The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth

W. W. Norton & Company
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The book that launched a movement: “Wilson speaks with a humane eloquence which calls to us all” (Oliver Sacks).
Called “one of the greatest men alive” by The Times of London, E. O. Wilson proposes an historic partnership between scientists and religious leaders to preserve Earth’s rapidly vanishing biodiversity.
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About the author

Edward O. Wilson is widely recognized as one of the world’s preeminent biologists and naturalists. The author of more than thirty books, including The Social Conquest of Earth, The Meaning of Human Existence, and Letters to a Young Scientist, Wilson is a professor emeritus at Harvard University. The winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, he lives with his wife, Irene Wilson, in Lexington, Massachusetts.

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Additional Information

W. W. Norton & Company
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Published on
Nov 29, 2010
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Science / Environmental Science
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Alan Weisman
A penetrating, page-turning tour of a post-human Earth

In The World Without Us, Alan Weisman offers an utterly original approach to questions of humanity's impact on the planet: he asks us to envision our Earth, without us.In this far-reaching narrative, Weisman explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and finally vanish without human presence; which everyday items may become immortalized as fossils; how copper pipes and wiring would be crushed into mere seams of reddish rock; why some of our earliest buildings might be the last architecture left; and how plastic, bronze sculpture, radio waves, and some man-made molecules may be our most lasting gifts to the universe.
The World Without Us reveals how, just days after humans disappear, floods in New York's subways would start eroding the city's foundations, and how, as the world's cities crumble, asphalt jungles would give way to real ones. It describes the distinct ways that organic and chemically treated farms would revert to wild, how billions more birds would flourish, and how cockroaches in unheated cities would perish without us. Drawing on the expertise of engineers, atmospheric scientists, art conservators, zoologists, oil refiners, marine biologists, astrophysicists, religious leaders from rabbis to the Dali Lama, and paleontologists---who describe a prehuman world inhabited by megafauna like giant sloths that stood taller than mammoths---Weisman illustrates what the planet might be like today, if not for us.
From places already devoid of humans (a last fragment of primeval European forest; the Korean DMZ; Chernobyl), Weisman reveals Earth's tremendous capacity for self-healing. As he shows which human devastations are indelible, and which examples of our highest art and culture would endure longest, Weisman's narrative ultimately drives toward a radical but persuasive solution that needn't depend on our demise. It is narrative nonfiction at its finest, and in posing an irresistible concept with both gravity and a highly readable touch, it looks deeply at our effects on the planet in a way that no other book has.

Hope Jahren
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography
A New York Times 2016 Notable Book
National Best Seller
Named one of TIME magazine’s "100 Most Influential People"
An Amazon Top 20 Best Book of 2016
A Washington Post Best Memoir of 2016
A TIME and Entertainment Weekly Best Book of 2016

An illuminating debut memoir of a woman in science; a moving portrait of a longtime friendship; and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see the natural world
Acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren has built three laboratories in which she’s studied trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book is a revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also so much more.

Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s remarkable stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done “with both the heart and the hands”; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work.

Yet at the core of this book is the story of a relationship Jahren forged with a brilliant, wounded man named Bill, who becomes her lab partner and best friend. Their sometimes rogue adventures in science take them from the Midwest across the United States and back again, over the Atlantic to the ever-light skies of the North Pole and to tropical Hawaii, where she and her lab currently make their home.

Jahren’s probing look at plants, her astonishing tenacity of spirit, and her acute insights on nature enliven every page of this extraordinary book. Lab Girl opens your eyes to the beautiful, sophisticated mechanisms within every leaf, blade of grass, and flower petal. Here is an eloquent demonstration of what can happen when you find the stamina, passion, and sense of sacrifice needed to make a life out of what you truly love, as you discover along the way the person you were meant to be.
愛德華‧威爾森(Edward O. Wilson)






愛德華•威爾森(Edward O. Wilson)








