Dinosaur in a Haystack

Dinosaur in a Haystack Evolutionary biologist and paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould has perfected the art of the essay in this brilliant new collection These thirty four essays most originally published in Natural History m

  • Title: Dinosaur in a Haystack
  • Author: Stephen Jay Gould
  • ISBN: 9780517888247
  • Page: 250
  • Format: Paperback
  • Evolutionary biologist and paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould has perfected the art of the essay in this brilliant new collection These thirty four essays, most originally published in Natural History magazine, exemplify the keen insight with which Dr Gould observes the natural world and convey the infectious enthusiasm for fossils and evolutionary theory that has made hisEvolutionary biologist and paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould has perfected the art of the essay in this brilliant new collection These thirty four essays, most originally published in Natural History magazine, exemplify the keen insight with which Dr Gould observes the natural world and convey the infectious enthusiasm for fossils and evolutionary theory that has made his books award winning, national best sellers In his latest musings on evolution and other natural phenomena, Gould reveals the uncanny interconnections among distinctly human creations museums, literature, music, politics, and culture encompassing a delightfully, wide range of topics, from giant fossils, fads, and fungus to baseball, beeswax, and blaauwbocks, from a humanistic look at Mary Shelley s Frankenstein and Erasmus Darwin s poetry to the fallacies of eugenics and creationism and the moral imperatives of thinking people to meet the ethical challenges that pseudo science presents.

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      Published :2018-08-24T19:49:01+00:00

    One thought on “Dinosaur in a Haystack”

    1. Of the four Stephen Jay Gould collections I've read, this may be the best one. The essays on positive publication bias (#10) and evolutionary stasis and punctuated equilibrium (#11) may be the best in the book. The title essay "Dinosaur in a Haystack" (#12) is a very interesting tale about how loathed Luis Alvarez's 1980 meteoric impact theory--with its link to the Cretaceous-Palogene extinction event that killed off all the dinosaurs and made way for the expansion of mammal life--was by paleont [...]

    2. Just wonderful. Intelligence, curiosity, enthusiasm, and a low tolerance for bullshit and intellectual short-cuts. A joy to read from page one to the end.

    3. Stephen Jay Gould is a shameless over-writer -- I swear his books could be half the length if you cut out the ponderously funny asides and unconvincing self-deprecationsill, I keep reading his essays for the really smart scientist back there. I learn stuff.

    4. I have long enjoyed the essays on natural history ( emphasizing the workings of evolution ) written by Stephen Jay Gould. My goal is to read all the books that are collections of his essays. This one is from 1995 and so covers his essays from the early 90s. As with other books, Gould covers a wide range of topics--dinosaurs (of course!), whales, and "water bears," hermit crabs, and a humongous fungus, Comet Shoemaker-Levy, "Lucy," Papiamentu, the poetry of Erasmus Darwin,and Edgar Allan Poe's bo [...]

    5. One of Stephen Jay Gould's books that collect popular science essays he's written over the years. I find his writing to be an alternation between highly fascinating passages and tedious stretches. Some of his essays cover great topics - the huge slime mold out in Michigan, the history of eugenics thinkers, etc. - and some are on minutiae that I just found incredibly dull. On a more detailed level you see the very same alternation: paragraphs of great insight interspersed with distracting and mea [...]

    6. A stunning collection of essays. Even the least of them are consistently engaging, and several of them are true masterworks, moving seamlessly between seemingly disparate subjects, highlighting the previously unseen thread that connects them.And then there's what I consider to be the centerpiece of the volume, "Four Antelopes of the Apocalypse." Simultaneously a fascinating detective story, a heartbreaking elegy for every lost thing destroyed by humanity, and a hymn for curators, archivists, lib [...]

    7. “Dinosaur in the hay stack” is a busy book, but one that imparts knowledge and insight while remains entertaining. This seems to me one of Gould’s more varied collections of essays on science with an attempt at mixing science, history, and literature; a thorough geek-out. The first essay, for example, delves into the details of the anomaly of how millennium years are not truly marking the millennia. This is all apparently due to the negligence of a sixth century Monk, Dionysius Exiguus (De [...]

    8. Another great example of Natural Science writing for popular audiences. Reading through this series has been a journey through the evolution of scientific theory. Essays in this volume discuss the excitement of Shoemaker-Levy, the growing consensus around extraterrestrial origin for the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, and the rise of claddism as a way of describing biological life. As always, Gould uses metaphor and analogy to open complex concepts to a general audience. A diverting read, [...]

    9. Otro maravilloso libro de ensayos de Gould con todo lo que siempre suele haber en ellos: curiosidades sobre la evolución, cosas que no sabíamos sobre naturalistas de siglos pasados, referencias a Shakespeare, Gilbert y Sullivan, al béisbol Nunca me aburro de leer estos libros.

