Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History is a book on the evolution of Cambrian fauna by Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould. Alex Shrugged Stephen Jay Gould passed away in He was Jewish (as am I). He was what is called in some circles a “secular Jew”. He did not practice. Burgess Shale y la naturaleza de la historia – Stephen Jay Gould la nalga del ministro, La vida maravillosa, La sonrisa del flamenco, Acabo.

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Grijalbo October Language: Wonderful Life – reactions and thoughts. View all 12 comments. His writing has been excellent Then just read this, and be done: Burgess shale oddballs as Gould puts it are breathtaking for any biologist and what they say about the history of earth and life is deeply moving.

He never again published a major work on Burgess metazoans. By telling the story of how the Burgess shale came to be interpreted, we not only have a story about life on this planet, but also a story of how scientists work, and how their efforts are constantly subject to revision and flux, especially in a discipline like paleontology in which there isn’t much in the way of experimentation, but there is a lot in the way of history and narrative.

Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. His asides about the nature of research, the relationships between different scientific disciplines, and many other topics were often just as interesting as his discussion of the conceptual basis for his work. I was looking for something that would give me some interesting science history, some interesting details about the life forms discovered at the Burgess Shale, and relate that to our general knowledge of evolution.


Wonderful Life has some novel and valuable ideas the book’s overarching points seem soundbut they’re buried beneath reams of bias, pettiness, and insecurity. One could argue that this is because Gould was simply arguing against older methods of depicting phylogeny, rather than the relatively new at the time cladistics, but even these do not generally follow his pattern.

La Vida Maravillosa

This book was unlike anything else I’d ever read, I suspect because it owes something to the scientific monograph. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Unraveling the story the flattened creatures told and the story of the Cambrian Explosion is fascinating.

The Burgess Shale deposits date from the early Cambrian period, roughly million ye I fell in love with dinosaurs when I was 8, about the time I fell in love with horses. Much of the biota are now considered to be stem groups of modern taxa, evolutionary aunts and uncles. I’m in the process of reading all of his books. In fact he makes a subject that could be extra-ordinarily dull – the process of taxonomic classification of a bunch of extra-old fossils of small, squidgy animals – into a dramatic and gripping read.

Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History by Stephen Jay Gould

Highly recommended for those with an interest in science, particularly the life sciences. Some of them aren’t arthropods at all. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. I’m tired of women being erased from history. We came this close put your thumb about a millimeter away from your index fingerthousands and thousands of times, to erasure by the veering of history down another sensible channel.

So why does the author feel the need to keep telling the reader how wonderful his idea is, instead of simply viva it? Simon Morris changed his views and in a book held that most Burgess Fossils were related to current forms. View all 3 comments. Showing an extensive mix o Wonderful Life chronicles the changing landscape of science in the seventies, and is about slow, but important changes in scientific thinking that change how we think about the world.


His passion for paleontology and the story of life resonate from every page. Stephen Gould does his best to make this subject accessible to all readers, and the lesson it presents is an important.

Vida Maravillosa, La (Spanish Edition): Stephen Jay Gould: : Books

The proof he holds up to support this is the fossils of the Burgess Shale found in the Canadian Rockies early last century by the eminent geologist Charles Walcottmost of which have no relation at all to modern species. Return to Book Page. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Goodreads helps you keep track jag books you want to read. Overturning conventional thought that life became more diverse as time went on, it seems that all major groups, and some lineages that no longer exists, diverged early in Earth’s history.

Gould’s thesis is that life did not begin with a single or limited number of organisms who formed the precursor s of all modern life – i.

Nov 14, Steven Peterson rated it really liked it. View all 21 comments.

Stephen Jay Gould performs a really unlikely feat in this book; he makes arthropods as fascinating as dinosaurs! If you know what a “chelicerate arthropod” is, then dive right in! Also, paleontologists are always correcting each other.

Wonderful Life – reactions and thoughts 1 2 Jan 05,