Evolution Stephen Jay Gould Book Of Life

ISBN 13: 9780091777494

Book Of Life

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9780091777494: Book Of Life

Presenting the compelling story of life on earth, this book brings together the latest findings in evolutionary science. The drawings include reconstructions of creatures long extinct, seen in their own habitat. The contributors include Peter Andrews, a leading palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum; Michael Benton, a leading expert on mammal evolution; Christopher Stringer, an expert on mammal evolution and Jack Sepkoski, who teaches and researches early life forms at Chicago.

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Review:

An unusual scientific reference work by any measure, The Book of Life opens with an unusual protest from its editor, Stephen Jay Gould, who worries that it may have left out much of importance discovered between the present and the book's original publication in 1993. Gould's worry is well placed--in the last few years, many advances have been made in taxonomy and genetics, to name just two areas. Still, the book is a lucid, readily comprehensible, and largely up-to-date overview of the origins and evolution of life on earth, from the emergence of bacteria 4 billion years ago to that of Homo sapiens in recent geological time. Written by distinguished scientists, the text proceeds chronologically, giving an in-depth account of the fossil record. It is matched by hundreds of paintings, drawings, charts, and graphs that reinforce the authors' discussions.

More than all that, The Book of Life is a manifesto proclaiming the essential correctness of evolutionary theory, which has come under fire in places like Afghanistan and Kansas. "Life has changed through time," paleontologist Michael Benton observes. "No other explanation will account for the sequence and variety of the life forms preserved as fossils, or the history recorded since humankind began to draw, paint, and carve, about 30,000 years ago." The book's careful documentation of those changes makes it a highly useful reference for high school and university students, and it's a book that rewards casual browsing as well. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Stephen Jay Gould is the best-selling author of numerous books. He lives in New York City.

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Stephen Jay Gould
Published by Random House UK (1993)
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Stephen Jay Gould
Published by Random House UK (1993)
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