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Catastrophic Thinking – Extinction and the Value of Diversity from Darwin to the Anthropocene - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Catastrophic Thinking: Extinction and the Value of Diversity from Darwin to the Anthropocene

David Sepkoski

Abstract

We live in an age in which we are repeatedly reminded—by scientists, by the media, by popular culture—of the looming threat of mass extinction. We’re told that human activity is currently producing a sixth mass extinction, perhaps of even greater magnitude than the five previous geological catastrophes that drastically altered life in the past. Indeed, there is a very real concern that the human species may itself be poised to go the way of the dinosaurs, victims of the most recent mass extinction some 65 million years ago. How we interpret the causes, consequences, and moral imperatives of ex ... More

Keywords: extinction, biodiversity, catastrophes, Darwin, anthropocene, environment, history of science

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780226348612
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226354613.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David Sepkoski, author
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign