Jake's Reviews > Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History

Ever Since Darwin by Stephen Jay Gould
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's review
Jun 24, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: science, short-stories
Read in June, 2009

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 scientists who distort the facts to match their conservative/racist/classist/sexist ideologies. That whole series of essays is praiseworthy and impossible to disagree with, but in the age of Obama, it feels a little bit dated and strident. And after reading ten essays where Gould assails the impact of conservative politics on science, even the most liberal reader has got to wonder: in what ways did Gould's own liberal bent bias his results?
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