Joined: June 2008
An absolutely kick ass issue of Nature Geoscience on plants and their influence on the Earth. It seems that all the articles are free.
There has already been some media buzz about one article which talks about how the colonization of land by vascularized plants drew down enough CO2 from the atmosphere to start an Ice Age. Several other articles covering how plants created rivers are equally cool.
The editorial has some 'Rare Earth' memes that could get recycled by the anti-science crowd. But the conclusion isn't that way:
|Even if evolution follows a predictable path, filling all available niches in a reproducible and consistent way, the niches on any Earth analogue could be different if the composition of its surface and atmosphere are not identical to those of Earth. And if evolution is random, the differences would be expected to be even larger. |
I’m referring to evolution, not changes in allele frequencies. - Cornelius Hunter
I’m not an evolutionist, I’m a change in allele frequentist! - Nakashima