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Ever Since Darwin (Reflections in Natural History #1)

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  2,536 Ratings  ·  100 Reviews
Darwin revolutionized the world of Natural history with his discoveries, but were they truly based on facts?

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.
Published April 24th 1980 by Pelican/Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1977)
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Abu Hasan
Jan 22, 2016 Abu Hasan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
الكتاب عبارة عن ثمانية أبواب أو أبحاث، وكل باب يتكون من عدة فصول
تناول الباب الأول داروين نفسه والحيثيات التي أحاطت بحياته وأبحاثه وأدت لظهور نظريته
الباب الثاني تناول تطور الانسان والنظريات والأبحاث المختلفة لهذا الشأن
الباب الثالث تناول أمثلة لنماذج أو مستحاثات شكلت تحديا لنظرية التطور ومحاولة تفسيرها بما يتلاءم مع النظرية، مثل: الأيل الإرلندي
الباب الرابع حوى فصولا مختلفة عن الانفجار الكاميرا وما يسمى بالموت العظيم
الباب الخامس تناول بعض النظريات العلمية الغريبة التي كانت تحاول تفسير الوجود وعمر
Feb 12, 2009 Eric_W rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Note: I wrote this review sometime before Gould's death.

How does one write about a book of essays? Ever Since Darwin is a collection of essays drawn from Natural History magazine for which Gould wrote a monthly column entitled "This View of Life." While not especially easy reading, all the essays provide an intellectual delight that make them well worth the effort. A common thread running through all is the wonder and amazement Gould has for the extraordinary variation and adaptability of natu
Feb 08, 2015 Nathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If there's an overarching theme in these fascinating essays it's that scientists (and science) are just as vulnerable to political and social bias as everyone else, and we should be skeptical of claims that the scientific "facts" support a given political or social view.

Unfortunately, in my reading, the author seems concerned with this misuse of science only when it's in support of philosophical ideals that he does not share. While he presents his own view as enlightenedly multifarious, it come
Daniel Gonçalves
In this collection of scientific essays, Stephen Jay Gould promises to shine a light on Darwin’s dangerous and revolutionary idea, whilst informing the reader – in a comprehensive and adequate prose – about the new advancements in the field. The writing is lucid and compelling. The subjects are varied and detailed. And while it presents the reader with data and information about the various ideas floating around in the scientific community, it never asserts anything: the reader has to make their ...more
Clare Bell
Feb 23, 2008 Clare Bell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stephen J. Gould was a treasure of a science writer, who left us far too early, in 2003. Ever since I stumbled across his column in Natural History Magazine, I've been an avid Gould reader. This is his first collection of the Natural History columns, and, although not as brilliant as his later works, contains the promise that emerged in The Panda's Thumb, The Flamingo's Smile, and others. Even so, by itself, it is amazing. Gould's work has definitely shaped my view of evolution and biology. Many ...more
فتحي سرور
من جملة ما قرأت عن التطور:أضع هذا الكتاب في أعلى الكومة،أسلوب سلس و سهل،تدعمه موسوعية جولد التي طالت التاريخ و الهندسة و اللاهوت و السينما و الشعر،مع محتوى علمي دسم في قالب مسلي و ممتع،أعتقد أني سأبحث عن كتاب لجولد يشرح فيه مبادئ التطور لأوصي به كل راغب في التعرف على النظرية للمرة الأولى،أسجل أن أعجابي الأشد تركز على الفصول الأخيرة من الكتاب حيث الحديث عن دور الحجم في تطور الأنسان و كذلك قضايا الحتمية الوراثية.
Oct 05, 2014 Reid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? Pretty fascinating in parts, it seems dated and alive at the same time. I'm familiar with some of the basics, which probably prevented me from being enthralled, but he is definitely a very good essayist with a broad liberal viewpoint, which I appreciated. I definitely want to read more of his books, I should have read them long ago.

Some personal highlights:

Was strange when he mentioned that plate tectonics was a fairly new theory, within the last 10 years of his writing, in '75 a
Lucas Johnson
Jan 14, 2017 Lucas Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gould is pithy. His understanding is deep enough that he can actually describe evolution to the reader. Not every scientist can move beyond teaching and the constraints of the university. Gould always seemed unbound. He is more similar to Darwin and his coworkers than most students have a right to expect. Reveling in blessed work is enjoyable.
Santiago Hernandez
“Ever Since Darwin” overall is a great read and is a great way to immerse yourself in the world of evolution. In this book, Dr. Stephen Jay Gould tackles various topics that fall within the realm of evolution, the history of evolution as a field of science, and even the biological arguments against racism and human nature.

