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Cradle of life : the discovery of earth's earliest fossils
Schopf, J. William
Adult Nonfiction QH325 .S384 1999

Comments  Summary  Contents  Reviews  Author Notes

ContentsPage
Prologuep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Chapter 1. - Darwin's Dilemmap. 3
Breakthrough to the Ancient Pastp. 3
The Nature of Geologic Timep. 4
The "Schoolbook" History of Lifep. 10
Darwin's Dilemmap. 13
Denouementp. 34
Chapter 2. - Birth of a New Field of Sciencep. 35
The Floodgates Crack Openp. 35
Famous Figures Enter the Fieldp. 48
A Youngster Joins the Frayp. 52
The Floodgates Open Full Borep. 61
Chapter 3. - The Oldest Fossils and What They Meanp. 71
"Trust but Verify"p. 71
"Real World Problems" in the Search for Early Lifep. 71
Questions and Answers about the Oldest Records of Lifep. 75
The Oldest Fossils Knownp. 99
Chapter 4. - How Did Life Begin?p. 101
The Basics of Biologyp. 101
The Universal of Lifep. 107
How Did Monomers of CHON Arise on the Lifeless Earth?p. 108
Organic Monomers beyond the Earthp. 131
How Did Monomers Become Linked into Polymers?p. 134
From Monomers to Polymers toward Lifep. 138
Chapter 5. - Metabolic Memories of the Earliest Cellsp. 139
How Did Cells Begin?p. 139
The Essentials of Lifep. 143
Life's Earliest Way to Make a Livingp. 150
Air and Light: A New Source of Glucosep. 155
Why Do We Breathe Oxygen?p. 158
The Four-Stage Development of Modern Metabolismp. 161
Chapter 6. - So Far, So Fast, So Early?p. 164
How Old Is the Modern Ecosystem?p. 164
When Did Life Begin?p. 166
How Did Evolution Proceed So Far, So Fast, So Early?p. 168
Paleobiology: Fossils, Geology, and Geochemistryp. 169
Isotopic Evidence of Ancient Metabolismsp. 173
Paleobiology: Direct Evidence of Early Evolutionp. 181
Chapter 7. - Stromatolites: Earth's First High-Rise Condosp. 183
Nature Is Not Compartmentalizedp. 183
Stromatolites: Earth's First High-Rise Condosp. 184
Stromatolites of the Geologic Pastp. 195
What Are Stromatolites Good For?p. 201
Chapter 8. - Cyanobacteria: Earth's Oldest "Living Fossils"p. 209
Modes and Tempos in the Evolution of Lifep. 209
The Status Quo Evolution of Cyanobacteriap. 215
Evolution's Most Successful Ecologic Generalistsp. 231
Chapter 9. - Cells Like Ours Arise at Lastp. 236
Life Like Us Has Cells Like Oursp. 236
DNA and Development: Keys to Eukaryotic Successp. 237
How Old Are the Eukaryotes?p. 240
Eukaryotes Perfect the Art of Cloningp. 243
Sex: A New Lifestyle Brings Major Changep. 246
The Wax and Wane of Precambrian Acritarchsp. 252
Prelude to the Phanerozoicp. 259
Chapter 10. - Solution to Darwin's Dilemmap. 264
The Adventure of Sciencep. 264
Take-Home Lessonsp. 269
Solution to Darwin's Dilemmap. 269
Epilogue - Extraordinary Claims! Extraordinary Evidence?p. 279
Chapter 11. - Fossils, Foibles, and Fraudsp. 281
Chapter 12. - The Hunt for Life on Marsp. 304
Glossaryp. 327
Further Readingp. 349
Index of Geologic Units and Genera and Speciesp. 357
Subject Indexp. 361


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