Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

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W. W. Norton & Company, Sep 17, 1990 - Fiction - 347 pages
77 Reviews

"[An] extraordinary book. . . . Mr. Gould is an exceptional combination of scientist and science writer. . . . He is thus exceptionally well placed to tell these stories, and he tells them with fervor and intelligence."—James Gleick, New York Times Book Review

High in the Canadian Rockies is a small limestone quarry formed 530 million years ago called the Burgess Shale. It hold the remains of an ancient sea where dozens of strange creatures lived—a forgotten corner of evolution preserved in awesome detail. In this book Stephen Jay Gould explores what the Burgess Shale tells us about evolution and the nature of history.
  

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Review: Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

User Review  - Lois Bujold - Goodreads

Wonderful book. Some of the science has been overtaken in the quarter century since it was written, but mainly in the details, not in the main thrust of the arguments. (And it is very much a long ... Read full review

Review: Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

User Review  - Alex Brown - Goodreads

Great book, quite technical but clear nonetheless. Added a lot of clarity to a story I half-knew, also added new morphologies to my weirdest dreams. Read full review

Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
13
The Iconography of an Expectation
23
THE CRUCIAL EXPERIMENT
45
A Background for the Burgess Shale
53
THE CHRONOLOGY OF A TRANSFORMATION
97
The Burgess Drama
107
Homage to Opabinia 1975
124
The Success of a Research Team
136
Life after
172
Coda
206
THE Two GREAT PROBLEMS OF THE BURGESS SHALE
227
Walcotts Vision and the Nature of History
240
The Power of Just History
292
Bibliography
325
Credits
333
Copyright

Naraoia
164

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About the author (1990)

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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