    10. Wissenschaftliche Essays. Sehr kurzweilig. Nett beispielsweise wie er ausführt, dass die Legende, Menschen, aber eigentlich nur Wissenschaftler, hätten früher an eine flache Erde geglaubt, erst im 19. Jahrhundert entstanden ist.

    11. Is there a reading list yet based solely on influential scientists and thinkers who've been featured in The Simpsons? There needs to be. I grabbed this collection from a used book store going out of business because I had just seen 'Lisa the Skeptic', which has a great cameo with Gould in it. What a cogent thinker and incredible synthesizer of information. The connections Gould makes to popular culture, history and current events makes the deep science he describes understandable, and his undeni [...]

    12. Gould clearly has skill as a writer. I liked how many different subjects he brought together into his essays. I'd give it a higher rating, but paleontology just doesn't grip me. Especially not mollusks. But, even with that, I was amazed that the only book Edgar Allen Poe profitted from was a textbook on the subject. Gould was able to pull seemingly disparate facts like Poe and mollusks together and make an essay, while also pulling in other topics.

    13. I still dip into this book. There's an incredible chapter on eclipses that includes his reflection on walking down the street in New York City while one occurs. Little holes in store awnings are casting eclipse shadows on the perfectly smooth pavement kids are holding up those plastic fasteners on the back of baseball caps, whose industrially made holds cause the same effect. The whole, vivid city halts in awe for the moments of light shift. Just beautiful.

    14. I'm not much of a biology person per se, but this collection of essays was enjoyable and well written. The material did not feel outdated despite its publication date, and the author is excellent at drawing connections between specific items of scientific news or history and larger themes about science and human nature. I certainly liked some essays better than others, and it ran a little long for my taste but definitely worth a read overall.

    15. It's been far too long since I've read any Gould, and that's a mistake I won't make again. Natural history isn't really the direction in which my strongest scientific interests lie, but man alive, his voice is incredible. He could interest me in just about anything he chose to write about. And even if I'm re-reading something of his for the third or fourth time, I still will come away from it having learned something new.

    16. Marvelous collection of essays from the late Stephen Gould. It's a bit tough to read if you're not in the mood to read scientific essays (I had to read a paragraph 4 times once because I wasn't grasping the meaning of the words in my mind), but it's worth the read if you like prehistoric things! As a paleontology lover, I enjoyed most of the essays, but I admit I skipped a few that didn't catch my attention.

    17. Short-form essays good for the long-form subway commutes. After reading these, you certainly feel like you slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night; but you really do get a lot out of these in terms of scientific thought. Gould's such a great writer you forget that you're being educated. Worth grabbing for a used price and keeping handy on the night stand for a little late-night erudition. Also good for obscure scientific facts that you can impress your scientist friends with.

    18. So Gould is a good writer, clearly very intelligent and one of the great thinkers which is why I gave this book an extra star but this book wasn't really for me. I found my mind wondering and many of his essays did not engage with me. There were a few that held my attention which were those that were less philosophical or literature based but all in all I was reading this book to just get through it and pick up another

    19. My first SJG Book - amazing how he can write parethetically, the same as when he speaks. The same amazement how Gould takes us with a single thread of a concept to an undeniable destination and conclusion. His arguments are masterful, and I found this very entertaining. Robust details, humor, and all mixed with the most deep scientific interpretations make a superb and delightful recipe.

    20. Gould was an absolute genius in explaining scientific concepts to the lay public. It's impossible to have a well-rounded understanding of evolution without reading Gould's insights on the matter.The essay On Snails and Scales is worth the cost of the entire book. How I wish Gould were still with us. He was an intellectual treasure.

    21. Stephen Jay Gould's take on evolution in these essays is a bit more well-rounded than - say - Richard Dawkins's. Where RD emphasises the power of a simple idea to make changes over time, SJG mixes it up with reflections on history, philosophy and culture in ways that are always satisfying. I would recommend either one on their own merits, and this book is no exception.

    22. I love these collections of natural history essays that Stephen Jay Gould wrote back in the late 90's and early 2000's. Some are a little dated now, but the majority stand up well to the test of time, and also take me back to a time when I was just entering my own career as a biologist / naturalist. How times have changed, and how they've stayed the same!

    23. Bij het herlezen is het toch minder dan ik het me herinnerde: telkens hetzelfde formuletje, met niet echt een lijn erin. Maar toch: zeer goed, en een uitstekend boek om op het toilet te leggen en daar te lezen: een essay kan in twee, ahem, keer, gelezen zijn.

    24. You just can't beat Gould. He is the best, the most complex, and the most interesting writer on science and the social scene.

    25. Gould is a brilliant man, if a little long-winded. This was a real pleasure to read, for both literary and scientific value.

    26. My 1st Gould experience. His writing can be somewhat academic and slow, but many nice points. @PerryMissner

    27. some good, some bad, but they're all essays, so you don't have to read the whole thing. also, there is a t. rex on the cover. sweet.

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