ISBN: 978-1-60785-282-7

edited by Claire Colebrook

Introduction: Framing the End of the Species

Scientific events have their own consistency and it is often a mistake for humanities scholars to reduce such complexities to ‘worldviews’ or the history of ideas. To pass from quantum uncertainty to postmodern literary styles reduces the disciplinary specificity of scientific discovery and functions, and risks presenting literature and culture as reflections or contexts for scientific facts. Yet it is also the case that certain scientific events do not occur as facts within history but rather open up a new experience and possibility of history, and a new way in which the very relation between history and science might be considered. When Darwin posited that the human species had a beginning within the history of life, this was not only a fact about ‘our’ history; it also opened up formal problems for the imagination: how could our understanding of the human and the humanities proceed with a sense of the processes of life beyond human time? (more)

The Anthropocene

Will Steffen
The Anthropocene, Global Change and Sleeping Giants: Where on Earth Are We Going?
Jan Zalasiewicz et al.
Are We Now Living in the Anthropocene?
Jan Zalasiewicz et al.
Stratigraphy of the Anthropocene
Jan Zalasiewicz, Mark Williams and Will Steffen
The New World of the Anthropocene

Time and Discipline

K. J. Willis
How Can a Knowledge of the Past Help to Conserve the Future? Biodiversity Conservation and the Relevance of Long-term Ecological Studies
Valentí Rull
Ecology and Palaeoecology: Two Approaches, One Objective

Ecosystems and Biodiversity

Jeremy B. Jackson
Ecological Extinction and Evolution in the Brave New Ocean
Harold A. Mooney
The Ecosystem Service Chain and the Biological Diversity Crisis
Norman Myers and Andrew H. Knoll
The Biotic Crisis and the Future of Evolution

Mass Extinction

S. A. Wooldridge
Mass Extinctions Past and Present: A Unifying Hypothesis

Comprehending Extinction

Robert M. May
Ecological Science and Tomorrow’s World
Stephen Jay Gould
The Evolution of Life on Earth
Valentí Rull
Beyond Us: Is a World Without Humans Possible?
Sarda Sahney and Michael J. Benton
Recovery from the Most Profound Mass Extinction of All Time
Jessica H. Whiteside et al.
Compound-specific Carbon Isotopes from Earth’s Largest Flood Basalt Eruptions Directly Linked to the end-Triassic Mass Extinction
Richard J. Behl
Glacial Demise and Methane's Rise
Don N. Page
Possible Anthropic Support for a Decaying Universe: A Cosmic Doomsday Argument


A 'Frozen' PDF Version of this Living Book

Download a 'frozen' PDF version of this book as it appeared on 26th February 2012