The third of Stephen Jay Gould s long running series of popular science essay collections that first appeared in his monthly column in Natural History magazine, Hen s Teeth Horse s Toes covers topics which include evolutionary oddities e.g the eponymous horse s toes evolutionary adaptations essays on a number of scientists the Piltdown Man forgery science and politics extinction zebras As with all of Gould s essay collections, this is a fantastic book, although I wouldn t classify it amongst my particular favourites But highly recommended, nevertheless. My current favorite essayist and evolutionist. This was one of the better selling books when I was a bookseller As time passed and I became pursuaded of the validity of evolution, I have also become open to this book When a copy fell into my hands, I had to give it a try.The problem is that I have advanced in my knowledge of the subject, and science has advanced beyond some of Gould s essays I m sure this was a wonderful book in its time, but I am past the time it would have been wonderful to me. After reading this book I wanted to be an entomologist Yes, that fascinating Evolution rocks. I love the humor that Steven Jay Gould brings to Natural History I had a chat with a biologist the other day, and was saddened to learn that many of the hot topics discussed in this volume have nearly lost all of their currency in the intervening 35 years However, the genial and forthright style that Gould employs sets the hook for me and I don t care that the taxonomic quandaries he discusses are largely irrelevant in the age of genetic typing In this particular volume, the section on the Scopes trial stood out As we see museums build exhibits with both men and T rexes and replicas of Noah s Ark, it is striking how little things have chnaged in this particular area.A great read, I give it four stars. I purchased this book as part of a three book boxed set at Second Story Books in Washington DC.I always love reading Stephen Jay Gould essays, and this book was no exception The topics are quite dated at this point with the essays from around 1980, but it s still wonderful to read Gould s thoughtful prose.I really wish I knew of someone with a similar style writing about current evolutionary biology topics My knowledge of the field has been forever trapped in 2012 when I left graduate school, and I would love a way to update it with a guide like Gould Someone who challenges established beliefs and looks to the past with a kind and understanding eye.I loved the essay about wheels in nature, which reminded me of Philip Pullman s clever solution in a large animal in The Amber Spyglass. Anything SJG writes is worth reading So good. If you want to knowabout evolutionary biology, this book is for you If you want to read a popular science book on natural history not so much. Over A Century After Darwin Published The Origin Of Species, Darwinian Theory Is In A Vibrantly Healthy State, Writes Stephen Jay Gould, Its Most Engaging And Illuminating Exponent Exploring The Peculiar And Mysterious Particulars Of Nature, Gould Introduces The Reader To Some Of The Many And Wonderful Manifestations Of Evolutionary Biology The same as other SJG essay collections I ve read, i.e nice This one contained one useless essay though, about size and the evolution of Hershley candy bars.
Stephen Jay Gould was a prominent American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science He was also one of the most influential and widely read writers 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.Most of Gould s empirical research was on land sn
- 413 pages
- Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes
- Stephen Jay Gould
- 08 February 2019 Stephen Jay Gould