The Book of Life

Front Cover
Stephen Jay Gould
W.W. Norton, 2001 - Nature - 256 pages
0 Reviews
"The Book of Life is a combination of art and science. Presented here is the story of life on Earth, a compelling drama of survival and extinction spanning over 600 million years. The text, under the general editorship of best-selling author Stephen Jay Gould, offers a thorough tour of the best research on evolution; the story is brilliantly illuminated throughout with paintings and line drawings. Never before have the varied forms of the past been so lavishly or so fully depicted - many for the first time." "Throughout The Book of Life we meet the dedicated scientists and gifted amateurs who have found, puzzled over, and interpreted the evidence of evolution all over the world." "In his opening chapter, Stephen Jay Gould offers us a look into ourselves, a species unwilling to abandon its own centrality as the ordering principle of life's history. Drawing out a history of icongraphy of nature, Gould reveals the curious bias of the human view of natural world." "The Book of Life builds a bridge of knowledge, bringing the frontiers of science and what we know of life's history to all of us who wish to come closer to our beginnings and know more of who we are."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

What people are saying - Write a review

The book of life

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

It is hard to know just what to make of this book. On one hand, the inclusion of dozens of striking color paintings and an introductory essay by Stephen Jay Gould on the history of iconography in the ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

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 and a Ph.D. in paleontology from Columbia University in 1967. Gould spent most of his career as a professor at Harvard University and curator of invertebrate paleontology at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology. His research was mainly in the evolution and speciation of land snails. Gould was 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. Gould also made significant contributions to the field of evolutionary developmental biology, most notably in his work, Ontogeny and Phylogeny. An outspoken advocate of the scientific outlook, Gould had been a vigorous defender of evolution against its creation-science opponents in popular magazines focusing on science. He wrote a column for Natural History and has produced a remarkable series of books that display the excitement of science for the layperson. Among his many awards and honors, Gould won the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His titles include; Ever Since Darwin, The Panda's Thumb, Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes, Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory and Full House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin. Stephen Jay Gould died on May 20, 2002, following his second bout with cancer.

Bibliographic information