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A World From Dust is a popular science book about the chemical sequence behind the evolution of creation.
It’s about how geology, biology, and chemistry worked together over billions of years, providing a hidden order under the random flow of genes and lava and water.
It’s about the chemical job that each element takes up in life, and how that job is predictable from its place on the periodic table.
It can be told as the story of many elements: how iron and sulfur gave a spark of life; how manganese was a key for oxygen; and how copper and zinc formed the basis for your immune system and growth patterns.
It can be told as the story of one element: the story of how oxygen was hidden from life, then killed life, then gave new energy and new shapes for life to become more complex than before.
It’s also about how, if we rewound and replayed the “tape of life”, what we would “hear” in evolution would be much the same the second time around. It’s about how, at certain levels, life is predictable and ordered — and at other levels, it’s not.
To use big words, it’s about chemistry, convergence, and contingency. To use little words (that are probably better), it’s about fate and free will.
The book is written by Ben McFarland and illustrated by Gala Bent and Mary Anderson. Audiobook produced by Seattle Pacific University's department of Educational Technology and Media.
Seattle Pacific University
Institute for Academic Innovation, Seattle Pacific University
Innovation Seed Grant
chemistry, convergence, contingency, fate, free will, periodic table, elements, evolution
Biochemistry | Biology | Chemistry | Environmental Chemistry | Evolution
Additional Rights Information
Audiobook copyright Ben McFarland 2018. Permission is granted to download and use audiobook for non-commercial uses. For permissions, please contact Ben McFarland. Print book copyright Ben McFarland 2016
McFarland, Ben, "Audiobook of A World from Dust" (2018). Faculty Open Access Books. 1.