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EarthA Tenant's Manual$
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Frank H. T. Rhodes

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801478239

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801478239.001.0001

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The Singular Planet

The Singular Planet

(p.127) Chapter 10 The Singular Planet

Frank H. T. Rhodes

Cornell University Press

This chapter emphasizes the need to study the Earth's history in order to better understand its present character. The Earth is a product of an eventful history, extending back to its origin, 4.6 billion years ago. Our survival depends on our effective adaptation to the constraints and conditions of the planet that is our home. In a more general sense, conversely, the study of the Earth's past can also elucidate the Earth's present—by understanding the scale and frequency of past changes, we can understand the context of present trends or changes. Moreover, the chapter considers the possibility of using the Earth's past to predict its future, concluding that our ability to do so is limited.

Keywords:   Earth, present character, origins, future, past changes, present trends, adaptation

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