Stephen Jay Gould
Harmony Books, New York, 2011, 1996, English
Nonfiction, General
ISBN: 9780517703946

Stephen Jay Gould (1941–2002), an evolutionary biologist, paleontologist, and one of the most widely read popular science writers of his generation, suggests that perhaps variety—not complexity—is our true measure of excellence. To illustrate his theme, he discusses seemingly disparate topics such as a drunkard’s walk, the absence of modern Mozarts, the evolution of the horse, the continuing dominance of bacterial life on the planet, and more.

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Jeanne Gang

It is hard to choose a favorite among Gould’s witty elucidations on evolution. This one includes a fabulous analogy of “excellence” as found in baseball. It also includes an incredible analysis of statistics as opposed to statistical analysis.

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