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Stephen Jay Gould: Reflections on His View of Life Hardcover – November 5, 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (November 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195373200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195373202
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #970,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"He [Gould] emerges as a genius of sorts, but - appropriately for his geologist beginnings - with feet not unmarked by clay." - Nature

"One of the first important works in what may someday be an extensive field of Gouldiana. The wonderful collection of essays reflecting on Gould's view of life, edited by his former students, presents a variety of insightful assessments of his work, while also giving us a glimpse of the man himself through the eyes of people who knew him well - his students and close colleagues. All the authors who a clear affection for Gould and an admiration for his accomplishments. However, none are servile followers, unwilling to criticize (Gould would have admired them for this). Thus, this volume is not, as the editors note their preface, an attempt at hagiography, but rather, a serious engagement with Gould's intellectual legacy." -- Monthly Review

"An interesting collection of essays."--American Scientist

"There are many perceptive and useful essays in this collection, and anyone interested in the development of 20th -century evolutionary thought will be fascinated by their insights."--Reports of the National Center for Science Education

About the Author

Warren D. Allmon is Director of the Paleontological Research Institution in Ithaca, NY, and Professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University.

Patricia H. Kelley is Professor of Geology at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.

Robert M. Ross is Associate Director for Outreach at the Paleontological Research Institution, Ithaca, NY.

More About the Author

Warren Allmon is the Director of the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI) in Ithaca, NY and the Hunter R. Rawlings III Professor of Paleontology in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University. He earned his A.B. in Earth Sciences from Dartmouth College in 1982, and his Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Harvard University in 1988. For four years he was Assistant Professor of Geology at the University of South Florida in Tampa, and became PRI's fourth Director in 1992. Since 1992, he has been instrumental in rejuvenating PRI's internationally-known fossil collections; starting its local, regional, and national programs in Earth science education; and in planning and fundraising for the Museum of the Earth, PRI's $11 million education and exhibit facility which opened in September 2003. In November 2004, Allmon helped secure a formal agreement of affiliation between PRI and Cornell, ending more than 70 years of official separation.

Allmon's major research interest is macroevolution and paleoecology, especially the ecology of the origin and maintenance of biological diversity and the application of the geological record to the study of these problems, particularly using Cenozoic marine gastropods (snails of the last 65 million years).

Allmon is the author of more than 200 technical and popular publications. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and the recipient of the 2004 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Understanding of Geoscience from the American Geological Institute.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By James Breckenridge on April 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you enjoy reading Stephen Jay Gould's essays (as he fondly called them) on evolutionary theory, paleontology, and numerous other topics, you probably won't enjoy reading this book entitled "Stephen Jay Gould, Reflections on His View of Life." Mr. Gould knew the secret of the success of his books was clear writing, a focus on specific topics illustrating his theme, and the avoidance of stultifying technical jargon, coupled with an adamant refusal to dumb down the science. (Mr. Gould could more than hold his own in the technical jargon department when writing for the professional paleontology audience, as evidenced by his book "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory.")

This book is a series of chapters, written mostly by professional, practicing scientists who were students of Mr. Gould, in the style of a research paper using sweeping generalities and boring technical language. There is no meaningful attempt to engage the general reader who may have an interest in the scientific subject matter, but isn't interested in being a practicing paleontologist or geologist.

Take this random example: "The stochastic simulations illustrated how clade shape varied as probability of branching and extinction varied from low to high. Longer durations (but generally lower maximum diversities) were associated with low probabilities, shorter durations (but generally higher maximum diversities) were associated with higher probabilities of branching and extinction. This parallels the later observations of Norman Gilinsky (1994) that decreased volatility of diversity dynamics characterizes longer-lived still living taxa compared to shorter-lived extinct taxa." There are whole sections and chapters in this book written in that style.
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9 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Julio Riveron on November 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excelente trabajo de los editores Warren Almon,Patricia Kelley & Robert Moss acerca del gran divulgador cientifico Stephen Jay Gould en el cual se muestran en diversos ensayos y reflexiones la gran influencia que tuvo Gould en en campo de la biologia moderna;muy adecuado para quienes esten interesados en la evolución y todas sus implicancias en el mundo moderno.
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