Qty:1
  • List Price: $14.95
  • Save: $3.50 (23%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 15 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: While this book has been loved by someone else, they left it in great condition. Hurry and buy it before someone else does and take advantage of our FREE Super Saver Shipping!!!
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck? Paperback – November 17, 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0393309270 ISBN-10: 0393309274 Edition: 1st Paperback Ed

Buy New
Price: $11.45
28 New from $7.44 86 Used from $0.01 2 Collectible from $9.98
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.45
$7.44 $0.01

Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student



Frequently Bought Together

Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck? + Prehistoric Journey: A History of Life on Earth + Night Comes to the Cretaceous: Dinosaur Extinction and the Transformation of Modern Geology
Price for all three: $57.38

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Save up to 90% on Textbooks
Rent textbooks, buy textbooks, or get up to 80% back when you sell us your books. Shop Now

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1st Paperback Ed edition (November 17, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393309274
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393309270
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #747,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Raup takes up a cocktail-party science topic--Why do entire branches of life "suddenly" (in geologic time) disappear?--and gives it weight and validity. Despite the catchy title, Raup's presentation is plenty rigorous, drawing in just enough geology, anthropology, biostatistics and yes, even the Alvarez meteor/earth cataclysm, to send readers looking for additional reading on current evolutionary theory. Fans of Stephen Jay Gould will find a similarly fluent and friendly lecture style here. University of Chicago professor Raup is coauthor of several standard graduate-level texts on paleontology and evolution. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Scientists have directed a good deal of attention to the topic of extinction in recent years. In this book, Raup, a mathematically oriented paleontologist, discusses the role of extinction in evolution, attempting to differentiate the effects of natural selection ("bad genes") and extraterrestrial causes ("bad luck"). It is a nicely done work written for the layperson, much in the vein of his previous book, The Nemesis Affair ( LJ 8/86), which covers some of the same territory and which also favors extraterrestrial causes. This book should serve as a complement to the relatively few other recent works on extinction for the nonspecialist, notably Steven M. Stanley's Extinction (Scientific American Lib., 1987), which offers an alternative viewpoint.
-Joseph Hannibal, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
7
4 star
6
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 14 customer reviews
Overall, a good book on the catastrophic theory of extinctions due to meteor strikes.
magellan
An absolutely fascinating book, perhaps the most enjoyable book I have read on the subject of evolution.
David Vockeroth
The sense of humor with which he injects his work makes a complex subject entirely enjoyable.
Atheen M. Wilson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tim F. Martin on March 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
David M. Raup does an extraordinary job in this fine work on the mysteries of extinction. Addressing not only the infamous K-T extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs, pterosaurs, prehistoric marine reptiles, ammonites, and many less well known organims of the Mesozoic, he addresses other significant extinction events in earth's history, ranging from the Cambrian period all the way up to extinctions in recent centuries, such as the heath hen in the eastern United States. Raup is able to draw many interesting theories and conclusions by analyzing extinction as an event and process seperate from and beyond the details of the individual organisms. Too many works, at least popular works, dwell overmuch on the extinction of the dinosaurs and related archosaur fauna (and to a lesser extent the mammalian and avian megafauna at the end of the Pleistocene)and fail to draw overall conclusions about what extinction is, how it comes about, and what roles it plays in the history of life on earth. Though the details of particular organims that become extinct are important, Raup seeks to draw broader and more widely applicable conclusions, and in this he succeeds brilliantly.
Raup analyzes and addresses a variety of potential causes of extinction from biological (such as predation, epidemic disease, etc.) to physical (sea level rises and falls, volcanism, etc.) to fairly exotic (cosmic radiation, asteroid impact, etc.), as well of course interactions between various causes.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alan R. Holyoak on May 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
Raup does a great job outlining many of the leading ideas regarding extinction theory. Ideas in the book are presented with examples that are easy to follow, and Raup points out possibilities without overburdening the reader with a heavy-handed dose of bias, leaving readers to make up their own minds about things. I particularly appreciated the range of ideas covered by the author regarding current thought about extinction. The book seemed a bit light for a scientific audience, but it is pitched well for the lay naturalist reader. I'm glad I read it.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Atheen M. Wilson on April 24, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a delightfully well written book on the phenomenon of extinction, from the background rates of species death to the massive die-offs of the KT and other major extinction events. The author approaches the subject from a statistical/probabilities standpoint, looking at extinction as a continuum which is characterised, as he notes, by "long periods of boredom interrupted occasionally by panic." He introduces the concept of Gambler's Ruin, which makes his thesis understandable even to the statistically challenged like myself. The sense of humor with which he injects his work makes a complex subject entirely enjoyable.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. M Chen on August 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book by David M. Raup, a biologist at the University of Chicago, of the Stephen Jay Gould genre, identifies everything about extinction that we thought was true but is not. The author's main thesis is that extinction is a mostly random event; due to catastrophes and bad luck, and not related to the process of evolution that is part and parcel of the Darwinian idea. The author believes that the most likely explanation for the major extinctions that we have had is not competition, nature, or physical causes, but meteorites of colossal energy that fell on the earth regularly some 18 million years ago and still threaten us today.

In the process of debunking everything that we have been taught about extinction the author comes to six conclusions that are of great explanatory value for all species, all companies, and all investment styles:

Species are temporary. Almost all species die out, and almost all lifetimes are very small relative to the age of the earth.

Species with small populations are easy to kill. This is a consequence of gambler's ruin, that if you let random events run for a long enough time you are bound to hit the zero point, unless the probability of success is inordinately high. This is something that all traders with fixed systems, and all companies with specialized technological innovations and unique niches should contemplate.

Widely spread species are harder to kill. Geographic diversity, and niche diversity are very important in precluding narrow events from causing a species' extinction.

It is much easier to kill a species if you get a substantial number with the first strike. The importance of not losing too much in one fell swoop is paramount in any field.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Fitzsimmons on April 3, 1998
Format: Paperback
This thought provoking book covers details not discussed in many books about past life and past extinctions. Looking at the big picture of extinction, he provides insight to the nature of evolution, our past and possible futures. Using a skillful combination of specific data on individual mass die-offs and statistical examination of the entire history of life on this planet, he brings many difficult (or unpleasant) theories of extinction into focus. He analyzes many theories, from older standard views to the downright wacky, but eventually makes a strong case for celestial impacts as cause of many mass extinctions.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search