Some publicans are wise enough to post a notice behind the bar that bans discussion of religion or politics on the premises. Adding Thomas Gold’s deep-Earth gas notion, the central thread running through The Deep Hot Biosphere, to the list would be a wise move for Earth scientists. That is, if adherents to his world-view were thick on the ground. A proselytiser leaps unchained from the text and, if his readers’ comments on are anything to go by, Gold is winning support among the laity as the architect of a ‘paradigm shift’. The Deep Hot Biosphere ranks around...

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