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Customer Review

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, 11 Sept. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Snowball Earth: The Story of the Global Catastrophe That Spawned Life as We Know it (Hardcover)
This is a very enjoyable story describing the background to the Snowball Earth hypothesis. Rather than just covering the science, it gives pen portraits of the key protagonists in the development of the theory. It also includes stories about how the author researched the book. I particularly enjoyed her encounter with an angry elephant in Namibia. While these aren't strictly relevant to the topic, they make the book hugely entertaining rather than just being an informative read. By reading this book, I got a clear idea of how the Snowball Earth theory has developed, but I also learnt what geologists do in the field, what happens when controversial ideas are proposed, and how scientific theory progresses in general. There are no doubt scientific quibbles that could be made about parts of the book - surely the "slushball earth" hypothesis needs more than a couple of pages? Aren't the biological arguments that it "spawned life as we know it" rather weak? But this is not to detract from the fact that this is an excellent book aimed at entertaining and educating the general public. It succeeds admirably. (Anyone wanting just the science should read the original scientific reviews)
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