Wonderful Life: Burgess Shale and the Nature of History (Penguin science)

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9780140133806: Wonderful Life: Burgess Shale and the Nature of History (Penguin science)

Basing his argument around the history of science's treatment of the fossils of the Burgess shale, the author presents a view of evolution as a non-progressive system, which saw a wide range of early designs for life winnowed down to the relatively few basic designs that exist today.

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Review:

"Gould at his best... The message of history is superbly conveyed... Recommended reading for scientists and nonscientists of all persuasions." -- Walter C. Sweet "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 touch by a master of the field." -- Lewis Thomas, M.D. "There is no question about the historical importance of the Burgess Shale, and Gould is right when he says that it deserves a place in the public consciousness along with big bangs and black holes... A compelling story, told with characteristic verve." -- Richard A. Fortey

About the Author:

Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and Professor of Geology at Harvard University. He published over twenty books, received the National Book and National Book Critics Circle Awards, and a MacArthur Fellowship.

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