Once Upon A Universe
Once Upon a Universe is an absorbing journey into our past. In clear and reasoned language, Don Keith takes the reader one step at a time ever deeper into a strange and exciting "foreign country," where things are done so differently. Each step further back helps us to understand how past events tie together and why today's world turned out the way it did.
We start our journey with an overview of the dynamic century just ended, move back to the quest for knowledge that binds together the centuries of the last millennium, and then witness the entire process of civilization, with the brilliant ideas that came to humans one after another. We go on to trace our biological forebears, with their vastly expanded brains, as they began to distinguish themselves from the rest of the animal kingdom. We learn how mammals emerged from the domination of reptiles, how marine animals first dared to survive the harsh element of dry land, and how primitive complex life forms proliferated in the great Cambrian explosion. Finally, we look all the way back to the big bang that started it all.
Among so many other dramatic events of our past, Don describes the blossoming of human inventiveness, how the islands of the vast Pacific Ocean were settled by primitive seafarers, how humans first set foot on an entirely new hemisphere, how our unique species developed language and conciousness, how our distant predecessers came to stand on their hind feet. We learn about the so-called "missing link,"continental drift, how individual cells first combined to produce multicellular life forms, and how life itself got its start.
He closes with a fascinating discussion of the question we have all wondered about at one time or another: Does our vast universe house other intelligent life forms and, if so, where are they and what are the chances we will ever hear from them?