An Urchin in the Storm: Essays About Books and Ideas

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Overview

Reviews books about pandas, scientific research, evolution, culture, geology, the origin of the mind, testing bias, genetics, and scientific frauds.

Ranging as far as the fox and as deep as the hedgehog (the urchin of his title), Stephen Jay Gould expands on geology, biological determinism, "cardboard Darwinism, " and evolutionary theory in this lively collection. Drawings.

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An Urchin in the Storm: Essays about Books and Ideas

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Overview

Reviews books about pandas, scientific research, evolution, culture, geology, the origin of the mind, testing bias, genetics, and scientific frauds.

Ranging as far as the fox and as deep as the hedgehog (the urchin of his title), Stephen Jay Gould expands on geology, biological determinism, "cardboard Darwinism, " and evolutionary theory in this lively collection. Drawings.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Isaac Asimov
“No one knows more about Darwin and about evolution than Stephen Gould does. No one writes more clearly on these subject then Stephen Gould does. No one is better equipped to deal with fallacies, however crude or however subtle, in this field than Stephen Gould is. This collection of reviews is my proof.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As a Darwinian biologist, Harvard scientist Gould has waged an ongoing battle with those who oversimplify evolutionary theory. He reminds us that understanding how an organism now functions may not explain why it evolved as it did. And when the organism in question is the human being, Darwin must sometimes yield to Lamarck, Gould freely admits, since we hand down cultural traits directly to our offspring. In this collection of reviews reprinted from the New York Review of Books, the author of Ever Since Darwin takes aim at sociobiology (``cardboard Darwinism'') and the racialist theories of Arthur Jensen. He takes shots at Jeremy Rifkin, noted opponent of Darwinism and of genetic engineering. Gould argues that the scientific establishment's rejection of Barbara McClintock, forerunner of molecular genetics, had as much to do with her idiosyncrasies as with the fact that she was a woman. (October 26)
Library Journal
Unlike Gould's previous books of skillfully turned essays, this is a collection of reviews. In some cases, such as the biographies of Just and McClintock, Gould doesn't so much review the books as reflect on their subject matter; it is frequently difficult to tell where Gould ends and the book under review begins. Other reviews, such as those of Kitcher's Vaulting Ambition and Jensen's Bias in Mental Testing, are vigorous critical appraisals using specialized terminology and subtle distinctions to discuss evolutionary theory. Unlike Gould's other essays, these do not stand independent of the books they review and consequently are not as accessible to general readers. A good addition to research collections but not essential for general ones. Susan Klimley, Columbia Univ. Lib .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393305371
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/1988
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 694,407
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen Jay Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology and Professor of Geology at Harvard University. He published over twenty books, received the National Book and National Book Critics Circle Awards, and a MacArthur Fellowship.
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    1. Also Known As:
      Stephen Jay Gould
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 10, 1941
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      May 20, 2002
    2. Place of Death:
      Boston, Massachusetts

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    Posted May 23, 2014

    ~ High Log ~

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    Posted October 12, 2013

    Ha

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