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Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History (Reflections in Natural History #1)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  2,374 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
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.
Paperback, 285 pages
Published July 17th 1992 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published January 1st 1977)
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Community Reviews

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Abu Hasan
Feb 14, 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
...more
Eric_W
Mar 16, 2010 Eric_W rated it really liked it
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
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Daniel Gonçalves
Dec 31, 2015 Daniel Gonçalves rated it really liked it
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
Nathan
Dec 21, 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
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Clare Bell
Nov 07, 2011 Clare Bell rated it it was amazing
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
Santiago Hernandez
Sep 26, 2015 Santiago Hernandez rated it really liked it
“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
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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.
Reid
Dec 30, 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
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Jake
Jun 24, 2009 Jake rated it liked it
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
Okan Akıncı
May 26, 2016 Okan Akıncı rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gould'un daha önce okuduğum kitaplarına kıyasla bu eserinin biraz zayıf olduğunu düşünüyorum. Çünkü onun bilim okur-yazarlığını sevdiren akıcı üslubunu bu kitapta göremedim. Belki de bu kitabın farklı bir yayınevinden çıkmasıyla, çevirisiyle ilgili durumdur, bilmiyorum.

Kitabın ilk ve orta kısımlarında daha çok teknik bazı örnekler üzerinden evrim anlatılmış ama bu seferkiler pek ilgi çekici olmadığı gibi bir popüler bilim kitabının boyunu aşan aşırı ayrıntı vardı. Fakat sonlardaki bölümler olduk
...more
شريف عرفة
Mar 16, 2013 شريف عرفة rated it it was amazing
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
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Todd Stark
May 02, 2014 Todd Stark rated it it was amazing
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
Aurelien
Apr 19, 2013 Aurelien rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Sofia
Jan 20, 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
...more
John Miller
Dec 05, 2007 John Miller rated it it was amazing
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!
James F
Feb 04, 2015 James F rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, biology
This was the first collection of Goulds articles from Natural History magazine. All the essays have some connection with the theory of evolution, either historically or as exemplifications. I read the book for the first time when it was relatively recent; today, of course, after thirty-five years, the science is somewhat dated, particularly with regard to human evolution. The essays are still fun to read, though, and many of his points are still quite relevant, especially about the misuse of sci ...more
Won
Aug 11, 2014 Won rated it it was amazing
Gould demonstrates how scientist should argue logically ; But, not only based on the "scientific" facts in front of him, but also equally utilising understanding of the complex relationship with politics, philosophy and history. Most importantly, he never forget that nature is immensely diverse and hence not ever fully comprehensible by science.
"아직도 멀었다" 는 자연 사학자가 할 수 있는 가장 강력하고도 적절한 선언이다. 생물의 문제에 대해 깔끔하고 결정적이며 보편적인 해답을 구하고자 하는 사람은 자연이 아닌 다른 곳을 찾아야 한다. 참으로 큰 문제들은 풍요로운 자연 앞에서 무릎을 꿇는다. 변화는 일방향적이거
...more
Shucheta
Aug 15, 2015 Shucheta rated it really liked it
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
Dave
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
John
Feb 24, 2009 John rated it liked it
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
Abe Something
Jan 14, 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
John
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
Siria
Feb 22, 2015 Siria rated it it was amazing
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.
...more
Jerry
Feb 22, 2012 Jerry rated it liked it
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
Mike  Davis
Feb 17, 2015 Mike Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gould is best known as an advocate for atheism, but those leanings are not readily apparent here. The book is a series of short essays on various aspects of evolutionary theory as seen from a 1977 perspective and as such is of historical interest. Additionally, most of what Gould says is still mainstream opinion and hasn't changed in nearly 40 years. His approach to evolution is best summed up by the last sentence in the book: "I will rejoice in the multifariousness of nature and leave the chime ...more
Kevin Carlo Artiaga
Sep 29, 2013 Kevin Carlo Artiaga rated it it was amazing
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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james spellman
Apr 21, 2015 james spellman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reflections in natural history

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This is a series of essays by Gould, on a variety of topics in evolution, from the history of Darwinism, to the political and social ramifications of biological determinism. Insightful and eloquent, Dr Gould never makes the reader bored nor encumbered them with jargon too complex to understand. A truly well written book.
Adrian Colesberry
Apr 15, 2009 Adrian Colesberry rated it it was amazing
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 becam ...more
Blaine Morrow
Apr 22, 2015 Blaine Morrow rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-for-all
Gould considers many contemporary issues with evolutionary theory and research, lending his considerable expertise and keen insights to the solution or better definition of these dilemmas. Although the essays are arranged in a logical progression, I found myself wishing that some were a bit longer, but this author is brilliant, witty, and efficient.
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19109
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
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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: Reflections in Natural History
  • 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.” 5 likes
“Creative thought in science is exactly this - not a mechanical collection on of facts and intuition, bias, and insight from other fields. Science, at its best, interposes human judgement and ingenuity upon all proceedings. It is, after all (although we sometimes forget it), practiced by humans.” 0 likes
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