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The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History

The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History By Stephen Jay Gould The Panda s Thumb More Reflections in Natural History With sales of well over one million copies in North America alone the commercial success of Gould s books now matches their critical acclaim The Panda s Thumb will introduce a new generation of reade

  • Title: The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History
  • Author: Stephen Jay Gould
  • ISBN: 9780393308198
  • Page: 348
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History By Stephen Jay Gould With sales of well over one million copies in North America alone, the commercial success of Gould s books now matches their critical acclaim The Panda s Thumb will introduce a new generation of readers to this unique writer, who has taken the art of the scientific essay to new heights.Were dinosaurs really dumber than lizards Why, after all, are roughly the same numberWith sales of well over one million copies in North America alone, the commercial success of Gould s books now matches their critical acclaim The Panda s Thumb will introduce a new generation of readers to this unique writer, who has taken the art of the scientific essay to new heights.Were dinosaurs really dumber than lizards Why, after all, are roughly the same number of men and women born into the world What led the famous Dr Down to his theory of mongolism, and its racist residue What do the panda s magical thumb and the sea turtle s perilous migration tell us about imperfections that prove the evolutionary rule The wonders and mysteries of evolutionary biology are elegantly explored in these and other essays by the celebrated natural history writer Stephen Jay Gould.
    The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History By Stephen Jay Gould

    The Panda s Thumb The Journal of Theoretical Biology appears to have published an article on intelligent design creationism Specifically, Steinar Thorvaldsen of the Department of Education, University of Troms, Norway and Ola Hssjer of the Department of Mathematics, Stockholm University, Sweden, recently published a paper, Using statistical methods to model the fine tuning of molecular machines and The Panda s Thumb More Reflections in Natural History The Panda s Thumb, entitled from one of these essays, is not quite as witty as his later works are, but his personable style and conversational approach make the book very readable One of the interesting topics included is his discussion of the th Century rationale for prejudice against women and individuals of non Western cultures. The Panda s Thumb Gould, Stephen Jay In THE PANDA S THUMB, Gould delights and instructs while deepening and extending his examination of evolution, a centerpiece of modern science Were dinosaurs really dumber than lizards Why are roughly the same number of men and women born The Panda s Thumb book The Panda s Thumb More Reflections in Natural History Nov , The Panda s Thumb, entitled from one of these essays, is not quite as witty as his later works are, but his personable style and conversational approach make the book very readable One of the interesting topics included is his discussion of the th Century rationale for prejudice against women and individuals of non Western cultures. The Panda s Thumb Stephen Jay Gould Books The Panda s Thumb Mass Market Paperback Discover delightful children s books with Prime Book Box, a subscription that delivers new books every , , or months new customers receive % off your first box Sign up now. Evolution The Panda s Thumb Athro, Limited Biology Jan , The panda s thumb is a much enlarged sesamoid bone Not only is it not a true thumb, but it can t move much It is primarily a bony support for the pad above it, a support the panda s true thumb and fingers can squeeze against to hold bamboo Endo et al It is normal for mammals to have sesamoid bones in the hand. The Panda s Thumb The Panda s Thumb This is one of Stephen Jay Gould s most famous essays It makes the case that biological contrivances, juryrigged structures made from available parts, provide better evidence that evolution has occurred natural history in than structures that

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    One thought on “The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History

    1. Cassandra Kay Silva on said:

      Having recently settled in Australia I found the information on Marsupials in South America highly interesting I also enjoyed his somewhat internal debates about dinosaurs I still haven t latched on to his writing as much as I would have liked The content is really good and he has a great sum up near the end about a lot of points other science writers have made that really comes through with some fervor about the way that bats and bees see and what the world is to us The sexual and racial issues [...]

