Four billion years of life on Earth, briefly

In a magazine article of just 2,000 words, astrobiologist Andy Knoll engagingly tells the story of the history of life on Earth.

In the February issue of Microbe (the monthly magazine of the American Society of Microbiology and one of my favorite reads), Knoll, a professor of natural history ay Harvard University, explains 4 billion years of terrestrial evolution. In telling this story he shows how planet Earth and life on Earth have been co-evolving all this time.

Knoll is a fine writer (see his most recent book, for example, Life on a Young Planet) as well as an accomplished scientist. One point he makes clear, if you haven’t already realized it, is that the dominant form of life on Earth is, and always has been, and likely always be, microbes.

You can read Knoll’s article, “The Deep History of Life,” at:

PS – If you have the stomach for this sort of science, Microbe is a good source of information on the latest studies of the human microbiota. Microbes R Us!


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