From the time mankind first learnt to speak, probably about 45,000 years ago, we have told stories-stories for entertainment and instruction around the campfire. The most complex and fascinating story ever told is about life on Earth. While this story has taken many forms in different places and at different times down through the millennia, it has only recently begun to be told with any precision. And even now there are many uncertainties, many missing events and episodes, many revisions, many remaining mysteries. But it is a story that grows in complexity each time it is retold. A story, curiously, that we never grow tired of hearing. While it is not possible to do justice to the story of life in a few brief chapters, an attempt has been made in this book to reveal something of its fascination. It also serves as a foundation on which the later chapters about the Dynamic Society have been constructed.