    2. Maitrey on said:

      This was a hugely enjoyable book by an extremely talented writer The thought most running across my mind when I was reading this book was Where can I get Stephen Jay Gould books Since it is a collection of essays, I don t really want to review any of them personally Sure, some of the science here is 30 years old Gould was always sharp on the uptake though , some of it is out of favour say Gould s ideas on the gene centric view of evolution , but you ll still enjoy reading every bit of it There [...]

    3. Jim on said:

      This wonderful book is a collection of 31 short articles that appeared in the magazine Natural History in the late 1970 s 77 79 each chapter is an independent read for the most part that, if you are a patient pooper, can be finished in a single seating The topics range from discussions about Darwin s Origin of Species to Agassiz unenlightened racism to the length of a year 500 million years ago to Mickey Mouse s head size Gould is a great writer with full command of natural history and a knack i [...]

    4. Jason Adams on said:

      Stephen Gould has a remarkable ability to cover scientific concepts in an accessible manor without dumbing things down The format of his Reflections produces bite sized meditations on evolution and natural history topics My only concern is with the constant movement of science, that insights of the seventies may be stale in the current thinking I wonder at times if I am reading a time capsule of a particular mode of thought, or the dawn of the accepted way of thinking.Things I thought were inter [...]

    5. Adrian Colesberry on said:

      The greatest modern voice for the neo Darwinian synthesis He and a colleague, whose name I forget, re purposed Kipling s term just so stories to describe evolutionarily plausible but unprovable explanations for things An amazing critical thinker, Gould realized that if you didn t establish some way of critiquing evolutionary explanations, they would become the equivalent of folk explanations, overpredicting to the point that they could never be disproven Once evolutionary explanations became non [...]

    6. Sara on said:

      Con una prosa estremamente brillante Gould ci accompagna attraverso i grandi temi dell evoluzione e ci dimostra come la natura, secondo le parole del biologo Francois Jacob, non un divino artefice ma un eccellente bricoleur Dal pollice del panda appunto, ai dinosauri, e passando anche attraverso le evoluzioni fumettistiche di Topolino, Gould ci spiega in modo chiaro e coinvolgente perch sono le pi curiose imperfezioni della natura a fornire la prova del carattere casuale dell evoluzione Una lett [...]

    7. Sabrina Spiher on said:

      An early collection of Stephen Jay Gould s essays from his column in Natural History magazine, The Panda s Thumb was an enjoyable read, assuming you like natural history It s the third of Gould s collections I ve read, and the earliest I ve read as well, but it held up well over time Composed in the late 70s 78 and 79, I believe the essays in The Panda s Thumb bear the mark of Gould s charming, articulate style Read the rest of my review at sabrinaspiher forums v

    8. Jessica Blevins on said:

      This book, read as prep for AP biology before my senior year in high school, brought me into the world of biology in high school, and inspired me to major in biology in college It also inspired me to read nonfiction, particularly science nonfiction It s been one of my favorite types of writing ever since Steven Gould is amazing at bringing technical concepts into layman s terms.

    9. Aerann on said:

      I ll read anything everything I can find that Stephen Jay Gould wrote.

    10. Valerie on said:

      This man s wit and intelligence and his interest in everything were much to be admired.

    11. Joni Baboci on said:

      The Panda s Thumb is an overall interesting book dealing with the curiosities of evolution through a compendium of articles written by Gould mostly in the 70s for Nature magazine The 1992 edition even goes over some clarifications which have come into light in the two decades since the articles have been published I think the book is a fairly readable popular natural sciences book, although the fragmentation that comes from it being an anthology of articles does make it seem aimless at times I t [...]

    12. Lupo on said:

      La prima parte del libro mi piaciuta molto E quella che riguarda pi specificatamente l evoluzione La parte che racconta specifiche storie relative a particolari specie mi ha interessato poco.Molto chiara la parte dell evoluzione, contiene anche note sul dibattito tra Gould e Dawkins, che ha influenzato la storia delle teorie evoluzionistiche degli ultimi quarant anni, e ancora continua anche se Gould non c pi I saggi sono stati scritti nel 78 e 79 e in alcuni si vedono le rughe, ma la testimonia [...]

