Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,
Nicholas
nwhyte

May Books 22) Ever Since Darwin, by Stephen Jay Gould

Another collection of Gould's essays from Natural History Magazine, this time dating from the mid-1970s; as ever, nicely constructed and argued pieces, though it is something of a shock to realise that, say, continental drift had only recently become orthodox, or indeed (when considering his comments on the Permian / Triassic extinction) that the Alvarez proposal that the Cretaceous ended in a massive impact event was still several years in the future. He is also terrifically good, and humane, in warning against the casual adoption of Darwin's ideas to support racist theories, including past examples of where even liberal scholars got it badly wrong. It has dated a bit more than The Panda's Thumb, but I think is slightly better.
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Tags: bookblog 2010, writer: stephen jay gould
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