically versed in the subjects. While still authoritative, the text and illustrations avoid technical jargon in order to keep focus on the content, not the authorís technical expertise.

The first chapterís introductory text and following five exhibits address geologic periods along with salient highlights of those times throughout earthís entire evolution. The exhibits will help develop appreciation for the nearly incomprehensible amount of time required just for multicellular life to evolve into even primitive forms of life that today we could recognize as animals. These exhibits also aid the readerís perspective in terms of understanding the immense time frame that some of todayís species can trace their ancestors, in contrast to the relatively short time for the new kids on the block, we humans.

The book follows on to describe the dynamic nature of earthís crust and the role plate tectonics plays in constantly reconstructing our geography. The remarkable changes in land mass shape and location throughout the last half billion years are highlighted by ten illustrated sequences in time, with an eleventh sequence illustrating what might be expected 50 million years hence.

Turning next to our atmosphere, the third chapter relates how the initial toxic brew evolved to the oxygen-rich, life-sustaining blanket of air we enjoy today. The advent of equally vital water vapor, carbon dioxide, and stratospheric ozone layer is also described, underscoring the complexity of preparing our planet for life on land.

The following eight chapters describe animal life evolution, focusing on the major players with whom we are all familiar: amphibians, whales, dinosaurs, flying reptiles, birds, sharks, mice, and humans. Most of the attention is given to their unique physical adaptations, and the reasons these were necessary.

In the case of humans, the unique mental advancement is also discussed since this is largely what separates us from the rest of the animal world. The particular behavioral patterns we see in our particular species, homo sapiens, is also examined because such behavior could be in large part the reason why we are the surviving sole species of all the other hominids that at one time shared the planet with us.

Finally, a chapter is dedicated to recounting the ďWinnersĒ of the evolutionary process. Some are obvious, but others may not yet be on the readerís radar!

 

 

About the Author
Mr. Beran was always attracted to Biology and aced the High School course much to the amusement of his father, the biology teacher. As an engineer in the offshore oil industry, his interest in geology peaked, particularly as it related to earthís prehistoric geological formations and subsequent transformations.

 

 

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