    13. Pablo on said:

      Uno de los mejores libros de Jay Gould , en este libro arremete contra Dawkins y su famoso libro el gen ego sta , describe grandes errores de la ciencia como el Hombre de Piltdown o explica el retraso m nimo de la velocidad de traslaci n de la tierra , entre otros relatos sobre evoluci n , muy ameno y entretenido

    14. Ron on said:

      Lucid, welcoming, erudite, and eminently readable Gould had a genius for conveying biological and geological concepts in crystal English prose, always making sure to bring his reader along with him on his Darwinian journeys.

    15. Michael on said:

      This is a book of essays originally published by Gould in Natural History magazine, during the time that he was its editor one of several such books, in fact As such, it is an effort on his part to appeal to an educated popular audience with snippets of information about current research, particularly into paleontology and evolutionary science his specialties , but also into other areas of biology and even geology and related sciences Often, he is responding to then current media fads, by trying [...]

    16. Angus Mcfarlane on said:

      I bought this second hand over 13 years ago and, after reading it, should not have put it off for so long The topic of evolution has interest for me for two reasons, the first being that biology is the one core area of science I ve not studied formally and the second that it evolution has become such a flash point issue in disputes between science and religion Written as a series of vignettes about various topics, each was an entertaining and enlightening read, although I m not sure if I m any b [...]

    17. Heman on said:

      Stephen Gould must be the most charming science writer I have ever read anything of His style is remarkable for witticism and digging the amusing facts.His essay on Darwin vs Wallace is one of my favorites in this book.Wallace who had independently reached the theory of evolution before Darwin published his Origin of Species, and whose letter to Darwin caused a slimmer book to be published than what Darwin originally had in mind in order to establish Darwin s priority, eventually balks at the no [...]

    18. Marilyn on said:

      Around the Year in 52 Books 2017 Reading Challenge A book from the middle of your to be read list.I am not sure who the target audience for this book is It is NOT meant for graduate students in biology evolution since although there is a bibliography, specific sources are not cited within the text It can t be for the general public since that language alone would be daunting for anyone without a strong background in biology.A series of interesting essays which might be discussed in a one credit [...]

    19. Nick Rudzicz on said:

      1 And thus we may pass from the underlying genetic continuity of change an essential Darwinian postulate to a potentially episodic alteration in its manifest result a sequence of complex, adult organisms Within complex systems, smoothness of input can translate into episodic change in output Here we encounter a central paradox of our being and of our quest to understand what made us Without this level of complexity in construction, we could not have evolved the brains to ask such questions With [...]

    20. John on said:

      The Panda s Thumb is the second volume in a series of essay collections culled primarily from Gould s column This View Of Life that was published for nearly thirty years in Natural History magazine, the official popular journal of the American Museum of Natural History Once readers are treated to elegantly written, insightful pieces on issues ranging from racial attitudes affecting 19th Century science to evolutionary dilemnas such as the origins of the Panda s thumb Not really a dilemna, thoug [...]

    21. Steven on said:

      In the introduction, Stephen Jay Gould hastens to remind us once again that he does not consider himself a polymath, merely another tradesman In the ensuing remainder of the book, only the second collection of his long running column in Natural History journal, he defies this modest claim by writing on a wide variety of scientific subjects, using an even wider variety of cultural reference points The Panda s Thumb even has a theme, of sorts, described by Gould as a club sandwich of topics on bio [...]

    22. Kevin on said:

      a conglomeration of Gould s articles and essays about various scientific troubles, anomalies, and paradigm shift resistance specifically aimed at creationist and other anti science movements, if one can call such things movements Many times, Gould speaks to the biased human minds that make up the scientific community and the sociological and cultural pressures operating within and upon it it holds up remarkably well since its publication over 30 years agoom Haekel s insistence on evolutionary re [...]

