Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

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Replica Books, Sep 1, 1989 - History - 348 pages
4 Reviews
"Luminous. . .Filled with profound and upsetting ideas like the Burgess Shale itself and just as solid. It is surely one of nature's best stories, told with a light touce by a master of the field".--Lewis Thomas, M.D.

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User Review  - judithskiss - LibraryThing

After reading some Gould on my travels, I came back to the U.S. in search of more of his writings. I found this in a used books store. I hadn't given much concern to paleontology until I read this ... Read full review

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User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

Gould's discussion of the wonderful Burgess Shale, a veritable treasure trove of fossils that have given us a lot of information about the Cambrian explosion. A great read, even if you don't agree with all of his ideas about the shale. Read full review

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About the author (1989)

Born in New York City in 1941, Stephen Jay Gould received his B.A. from Antioch College in New York in 1963 and a Ph.D. in paleontology from Columbia University in 1967. Gould spent most of his career as a professor at Harvard University and curator of invertebrate paleontology at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology. His research was mainly in the evolution and speciation of land snails. Gould was a leading proponent of the theory of punctuated equilibrium. This theory holds that few evolutionary changes occur among organisms over long periods of time, and then a brief period of rapid changes occurs before another long, stable period of equilibrium sets in. Gould also made significant contributions to the field of evolutionary developmental biology, most notably in his work, Ontogeny and Phylogeny. An outspoken advocate of the scientific outlook, Gould had been a vigorous defender of evolution against its creation-science opponents in popular magazines focusing on science. He wrote a column for Natural History and has produced a remarkable series of books that display the excitement of science for the layperson. Among his many awards and honors, Gould won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His titles include; Ever Since Darwin, The Panda's Thumb, Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes, Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory and Full House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin. Stephen Jay Gould died on May 20, 2002, following his second bout with cancer.

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