Download An Urchin in the Storm: Essays About Books and Ideas by Stephen Jay Gould PDF

April 5, 2017 | Evolution | By admin | 0 Comments

By Stephen Jay Gould

"What excitement to determine the cheating, the inept, and the inaccurate deftly given their due, whereas compliment is lavished at the deserving―for purposes good and actually stated."―Kirkus Reviews

Ranging so far as the fox and as deep because the hedgehog (the urchin of his title), Stephen Jay Gould expands on geology, organic determinism, "cardboard Darwinism," and evolutionary idea during this glowing assortment.

Show description

Read Online or Download An Urchin in the Storm: Essays About Books and Ideas PDF

Similar evolution books

SuperCooperators: Evolution, Altruism and Human Behaviour (Or, Why We Need Each Other to Succeed)

everyone seems to be acquainted with Darwin's rules concerning the survival of the fittest yet Darwin's idea has one significant chink: if merely the fittest live to tell the tale, then why might we possibility our personal lifestyles to avoid wasting a stranger?

a few humans argue that matters resembling charity, equity, forgiveness and cooperation are evolutionary free ends. yet as Harvard's celebrated evolutionary biologist Martin Nowak explains during this groundbreaking and debatable publication, cooperation is primary to the four-billion-year-old puzzle of life.

Cooperation is key to how molecules within the primordial soup crossed the watershed that separates useless chemistry from biochemistry.

With wit and readability, Martin Nowak and the bestselling technological know-how author Roger Highfield make the case that cooperation, no longer festival, is the defining human trait. SuperCooperators will clarify our figuring out of evolution and human behaviour, and impress debate for years to come.

'Groundbreaking. .. SuperCooperators is a component autobiography, half textbook, and reads like a best-selling novel. ' Nature

Survival of the Nicest: How Altruism Made Us Human and Why It Pays to Get Along

The word “survival of the fittest” conjures a picture of the main cutthroat members emerging to the head. yet Stefan Klein, writer of the number 1 overseas bestseller The technological know-how of Happiness, makes the startling statement that altruism is the most important to lasting own and societal good fortune.

The Arc of War: Origins, Escalation, and Transformation

During this far-reaching exploration of the evolution of struggle in human background, Jack S. Levy and William R. Thompson offer perception into the perennial questions of why and the way people struggle. starting with the origins of struggle between foraging teams, The Arc of conflict attracts on a wealth of empirical info to augment our realizing of the way conflict started and the way it has replaced over the years.

Coherent Evolution in Noisy Environments

Within the final 20 years awesome development within the experimental dealing with of unmarried quantum items has spurred theoretical examine into investigating the coupling among quantum platforms and their atmosphere. Decoherence, the sluggish deterioration of entanglement as a result of dissipation and noise fed into the method via the surroundings, has emerged as a important inspiration.

Extra resources for An Urchin in the Storm: Essays About Books and Ideas

Example text

A review of l’aulting Ambition by Philip Kitcher, Myths of Gender by Anne Fausto-Sterling, and Females of the Species: Sex and Survival in the Animal Kingdom by Bettyann Kevles. The public often equates the best science with the biggest questions. Surely the heroes of science are those who dare to ask how the brain thinks and where the universe ends. Practicing scientists, though not unmindful of these deepest conundrums, know that such questions, however vital and thrilling, are vacuous (at least for now) if we have no data for testing competing hypotheses and don’t even know where we might find the requisite information.

Yet this metaphor, imposed by Archilochus himself, is too harsh and negative. The hedgehog’s posture can be joyous and expansive. Like the porcupine of legend, he can aim his darts and strike like Cupid. (Real porcupines do no such thing, and are not closely related to hedgehogs in any case. ) The happy hedgehog of this volume roots his posture—and the organization of his essays—into three linked statements about nature and knowledge. First, nature’s way: If life’s history cannot be read as an ascending ladder to human wisdom, step after predictable step, neither can the opposite pole of true randomness capture its evident order.

Yet the very vehemence of dismissal also indicates—on the old Shakespearian principle of protesting too much—that reviews are not so lightly ignored. ” But why waste such emotional verbiage on an activity really accorded (if I calculate correctly) but one forty millionth of an old English penny in value. Yet books are the wellspring and focus of our lives as scholars. Commentary upon such a source should, at its best, be expansive and enlightening—a sign of respect for a basic product. That so many book reviews are petty, pedantic, parochial, pedestrian (add your own p’s and q’s, querulous, quotidian, quixotic)—so much so that they have folded what might be an honorable genre into their gripping nastiness—strikes me as a sadness that might not lie beyond hope of reversal.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.78 of 5 – based on 11 votes