Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History
By Stephen Jay Gould
Why this book?
Steve was one of the greatest science communicators. He writes beautifully and passionately. The breadth and depth of his knowledge and understanding, particularly in matters relating to topics such as Evolution, Life, The History of Science & Ideas was extraordinary; and the way that he could link such serious and esoteric topics with matters in everyday life is engaging and uplifting of the spirit. This story about the pioneering work done by scientists trying to unravel the mystery of the origin and evolution of complex life on this planet interweaves endeavour, chance, and determination, mixed with an overarching insight into deeper philosophical issues about the patterns and processes that may govern Life, are just typical of the man – he may not have been right about everything, but my goodness he makes you think.
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