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Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History (Penguin Press Science) Paperback – 31 Jan 1991

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (31 Jan. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140135340
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140135343
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,017,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

A shrewd and learned intellectual whose essays on Charles Darwin have the styleand address of what in other circumstances might be the writing of a literary critic upon Stendhal or Proust or other such major figure in the world of letters.--P. B. Medawar"

A remarkable achievement by any measure. [Gould] is profoundly intelligent, a writer of great natural wit, and his sophistication and learning range far beyond the parameters of his academic field, biology. . . . One is hard pressed to single out past writers who could wear the sobriquet of natural history essayist with such distinction.--David Walsten --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
Ever Since Darwin is the first collection of Gould's essays, published back in the 1970s. Thirty years is a long time for a science book, but there's several essays worth reading in this one. Gould writes about Darwin, naturally, about human evolution, odd examples of evolution in practise, history of life, theories of Earth, abouts sizes and shapes, science in society and the science and politics of human nature.

It's a wide selection of topics and Gould sure knows how to write an interesting essay. There's plenty to learn between the covers and a fair dose of entertainment as well. Despite its age, Ever Since Darwin is well worth reading.
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Format: Paperback
Unlike many of those who discuss the subject today, Stephen Jay Gould had a very positive and non-defensive approach to discussing evolution. "Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History" is Gould's first book and is a collection of essays which Gould wrote between 1974 and 1977 for "Natural History Magazine". These are organized into 8 sections which cover everything from the basics of Darwin's theory through applications of that theory to the evolution of humans, through the history of life on Earth and the view and role of science in society. All in all there are 33 essays included on a diversity of sub-topics involving the theory of evolution, though certainly some points are repeated as one would expect when dealing with individual essays on a related subject.

Stephen Jay Gould's writing is easy to read, and these essays are targeted to people interested in science, but you don't have to be a scientist to understand them by any means. Gould also makes the reading more entertaining by including interesting bits of trivia, such as covering who was the naturalist aboard the Beagle, correcting many bits of misinformation regarding Darwin and his theory, and discussing why Darwin waited so long before publishing. Unlike many more recent books (this book was originally published in 1977), Gould avoids getting drawn into the name calling which goes on between creationists and Darwinists.

Gould's enthusiasm for the subject comes through in his writing, and his passing in 2002 from cancer was a great loss to science, as well as to the public discussion of science to which he offered a thoughtful and insightful voice.
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This is a collection of Essays covering a wide expanse of evolutionary theory and its implications. As often with SJG his knowledge of early theory is staggering as is the clarity with which he writes about it.

The great overall impression is of humaine tolerance both for ill framed ideas and of the people who produced them. In other works of his one encounters hints of the horrors of the American High School System and its treatment of Dweebs Nerds and outsiders which must have shaped such an abiding combination of sympathy and revulsion for those who pervert science to an illiberal social goal.
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