File Size: 8818 KB
Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (September 17, 1990)
Publication Date: February 3, 2014
LastRanger, What a wonderful writer, scientist and mentor. Gould's passion for explanation of the evidence for evolution of living things on our planet is shown here. Instead of the same old dinosaur story we discover ourselves exploring life long before dinosaurs appeared. Just how many people even consider that there must have been life that directed to the relatively recent dinosaurs?
Gould writes to be accessible to all people, certainly not simply scientists. But he's also faithful to the science, patiently describing the evidence and its place in the history.
Illustrations are plentiful through adding greatly to the explanations.
My personal favourite precious, the amazing pikaia, is left to the end. I desired more about this little treasure. For this I removed a superstar.
Throughout the book I give 5 stars.
In case you're enthusiastic about the real great life on World, you'll be glad to read this. Especially if you're not a traditional man of science., Stephen Gould tells us how the correct interpretation of the Burgess Shale reveals the richness of life, in all is actually forms. This is not a children's book but maybe it should be. The body types documented in the Cambrian Exploding market are incredible. These creepy, crawly, soft bodies creatures have been miraculously conserved, but with a flatness that makes careful observation and drafting a must, the 2 dimensional creatures as the fossil record portrays, are shown in 3d in Goulds wonderful life. His descriptions showing how the preservation occurred seems pretty lucky. It is unlikely that billions of yours into the future that the human race will be preserved at all. Our planet gobbles up our remnants well enough that we can not aspire to be as well preserved as the cambrian creatures. Read and enjoy., In Wonderful Life, paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould relates the impact of the scientific revising of the fossil specimens collected by Charles Walcott from the popular area known as the Burgess Shale. The work describes how new discoveries from a reexamination of the specimens literally forced a re-vision of just how we look at the march of life. Gould exposes our preconceptions, describes how a Burgess fauna refutes them, and then offers alternatives to fill the holes those preconceptions left behind.
Right after describing the history of the discovery and gyvūnai of the Burgess Shale, Gould explains why it is revolutionary in technology. He argues that the Burgess Shale shows the fallacy in our deeply-rooted paradigm concerning the march of life's progress from the few and to the diverse and complex. Instead than the disparity seen among modern life being the inevitable result of a few ancestral creatures, extant organisms are the leftovers from a much more diverse stock which has been whittled away by decimation. Life today is the result of 1000 "happy accidents" that were contingent upon luck as much as evolutionary fitness. Life as we know it did not have to be this way. "Wind back the recording of life, and let it play again. Would the replay ever yield anything like the historical past that we know? inches
Throughout the work, Gould is often repetitive and verbose in his narrative of the drama behind the Burgess revision and its implications on the interpretation of life historical past. The book hits a 20 page lull about ¾ of the way through where Gould describes the basis for Walcott's tenacious clinging to his interpretation of the Burgess fauna as ancestors of recent taxa. Despite this, his articles are studded with excellent thought-provoking statements, and the reading overall is very enjoyable. The book is an outstanding invitation to look at your own thinking and evaluate the perceptions many of us carry. That encourages us to abstain from wanting to shoehorn new discovery into a comfortable and understandable box, for "... conceptual blinders can preclude observation. " That invites us to consider all life as wonderful and worthy of merit for the mere fact that it remains to be in a tough Darwinian world. That asks us to ponder upon what has been.
This specific is a great book for anybody enthusiastic about early life and the evolution of its diversity.
(All estimates from Wonderful Life: Typically the Burgess Shale and the Nature of History, by Stephan Jay Gould, 1989)
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