Stephen Jay Gould Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress QH366.2.G6593 2011 | Dewey Decimal 508
Gould shows why a more accurate way of understanding our world is to look at a given subject within its own context, to see it as a part of a spectrum of variation and then to reconceptualize trends as expansion or contraction of this “full house” of variation, and not as the progress or degeneration of an average value, or single thing.
In his final book, Gould offers a surprising and nuanced study of the complex relationship between our two great ways of knowing: science and the humanities, twin realms of knowledge that have been divided against each other for far too long.
I Have Landed
Stephen Jay Gould Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress QH81.G6732 2011 | Dewey Decimal 508
Gould’s final essay collection is based on his remarkable series for Natural History magazine—exactly 300 consecutive essays, with never a month missed, published from 1974 to 2001. Both an intellectually thrilling journey into the nature of scientific discovery and the most personal book he ever published.
Gould covers topics as diverse as episodes in the birth of paleontology to lessons from Britain’s four greatest Victorian naturalists. This collection 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.
In 1972 Stephen Jay Gould took the scientific world by storm with his paper on punctuated equilibrium. Challenging a core assumption of Darwin's theory of evolution, it launched the controversial idea that the majority of species originates in geological moments (punctuations) and persists in stasis. Now, thirty-five years later, Punctuated Equilibrium offers his only book-length testament on a theory he fiercely promoted, repeatedly refined, and tirelessly defended.
Questioning the Millennium
Stephen Jay Gould Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress CB161.G67 2011 | Dewey Decimal 909.83
Gould addresses three questions about the millennium with his typical erudition, warmth, and whimsy: What is the concept of a millennium and how has its meaning shifted over time? How did the projection of Christ’s 1,000-year reign become a secular measure? And when exactly does the millennium begin—January 1, 2000, or January 2, 2001?
The world’s most revered and eloquent interpreter of evolutionary ideas offers here a work of explanatory force unprecedented in our time—a landmark publication, both for its historical sweep and for its scientific vision.
With characteristic attention to detail, Stephen Jay Gould first describes the content and discusses the history and origins of the three core commitments of classical Darwinism: that natural selection works on organisms, not genes or species; that it is almost exclusively the mechanism of adaptive evolutionary change; and that these changes are incremental, not drastic. Next, he examines the three critiques that currently challenge this classic Darwinian edifice: that selection operates on multiple levels, from the gene to the group; that evolution proceeds by a variety of mechanisms, not just natural selection; and that causes operating at broader scales, including catastrophes, have figured prominently in the course of evolution.
Then, in a stunning tour de force that will likely stimulate discussion and debate for decades, Gould proposes his own system for integrating these classical commitments and contemporary critiques into a new structure of evolutionary thought.
In 2001 the Library of Congress named Stephen Jay Gould one of America’s eighty-three Living Legends—people who embody the “quintessentially American ideal of individual creativity, conviction, dedication, and exuberance.” Each of these qualities finds full expression in this peerless work, the likes of which the scientific world has not seen—and may not see again—for well over a century.
Understanding Scientific Prose
Edited by Jack Selzer University of Wisconsin Press, 1993 Library of Congress QH371.G6843U53 1993 | Dewey Decimal 808.0665
Examining science as a rhetorical enterprise, this book seizes upon one scientific essay—"The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme"—and probes it from many angles. Written by prominent evolutionary theorists Stephen Jay Gould and Richard C. Lewontin and first published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London in 1979, the "Spandrels" article is both serious science and vivid prose. Applying methods inspired by Louis Althusser, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Ferdinand de Saussure, and others, the contributors employ a range of interpretive strategies. Stephen Jay Gould adds his own comments, and the full text of the essay "Spandrels" is reproduced as an appendix. Applying methods inspired by Louis Althusser, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Ferdinand de Saussure, and others, the contributors employ a range of interpretive strategies. Stephen Jay Gould adds his own comments, and the full text of the essay "Spandrels" is reproduced as an appendix.