The Book of Life

Front Cover
Stephen Jay Gould
W.W. Norton, Jan 1, 2001 - Nature - 256 pages
3 Reviews
"The Book of Life" uses an exemplary fusion of art and science to tell the story of life on earth. The text, under the editorship of Stephen Jay Gould, provides thorough understanding of the latest research and is accompanied by paintings prepared especially for this book. Never before has our planet's evolution been so clearly, so ingeniously explained.

History is marked by disaster. The Book of Life explains how mammals, having survived at least one of these disasters -- the impact of a massive comet -- luckily inherited the earth. Next came the rise of modern humans, who would shape the world as no creature has. As this fascinating history unfolds, gorgeous illustrations allow us to observe climate changes, tectonic plate movement, the spread of plant life, and the death of the dinosaurs. We discover the chains of animal survival, the causes and consequences of adaptation, and finally the environmental impact of human life.

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Review: The Book of Life: An Illustrated History of the Evolution of Life on Earth

User Review  - Jason Hare - Goodreads

The illustrations make the book. Steven Gould passed away too soon. One of the greatest minds of our generation. This is not meaty stuff like his other books on time, evolutionary biology and natural ... Read full review

Review: The Book of Life: An Illustrated History of the Evolution of Life on Earth

User Review  - Alex - Goodreads

This book recorded the best knowledge of man in this field for the common readers, with unparalleled illustrations. It would have been even better if it were thinker, and with more coverage on the ... Read full review

About the author (2001)

Born in New York City in 1941, Stephen Jay Gould received his B.A. from Antioch College in New York in 1963. He received a Ph.D. in paleontology from Columbia University in 1967 and has been a professor at Harvard University since then. He is also curator of invertebrate paleontology at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology. His research has been mainly in the evolution and speciation of land snails. Gould is a leading proponent of the theory of punctuated equilibrium. This theory holds that few evolutionary changes occur among organisms over long periods of time, and then a brief period of rapid changes occurs before another long, stable period of equilibrium sets in. An outspoken advocate of the scientific outlook, Gould has been a vigorous defender of evolution against its creation-science opponents in popular magazines focusing on science. He writes a column for Natural History and has produced a remarkable series of books that display the excitement of science for the layperson.

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