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Wonderful Life

The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

Stephen Jay Gould (Author)

 

"[An] extraordinary book. . . . Mr. Gould is an exceptional combination of scientist and science writer. . . . He is thus exceptionally well placed to tell these stories, and he tells them with fervor and intelligence."—James Gleick, New York Times Book Review

High in the Canadian Rockies is a small limestone quarry formed 530 million years ago called the Burgess Shale. It hold the remains of an ancient sea where dozens of strange creatures lived—a forgotten corner of evolution preserved in awesome detail. In this book Stephen Jay Gould explores what the Burgess Shale tells us about evolution and the nature of history.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • September 1990
  • ISBN 978-0-393-30700-9
  • 6.1 × 9.2 in / 352 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverWonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    Hardcover

Awards

Endorsements & Reviews

“Gould at his best. . . . The message of history is superbly conveyed. . . . Recommended reading for scientists and nonscientists of all persuasions.” — Walter C. Sweet, Science

“Luminous. . . . Filled with profound and upsetting ideas like the Burgess Shale itself and just as solid. It is surely one of nature's best stories, told with a light touch by a master of the field.” — Lewis Thomas, M.D.

“There is no question about the historical importance of the Burgess Shale, and Gould is right when he says that it deserves a place in the public consciousness along with big bangs and black holes. . . . A compelling story, told with characteristic verve.” — Richard A. Fortey, Nature

Also by Stephen Jay Gould All

  1. Book CoverThe Book of Life: An Illustrated History of the Evolution of Life on Earth

    Second Edition / Paperback

  2. Book CoverBully for Brontosaurus: Reflections in Natural History

    Paperback

  3. Book CoverEight Little Piggies: Reflections in Natural History

    Paperback

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