W. H. Freeman, 2001. First Edition. Hardcover. Item #272862
190 pages. 7-1/2 by 9-1/2 inches. Illustrated in color. 'An illuminated history of life to come' -- from the jacket cover. Foreword by Niles Eldredge. First edition (first printing). A fine copy in a fine dust jacket. An interesting association copy. Inscribed by the author: 'For Steve / Best / Alexis.' From the Harvard office library of the paleontologist and leading advocate for evolution, Stephen Jay Gould, who is cited in the book. Gould contributed essays to previous works and exhibitions by Rockman whose art depicts future landscapes showing impacts of climate change and biotechnology. Gould was also associated with Eldredge; in 1972 they proposed the theory of punctuated equilibria. With a posthumous tipped in bookplate indicating the provenance.
Everyone wonders what tomorrow holds, but what will the real future look like? Not decades or even hundreds of years from now, but thousands or millions of years into the future. Will our species change radically? Or will we become builders of the next dominant intelligence on Earth- the machine?
These and other seemingly fantastic scenarios are the very possible realities explored in Peter Ward's Future Evolution, a penetrating look at what might come next in the history of the planet. Looking to the past for clues about the future, Ward describes how the main catalyst for evolutionary change has historically been mass extinction. While many scientist direly predict that humanity will eventually create such a situation, Ward argues that one is already well underway--the extinction of large mammals--and that a new Age of Humanity is coming that will radically revise the diversity of life on Earth. Finally, Ward examines the question of human extinction and reaches the startling conclusion that the likeliest scenario is not our imminent demise but long term survival--perhaps reaching as far as the death of the Sun!
Full of Alexis Rockman's breathtaking color images of what animals, plants and other organisms might look like thousands and millions of years from now, Future Evolution takes readers on an incredible journey through time from the deep past into the far future.