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Os Oito Porquinhos: Ensaios Sobre a Origem, Diversidade e Extinção das Espécies (Reflections in Natural History #6)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  703 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Os Oito Porquinhos é, por diferentes razões, um livro especial. Em toda a sua obra, Stephen Jay Gould define, a par de Darwin, a carreira evolutiva das espécies como um longo e demorado processo de adaptação. Neste seu livro, o mais contemplativo e personalizado de todos, apresenta-nos «um tema de suprema importância para os evolucionistas que se debruçam sobre um mundo em ...more
Paperback, 450 pages
Published 1996 by Europa-América (first published 1993)
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It's easy to think that we are the most ephemeral of creatures, our lifetimes but a blink in the overall scheme. One of the things I get from reading Gould is the knowledge that we are very ancient creatures. I am an ancient creature. On the cellular level "mitochondria and chloroplasts look uncannily like entire prokaryotic organisms (they have their own DNA and are the same size as bacteria). Almost surely, they began as symbionts within cells of other species and later became more highly inte ...more
Lisa Chapman
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not an easy read for me since I have little knowledge of things palentological, but the insights into evolution are worth wading through. The man was a supreme essayist.
Sep 07, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
All I can say is that I really liked this book. A lot. Gd is in the details... yeah.
Nov 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ho letto varie raccolte di saggi di Gould, ma sempre abbastanza vecchie. E' la prima volta che leggo una raccolta fra la più recenti, e mi ha colpito sotto vari aspetti, qualcuno anche negativo.
Innanzi tutto si vede chiaramente che Gould è più maturo. Il suo stile leggendario acquista ancora più profondità, compaiono temi più attuali e "impegnati" (fra cui il rapporto uomo ambiente nella nostra società), e aumentano le incursioni in ambiti inaspettati (bellissimo il saggio sui meccanismi del ric
May 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, fiction-non
Mr. Gould was a Harvard professor and since the early 70's has been writing essays
on natural history, evolution, paleontology (study of prehistoric life). His essays were bundled
and published into books. Dinosaur in a haystack was probably his most notable.

I've liked his works as he's very accessible despite the technically scientific jargon and concepts he introduces. He doesn't dumb it down, but gives the reader enough to understand the importance of a particular essay. TO do this he sprinkles
May 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody interested in evolutionary theory.
This collection of essays is Gould's last as an author but my first as a reader of him. They are somewhat eclectic, though grouped according to theme and overall evolution and scientific method crop up the most often. Technically, the approach is less diverse, with an opening starting with some personal or topical (at the time of writing) anecdote leading into a more general discussion of a Big Idea. This is somewhat irritating to me, because it reminds me of Radio 4's Thought for the Day, in wh ...more
A collection of essays from the evolutionist. Strong writing, as always, with that fire of deep passion for natural history. Unfortunately, its one I dont share (yes, in fact, there are actually subjects Im not interested in, or at least not passionate about). Also, it took me all of Hens Teeth and Horse's Toes and most of this book to realize just what's going on with these essays. It's a strange feeling when you agree wholeheartedly with somebody, as I do in this case, but find their style of ...more
Great book! It elucidated many aspects of the history of biology and the theory of evolution that I was unaware of, or about which I only had a sketchy idea. What I liked the most were the chapters where S. J. Gould presented a particular problem in biology, and explained the history of its related research, from the very first studies and hypotheses to answers uncovered by modern research and remaining sub-questions, going through winding paths of questions, hypotheses, research, and debates, a ...more
Otro libro de ensayos de Gould, otro libro de cinco estrellas. Ensayos sobre extinciones, sobre el origen de las partes del cuerpo de algunos animales, sobre cómo algunos naturalistas tenían ideas erróneas pero sus razonamientos no lo eran, sobre la memoria, sobre la decadencia del grupo de los simios frente a los monos (pese a que el ser humano esté en el grupo de los simios), sobre algunas criaturas de la explosión del cámbrico... Una delicia como siempre.
Daniel Golden
If you absolutely love evolution and you like it when authors use big words, you might like this book. Overall, I found half the essays interesting enough to read, and half boring enough to skip. Occasionally, Gould brings in an interesting annecdote to bring his points home, but there's a whole lot of sleep-inducing talk about skull shapes and such as well. I don't think I'll read another Stephen Jay Gould book for a while.
Ernest Barker
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book is the collected essays of Stephen Jay Gould. In delves into such things as geological time, climate change and frogs. I liked the book. It is easy to reads and held my attention well. If you are interested in Nature History and look books based on essays, this is a must read. Allow a few days to read it.
Jan 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another well written essay collection by Gould. Memorable ideas include:
- Finer points of the scientific method (Halley's argument for a maximum bound on the age of earth, not min)
- Tree vs. linear understanding of evolution
- Replacement, not refinement of scientific theories
Chuck Weiss
May 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in pop-paleontology
Typical Stephen Jay Gould reflections on evolution, the odd development of mammalian vertebrae, Darwinism and human nature. The book is a collection of some of his most famous essays, so I read each chapter just before bed.

Mar 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome overview of evolution, and really interesting examples of how life develops, why we have 5 fingers, etc. Great read.
Brett Berger
Dec 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More SGJ awesomeness.
Steven Williams
Not his best.
Ken Bishop
Jul 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
See my comments on Ever Since Darwin. Gould tackles fun topics such as memory and ecology in this book of essays on natural history.
Mar 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish he were still alive and could come teach debaters logic.
Antonio De Cunzo
Everyone should read SJG!
Nov 10, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
a very difficult read. much less enjoyable and understandable than other books by Gould
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  • In The Blink Of An Eye: How Vision Sparked The Big Bang Of Evolution
  • The Boilerplate Rhino: Nature in the Eye of the Beholder
  • Darwin: The Life of a Tormented Evolutionist
  • Conversations about the End of Time
  • Becoming Human: Evolution and Human Uniqueness
  • The Youngest Science
  • Life on Earth
  • How the Leopard Changed Its Spots: The Evolution of Complexity
  • Darwin's Ghost: The Origin of Species Updated
  • Measuring the Universe: Our Historic Quest to Chart the horizons of Space and Time
  • Origins Reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human
  • Dawkins vs Gould: Survival of the Fittest
  • Darwin's Armada: Four Voyages and the Battle for the Theory of Evolution
  • Richard Dawkins: How a Scientist Changed the Way We Think
  • Science: Good Bad, and Bogus
  • Life: A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth
  • Lucy: the beginnings of humankind
  • The Gilded Dinosaur: The Fossil War Between E.D. Cope and O.C. Marsh and the Rise of American Science
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)
  • Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History
  • 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
  • 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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