Walter Alvarez: A geologist ponders the improbability of life

April 25, 2017

His new book, A Most Improbable Journey: A Big History of Our Planet and Ourselves, was inspired by a course Alvarez taught for five years, until his retirement in 2011, called “Big History,” in which he approached human history from a geologic and ultimately cosmic perspective, stretching back to the universe’s origin 13.8 billion years ago. The book is his attempt to make the scientific background of big history accessible to those without a science background, specifically historians and other humanists, through personal stories.

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