    23. Andrea Hickman Walker on said:

      I love Stephen Jay Gould I really do I d probably love him if he hadn t died so early He takes complicated subject matter and writes about it in such a way that it seems like the simplest thing you ve ever read This book is a collection of essays about natural history, just like most of his books are This is the first collection of his essays that I ve read I ve only read two other books of his, which is absolutely shocking.There s not really much you can say about his work it s easiest just to [...]

    24. Greg on said:

      Interesting, and Gould writes well, but flawed.When he talks about Dawkins and the Selfish gene, he is simply wrong, partly I think because he didn t quite understand it, and partly because the idea of selection being on the level of the gene rather than the individual or group offended his sensibilitiesLater, when he wrote about birds and dinosaurs, he seemed not to fully grasp the full implications of placing the birds in the dinosaur groupThirdly his refutation of gradualism was not just that [...]

    25. Rachel on said:

      This book has been sitting on my shelf for a long time, and I m kicking myself for not reading it sooner What a delightful little book of science essays Each essay is an edited version of his monthly columns at Natural History magazine Subsequently, the essays are intelligible to the general intelligent reader, but Gould does not thereby sacrifice an appreciation for hard facts and subtle reasoning Gould makes science come alive with his anecdotes, wry humor, and gentle argumentation about topic [...]

    26. Jimmy on said:

      I m rereading all of Stephen Jay Gould s works They are well worth it for pure scientific entertainment The Panda s Thumb was written in 1980, so it is a bit old Yet it still stands up well The pands has five digits plus a thumb that is not really a thumb at all It does show how a thumb could form since there is no gene for a thumb Gould argues against the slow change theory of evolution Rather he argues for dramatic sudden changes I believe Dawkins and others still continue this argument I was [...]

    27. Nicholas Whyte on said:

      nwhytevejournal 1378076Some of these pieces are a bit dated not so surprising in a book published in 1980 his rather daring efforts to finger Teilhard de Chardin as a participant in the Piltdown Man hoax were easily refuted by the first researcher to check the documentary evidence But his thoughts on punctuated equilibrium are pretty convincing, as is his less developed here criticism of Dawkins for obsessing about genes rather than individuals And his essay on heartbeats and breaths in the life [...]

    28. Yasin S. on said:

      Her okudu umda hayranl m n artt yazarlardan biridir Gould Di erleri Zola, Carl Sagan ve Tolstoy.Evrim kitapl n n ba yap tlar ndan biri olan Darwin ve Sonras n n devam niteli indeki bu kitap da ilkini aratmayacak seviyede kolay anla l r ve Gould un e lenceli dili ile yaz lm 31 denemeden olu uyor.Kitapta hatal organlardan, Piltdown adam na, beyin ve kafatas l mlerinin cinsiyet i ve rk ama bilimsel bak mdan desteksiz ama lar na, Dawkins in evrim yorumlar na ele tirilerden dodo ku lar na kadar bir o [...]

    29. Peggy on said:

      A TRUE bio nerd book I had to read this I think freshman year for a bio class It was great even though I had to read it If I remember correctly, each chapter is a separate story antecdote so its another book, where if you get bored, just skip to the next chapter and you didnt miss a thing It includes chapters such as Nature s Odd Couples , A Biological Homage to Mickey Mouse and, Were Dinosaurs Dumb Its all about Natural History Evolution so you have to at least partially subscribe to Darwin s r [...]

    30. Paul on said:

      OK, my favorite part Where Gould explains the evolution of Disney s Mickey Mouse and how Mickey seems to be the original Benjamin Button de aging thru the decades And Goofy is probably the only real adult in the entire cartoon gang Poor Goofy, I d never thought of him as being either a widower or a divorcee or maybe even a single parent before reading this book.By the way, Pandas don t actually have thumbs, they have, ahhhh, but I ll let you go read the book and find out for youselves

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