Personally signed by Stephen Jay Gould
Easton Press, Norwalk CT. 2000. Stephen Jay Gould "The Lying Stones of Marrakech". Signed First Edition with COA. Full genuine leather. Sealed.
Limited to only 1,650 signed and numbered copies.
In his ninth collection of essays, bestselling scientist Stephen Jay Gould once again offers his unmistakable perspective on natural history and the people who have tried to make sense of it. In tandem with the closing of the millennium, Gould is planning to bring down the curtain on his nearly thirty-year stint as a monthly essayist for Natural History magazine. This, then, is the next-to-last essay collection from one of the most acclaimed and widely read scientists of our time. In twenty-three essays, Gould presents the richness and fascination of the various lives that have fueled the enterprise of science and opened our eyes to a world of unexpected wonders.
From Publishers Weekly:
Harvard paleontologist Gould (The Panda's Thumb; Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle, etc.) first became known to nonscientists through his monthly essays in Natural History magazine, delving into topics involving fossils, geology, evolutionary biology and the history of science. After 27 years of columns, Gould has announced that he will stop writing them at year's end: these 24 essays represent his next-to-last assortment. The first two-thirds of the book address unknown or misunderstood figures from Renaissance, Enlightenment and Victorian natural history. Often Gould uses their careers to debunk triumphalist notions of foreordained, linear scientific progress, reminding us instead "that scientists can work only within their social and psychological contexts." Eighteenth-century scholar Johann Beringer wrote a treatise on the wondrous "lying stones" (Lugensteine) of Wurzburg, a hoax cruel colleagues planted to make him look dumb: "Beringer could not have been more wrong about the Lugensteine, but he couldn't have been more right about the power of paleontology."
A colleague of Galileo's, "the sadly underrated Francesco Stelluti" deserves attention both as a pioneer of empirical method and as a demonstration of its limits. A subsequent moving but lightweight segment collects six short pieces, among them commemorations of Carl Sagan and Joe DiMaggio. Other essays retell with vigor and asperity the stories of how some right-wingers have misused Darwin, and of how later racists (some witting, some un-) have misinterpreted genes in order to justify social inequities. Reentering the debate about human genetics and behavior, Gould offers a nuanced view of the nature-nurture interaction: "Both inheritance and upbringing matter," he summarizes, but "an adult human being... cannot be disaggregated into separate components with attached percentages." Gould says he hopes to "fuse the literary essay and the popular scientific article into something distinctive": the digressions, ideas and arguments here demonstrate once again that he has done so.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Stephen Jay Gould is the Alexander Agassiz Professor of zoology and professor of geology at Harvard and the curator for invertebrate paleontology in the university's Museum of Comparative Zoology. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and New York City.
Stephen Jay Gould (September 10, 1941 – May 20, 2002) was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. He was one of the most influential and widely read authors of popular science of his generation. Gould spent most of his career teaching at Harvard University and working at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In 1996, Gould was hired as the Vincent Astor Visiting research professor of biology at New York University, after which he divided his time teaching between there and Harvard.
Gould's most significant contribution to evolutionary biology was the theory of punctuated equilibrium developed with Niles Eldredge in 1972. The theory proposes that most evolution is characterized by long periods of evolutionary stability, infrequently punctuated by swift periods of branching speciation. The theory was contrasted against phyletic gradualism, the popular idea that evolutionary change is marked by a pattern of smooth and continuous change in the fossil record.
Most of Gould's empirical research was based on the land snail genera Poecilozonites and Cerion. He also made important contributions to evolutionary developmental biology, receiving broad professional recognition for his book Ontogeny and Phylogeny. In evolutionary theory he opposed strict selectionism, sociobiology as applied to humans, and evolutionary psychology. He campaigned against creationism and proposed that science and religion should be considered two distinct fields (or "non-overlapping magisteria") whose authorities do not overlap.
Gould was known by the general public mainly for his 300 popular essays in Natural History magazine, and his numerous books written for both the specialist and non-specialist. In April 2000, the US Library of Congress named him a "Living Legend".
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- Stephen Jay Gould
- The Lying Stones of Marrakech