As stated before, this is a great book for further exposing yourself to the concept of evolution and the information surrounding it. Dr. Gould presents various cases from human
Jun 21, 2009 Jake rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid introduction to Gould's perspective on evolution and other issues in modern science. The essays were written in the late 1970s, but they still feel current-- I especially enjoyed his meditations on the Irish Elk, the role of size in evolutionary development, and the shakeup caused by the discovery of plate tectonics in the late 1960s. Towards the end of the book he gets a little hung up on his politics-- as an enlightened highly liberal humanist, he has little time or sympathy for scientis ...more
شريف عرفة
قرأت الطبعة العربية للكتاب من إصدار مشروع كلمة.
الكتاب يجمع مقالات متفرقة عن التطور.. الجميل فيه أنه يضيف معلومات تضفي تساؤلات جديدة حول آلية التطور.. فهناك مثلا حفريات لأنواع تظهر دون ترتيب تطوري منطقي و ظواهر بيولوجية لا تتبع النسق التطوري يحاول المؤلف تفسيرها.. المشكلة الوحيدة في الكتاب هي أنه كتب في السبعينات, مما يعني ان بعض تساؤلاته ربما أجيب عنها لاحقا في ظل التسارع الرهيب لعجلة البحث العلمي.

لا تقرأ الكتاب باعتباره كتابا عن التطور, بل باعتباره كتابا يقدم لك ثقافة علمية بيولوجية بطريقة شيقة
Apr 13, 2013 Aurelien rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, biology
Simply divided, this book makes out of a broad and complex topic (evolutionary science) an entertaining and accessible subject.

Some articles are more interesting than others, an unavoidable imbalance for such a collection but, all in all it's clever, very well written, witty at times and, always relevant.

As this was my first Stephen Jay Gould, I would particularly recommend it to whose not knowing where to start with such a prolific writer.
Ken Bishop
Jul 20, 2007 Ken Bishop rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Stephen Jay Gould is my favorite writer in any branch of science. He writes beautifully (loves words) and can explain anthropology to the layperson. Gould is one of the best people to correctly explain Darwin. The majority of writers who try to explain evolution, don't have a clue what they are talking about. If you are interested in this topic read all of his books. Sadly he is no longer with us, but his books live on.
John Miller
Dec 05, 2007 John Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a lot... makes science very enjoyable and readable without dumbing it down one bit, but just by eliminating jargon. puts science in its social context, and ties it in with other fields of life and learning. also compares general phenomenon in evolution as a system to other types of systems.. .. .Must read one of his books!
This book explores various topics related to evolution. Darwin pretty much nailed it, and his discoveries are still the foundation of modern biology. However, much has happened since Darwin, and that's what this book discusses. Some of the articles were fairly interesting, like the one about Darwin's friendship with the captain of the H.M.S. Beagle, and how size of body structures influence its shape.

I could have done without his politics at the end. He favorably quotes socialists and feminists,
Jan 25, 2017 Paula rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoyed reading this collection of unique essays which explores, from a geologists’ point of view, few scientific theories that were popular about 40 years ago. All 33 essays are awesome. Essays number 6 (about 'ladder' vs 'bushes' ) and 9 (about Irish Elk) caught my attention with few things that I've never heard about.

In essay number 6, ‘ Bushes and Ladders in Human Evolution’, Gould rejects the “ladder” representation of the human evolution from 'Australopithecus africanus' to 'H
Jul 16, 2017 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"But a man does not attain the status of Galileo merely because he is persecuted; he must also be right." Gould's excellent prose and combined essays warn of hubris. Research and conclusions can be tainted by ideology. He reminds us to be aware of our biases and assumptions when crafting studies and interpreting data. Also, a reminder that we are part of the animal kingdom. This collection of essays is well worth your time.

"The hallmark of humanity is not only our mental capacity but also our me
Dakota McCoy
Jun 18, 2017 Dakota McCoy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
William Bibliomane
This is the first volume of Gould's essays, reprinted from Natural History magazine in the days before the publication became little more than a shell of its former glory. Gould was, to my mind, a polymath. These essays may have slightly dated by now -- I read them nearly twenty-five years ago -- but this teacher's command of the language and skill in rational argument should make him required reading whether he's current or not. Good writing -- great writing -- should never go out of fashion. J ...more
Aug 12, 2011 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unlike many of those who discuss the subject today, Stephen Jay Gould had a very positive and non-defensive approach to discussing evolution. “Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History” is Gould’s first book and is a collection of essays which Gould wrote between 1974 and 1977 for “Natural History Magazine”. These are organized into 8 sections which cover everything from the basics of Darwin’s theory through applications of that theory to the evolution of humans, through the history of l ...more
Mar 01, 2017 Xolrax rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Feb 18, 2009 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stephen Jay Gould was a Paleontologist and scientific "philosopher"/thinker from Queens (!!!!) who taught at Harvard and also worked for the American Museum of Natural History. This book is a collection of his monthly essays/writings for "Natural History Magazine" through the 1970's. In it, Mr Gould outlines the social history of the Natural Sciences from Darwin up to the present (1979). When I say, "Social History" I am referring to the Scientists themselves. Stephen Jay Gould is a tireless cha ...more
May 20, 2013 Siria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gould's collection of essays is a must-read for both aspiring scientists and the public at large who wish to deepen their understanding of evolution and dispel pernicious misconceptions that have plagued the field since its inception in 1859 with Darwin's publication of On the Origin of Species.

