Ever Since Darwin

By Stephen Jay Gould,

Book cover of Ever Since Darwin: Reflections on Natural History

Book description

Ever Since Darwin, Stephen Jay Gould's first book, has sold more than a quarter of a million copies. Like all succeeding collections by this unique writer, it brings the art of the scientific essay to unparalleled heights.

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Ever Since Darwin as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Ever Since Darwin is a compilation of essays Gould published in the magazine Natural History. The beauty of the book for me is its multifarious subject matter. He writes of biological and socio-political oddities—from matricidal flies, whose young, conceived without a father, eat their mother from the inside, to anthropocentric bias. 

In the late nineteenth century, scientists were able to prove what they already believed—that white male humans were the pinnacle of life. They did this by pouring sand into skulls to measure brain size, taking meticulous measurements, and always managed to fit a little more into those of…

Ever Since Darwin is described as a collection of essays on natural history. But it is much more than that. Ever Since Darwin is an album of captivating, perspicacious, funny, and delightfully crafted stories that explain evolution and the curiosities of the natural world by a writer with a genius for description. From the “spandrels of San Marco” to the “bushes” that natural selection prunes, Stephen Jay Gould deftly uses metaphor to deconstruct the fossil record and illuminate the exquisite complexities of evolution. All of Stephen Jay Gould’s books are brilliant, but Ever Since Darwin is my first love.

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