國立台灣大學哲學系教授 苑舉正 專文推薦


生物人類學者 王道還

國立清華大學生命科學系教授 李家維

中研院生物多樣性研究中心研究員 邵廣昭 熱忱推薦




























˙這本書雖然文字簡潔,卻非常有震撼力,尤其書中所提出的一個新穎論點更具說服力:人類若為了成為超人而改造自身的心智,將會是一個無比嚴重的錯誤。威爾森明白:人腦雖有其侷限,但卻足以構築我們所需的未來。這樣的「存在保守主義」使我們更有理由歡慶──人類本身就是一個奇蹟。──比爾.麥奇本(Bill McKibben),《在機械化時代保持人性》(Enough)一書的作者


˙這是本告別之作……威爾森先生真是一個充滿生命力的作者。兩度獲得普立茲非文學獎的他,在眾多生物學作家之中鶴立雞群,就像約翰‧勒卡雷超越其餘諜報小說作者般。他睿智、詼諧、生動又隱晦。──德瑞克.葛納(Dwight Garner),《紐約時報》書評(New York Times Book Review)


˙「兩度普立茲獎得主威爾森以他一貫的優雅風格,精準且赤裸地探究人類存在的本質。——《出版人週刊》(Publishers Weekly)


˙E.O.威爾森是達爾文最傑出的繼承人,身為科學家,他驚人的深度、廣度、經驗和才華帶給我們的,無異於對人類的全新認識……你將透過人類最偉大、最無畏的探險家之眼,看見人類存在的美好、神祕和無窮可能。──傑佛瑞.薩克斯(Jeffrey D. Sachs),哥倫比亞大學地球研究所所長


˙這本書引導我們檢視人類物種的過去歷程和未來潛力,幾乎沒有寫得比它更好的書了……書中集結的專文文句優美、且足以引起論戰。──提姆.連登(Tim Lenton),《自然》雜誌(Nature)


˙沒有別的生物學家比威爾森更堅持不懈、雄辯滔滔地導正我們對人類起源的錯誤認知……我們應該感謝威爾森,他在自己輝煌生涯的晚期,仍訴諸理性和想像力,試圖開啟我們對自然的認識,啟發我們改變自己的自毀之路。──史考特.羅素.桑德斯(Scott Russell Sanders),《華盛頓郵報》(Washington Post)


˙威爾森問:人類在宇宙中具有特別的地位嗎?我們往哪裡去,為什麼?他藉由告訴我們科學界最新的創世故事來回答這個問題,提供一個深具啟發性和可信度的未來願景,這是項艱鉅的任務……威爾森是個徹底的樂觀主義者,也是堅定的現實主義者。我們對於一個先知的期待莫過於此了。──約翰.霍根(John Horgan),《科學人》(Scientific American)

Edward O. Wilson
An eloquent exploration of creativity, The Origins of Creativity grapples with the question of how this uniquely human expression—so central to our identity as individuals and, collectively, as a species—came about and how it has manifested itself throughout the history of our species.

In this profound and lyrical book, one of our most celebrated biologists offers a sweeping examination of the relationship between the humanities and the sciences: what they offer to each other, how they can be united, and where they still fall short. Both endeavours, Edward O. Wilson reveals, have their roots in human creativity—the defining trait of our species.

Reflecting on the deepest origins of language, storytelling, and art, Wilson demonstrates how creativity began not ten thousand years ago, as we have long assumed, but over one hundred thousand years ago in the Paleolithic age. Chronicling this evolution of creativity from primate ancestors to humans, The Origins of Creativity shows how the humanities, spurred on by the invention of language, have played a largely unexamined role in defining our species. And in doing so, Wilson explores what we can learn about human nature from a surprising range of creative endeavors—the instinct to create gardens, the use of metaphors and irony in speech, and the power of music and song.

Our achievements in science and the humanities, Wilson notes, make us uniquely advanced as a species, but also give us the potential to be supremely dangerous, most worryingly in our abuse of the planet. The humanities in particular suffer from a kind of anthropomorphism, encumbered by a belief that we are the only species among millions that seem to matter, yet Wilson optimistically reveals how researchers will have to address this parlous situation by pushing further into the realm of science, especially fields such as evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and anthropology.

With eloquence and humanity, Wilson calls for a transformational "Third Enlightenment," in which the blending of these endeavors will give us a deeper understanding of the human condition and our crucial relationship with the natural world.

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