Each essay discusses an aspect of biology or evolution in the social context, or, how society (and often leading scholars in the field) have incorrectly perceived the concepts laid out in Darwin's work.
Jul 04, 2015 Shucheta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
I just love the way Gould's mind works. He is always questioning Orthodoxy, he is not blind to be fact that the way our brains process "pure facts and data" are highly colored by our world view and our beliefs. Science, is after all, a human activity. Gould makes a brilliant case for this contention in his essay about plate tectonics and continental drift. Gould shows that same data can be, and has been used to support two completely opposing claims of static continents and continental drifts, d ...more
Todd Stark
May 02, 2014 Todd Stark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was Gould's first published collection of his magazine columns, for essays written between 1973–1977 and it illustrates why he was justly considered a masterful essayist. He is telling us a lot about biology but he is doing it in a way that also tells us a lot about how science is done. In his memorable examples and vivid descriptions he reveals the central role of imagination in science, along with the historical and cultural shaping of our imagination. Gould's own philosophical biases are ...more
Jan 08, 2015 Sofia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, science
Una colección de ensayos muy interesante. Destaco las secciones I (Darwiniana) y VI (Tamaño y forma...).

Es un poco reiterativo en partes (entendible por ser los ensayos publicados por separado con anterioridad), pero es muy revelador en cuanto a que muestra los "biases" que pueden tener los investigadores que en vez de formar ideas a partir de la observación y ponerlas a prueba, tienen una idea preformada y buscan una lectura parcial de los datos para justificar sus creencias (por ejemplo el "da
Abe Something
Jan 08, 2013 Abe Something rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned quite a bit reading this book. Given some of the info is outdated, some of it theoretical, and some of it is of little value to me - the beauty of this collection is the voice. Stephen Jay Gould is the Carl Sagan of Natural History. Do people call him that? They should if they aren't. I was familiar with Gould on account my taking some Anthropology 101's in undergrad about 10 years ago. I had always kept him on my list of "accessible, fun academics I'd like to spend some more time read ...more
All of Stephen Jay Gould's admirable traits as a splendid scientist, fine historian of science and gifted writer are prominently on display in this elegant collection of essays; the first of many he published from his celebrated essay column "This View Of Life", which was published for over twenty five years in Natural History, the popular journal of the American Museum of Natural History. Gould brilliantly illustrates the explanatory power of Darwin's theory of evolution via natural selection, ...more
Feb 22, 2012 Jerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in the 70's, "Ever Since Darwin" is very dated, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone looking to broaden their understanding of evolution. However, it does provide a great insight into the mind of one of the most vocal proponents in the field - the late Stephen Gould. The most interesting is Gould's discussion of the spread of misinformation about evolution in the media. Gould talks about being angry when Punctuated Equilibrium (Gould's hypothesis that evolution happens in quick spurts o ...more
Kevin Carlo Artiaga
This book has rather been cruelly separated from me by a friend who had vowed to read it as quickly as possible and has then proceeded to ignore it for half a year. The science in it is just a bit outdated (plate tectonics was still a new thing at that time! hah!), but that in itself is interesting as it shows how biology has grown through the years.

I like the fact that it explores both the subject of the science of biology as well as the scientists who on whose shoulders we are currently stand
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Stephen Jay Gould was a prominent American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. He was also one of the most influential and widely read writers of popular science of his generation. Gould spent most of his career teaching at Harvard University and working at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Most of Gould's empirical research was on land snails. Gould
More about Stephen Jay Gould...

Other Books in the Series

Reflections in Natural History (10 books)
  • The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History
  • Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes: Further Reflections in Natural History
  • The Flamingo's Smile: Reflections in Natural History
  • Bully for Brontosaurus: Reflections in Natural History
  • Eight Little Piggies: Reflections in Natural History
  • Dinosaur in a Haystack
  • Leonardo's Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms: Essays on Natural History
  • The Lying Stones of Marrakech: Penultimate Reflections in Natural History
  • I Have Landed: The End of a Beginning in Natural History

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“Geology gave us the immensity of time and taught us how little of it our own species has occupied.” 6 likes
“Astronomy defined our home as a small planet tucked away in one corner of an average galaxy among million; biology took away our status as paragons created in the image of God; geology gave us the immensity of time and taught us how little of it our own species has occupied.” 2 likes
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