Wonderful Life: Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

4.11 avg rating
( 7,534 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780099273455: Wonderful Life: Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

'A masterpiece of analysis and imagination...It centres on a sensational discovery in the field of palaeontology - the existence, in the Burgess Shale... of 530-million-year-old fossils unique in age, preservation and diversity...With skill and passion, Gould takes this mute collection of fossils and makes them speak to us. The result challenges some of our most cherished self-perceptions and urges a fundamental re-assessment of our place in the history of life on earth' Sunday Times.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

The Burgess Shale of British Columbia "is the most precious and important of all fossil localities", writes Stephen Jay Gould. These 600-million-year-old rocks preserve the soft parts of a collection of animals unlike any other. Just how unlike is the subject of Gould's book.

Gould describes how the Burgess Shale fauna was discovered, reassembled and analysed in detail so clear that the reader actually gets some feeling for what paleobiologists do, in the field and in the lab. The many line drawings are unusually beautiful, and now can be compared to a wonderful collection of photographs in Fossils of the Burgess Shale by Derek Briggs, one of Gould's students.

Burgess Shale animals have been called "a palaeontological Rorschach test", and not every geologist by any means agrees with Gould's thesis that they represent a "road not taken" in the history of life. Simon Conway Morris, one of the subjects of Wonderful Life, has expressed his disagreement in Crucible of Creation. Wonderful Life was published in 1989, and there has been an explosion of scientific interest in the pre-Cambrian and Cambrian periods, with radical new ideas fighting for dominance. But even though many scientists disagree with Gould about the radical oddity of the Burgess Shale animals, his argument that the history of life is profoundly contingent--as in the movie It's a Wonderful Life, from which this book takes its title--has become more accepted, in theories such as Ward and Brownlee's Rare Earth hypothesis. And Gould's loving, detailed exposition of the labour it took to understand the Burgess Shale remains one of the best explanations of scientific work around. --Mary Ellen Curtin

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Gould, Stephen Jay
Published by Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom (2000)
ISBN 10: 0099273454 ISBN 13: 9780099273455
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A masterpiece of analysis and imagination.It centres on a sensational discovery in the field of palaeontology - the existence, in the Burgess Shale.of 530-million-year-old fossils unique in age, preservation and diversity.With skill and passion, Gould takes this mute collection of fossils and makes them speak to us. The result challenges some of our most cherished self-perceptions and urges a fundamental re-assessment of our place in the history of life on earth Sunday Times. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099273455

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10.28
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Gould, Stephen Jay
Published by Vintage 2000-08-03 (2000)
ISBN 10: 0099273454 ISBN 13: 9780099273455
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller
Chiron Media
(Wallingford, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage 2000-08-03, 2000. Book Condition: New. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Bookseller Inventory # NU-GRD-00485952

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
9.09
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.01
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Gould, Stephen Jay
Published by Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom (2000)
ISBN 10: 0099273454 ISBN 13: 9780099273455
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A masterpiece of analysis and imagination.It centres on a sensational discovery in the field of palaeontology - the existence, in the Burgess Shale.of 530-million-year-old fossils unique in age, preservation and diversity.With skill and passion, Gould takes this mute collection of fossils and makes them speak to us. The result challenges some of our most cherished self-perceptions and urges a fundamental re-assessment of our place in the history of life on earth Sunday Times. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099273455

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
12.12
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Gould, Stephen Jay
ISBN 10: 0099273454 ISBN 13: 9780099273455
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Grand Eagle Retail
(Wilmington, DE, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 129mm x 198mm x 22mm. Paperback. 'A masterpiece of analysis and imagination.It centres on a sensational discovery in the field of palaeontology - the existence, in the Burgess Shale.of 530-million-year-old fossils uni.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 352 pages. 0.256. Bookseller Inventory # 9780099273455

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
12.12
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Gould, Stephen Jay
Published by Vintage Publishing
ISBN 10: 0099273454 ISBN 13: 9780099273455
New Paperback Quantity Available: 3
Seller
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Wonderful Life: Burgess Shale and the Nature of History, Stephen Jay Gould, 'A masterpiece of analysis and imagination.It centres on a sensational discovery in the field of palaeontology - the existence, in the Burgess Shale.of 530-million-year-old fossils unique in age, preservation and diversity.With skill and passion, Gould takes this mute collection of fossils and makes them speak to us. The result challenges some of our most cherished self-perceptions and urges a fundamental re-assessment of our place in the history of life on earth' Sunday Times. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099273455

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
6.25
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 5.94
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Gould, Stephen Jay
Published by Vintage (2000)
ISBN 10: 0099273454 ISBN 13: 9780099273455
New Softcover Quantity Available: 5
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage, 2000. Book Condition: New. An account of a revolution in our understanding of life's history, this book tells how three obscure British scientists completely changed our view of evolution by discovering a unique group of 530 million year-old creatures in the Burgess Shale fossil deposit in the Rockies. Num Pages: 352 pages, facsimiles. BIC Classification: PSAJ. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (P) Professional & Vocational; (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 197 x 128 x 28. Weight in Grams: 254. . 2000. New Ed. Paperback. . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099273455

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
13.07
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From Ireland to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Gould, Stephen Jay
Published by Vintage
ISBN 10: 0099273454 ISBN 13: 9780099273455
New Softcover Quantity Available: 5
Seller
Kennys Bookstore
(Olney, MD, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. An account of a revolution in our understanding of life's history, this book tells how three obscure British scientists completely changed our view of evolution by discovering a unique group of 530 million year-old creatures in the Burgess Shale fossil deposit in the Rockies. Num Pages: 352 pages, facsimiles. BIC Classification: PSAJ. Category: (G) General (US: Trade); (P) Professional & Vocational; (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 197 x 128 x 28. Weight in Grams: 254. . 2000. New Ed. Paperback. . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099273455

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
13.82
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Gould, Stephen Jay
ISBN 10: 0099273454 ISBN 13: 9780099273455
New Paperback Quantity Available: 18
Seller
Ria Christie Collections
(Uxbridge, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; 'A masterpiece of analysis and imagination.It centres on a sensational discovery in the field of palaeontology - the existence, in the Burgess Shale.of 530-million-year-old fossils unique in age, preservation and diversity.With skill and passion, Gould takes this mute collection of fossils and. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780099273455_rkm

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10.60
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.34
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Gould, Stephen Jay
ISBN 10: 0099273454 ISBN 13: 9780099273455
New Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Speedy Hen LLC
(Sunrise, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # ST0099273454. Bookseller Inventory # ST0099273454

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
14.15
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Gould, Stephen Jay
Published by Vintage (2000)
ISBN 10: 0099273454 ISBN 13: 9780099273455
New Paperback Quantity Available: 12
Seller
Green Books
(Wicklow, Ireland)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Vintage, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New Book. Shipping: Once your order has been confirmed and payment received, your order will then be processed. The book will be located by our staff, packaged and despatched to you as quickly as possible. From time to time, items get mislaid en route. If your item fails to arrive, please contact us first. We will endeavour to trace the item for you and where necessary, replace or refund the item. Please do not leave negative feedback without contacting us first. All orders will be dispatched within two working days. If you have any quesions please contact us. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099273455

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
10.13
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 4.32
From Ireland to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book