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E remains of an ancient sea where dozens of strange creatures lived a forgotten corner of evolution preserved in awesome. The Burgess Shale is a fossil deposit of importance eual to that of the Rift Valley sites of East Africa in that it provides truly pivotal evidence for the story of life on earth The shale comes from a small uarry in the Canadian Rockies discovered in the early 20th century by Charles Walcott then a leading figure at the Smithsonian The Burgess fossils come from the Middle Cambrian Period around 350 million years ago They form one of the earliest assemblages of soft bodied creatures from the first era 1 0 multicelled animals They include various worms crustaceans etc but also a large number of uniue and unclassifiable forms In the late 60s Harry Whittington began to study the Burgess fossils in detail and discovered that many of them beloned to lineages which left no modern descendants The identification of Marrella Opabinia and other strange Cambrian creatures dropped a real bombshell in paleontological circles They prove that the Cambrian was a time of incredible evolutionary experimentation In the space of a few tens of millions of years there evolved not only the ancestors of everything alive today but also dozens of lineages that never went anywhere Most of them were simply wiped out during mass extinction episodes that of the Permo Triassic resulted in the extinction of 96% of the species then alive Stephen Jay Gould has chronicled the story of the Burgess shale in detail But in true Gould fashion he has drawn broader lessons He looks at the career of Walcott and examines why Walcott felt it was necessary to shoehorn all of the Burgess forms into a progressive theory of ancestry and diversification Historians and paleontologists are a subspecies of historian like all people are often deeply constrained by what they expect to find The Burgess shale did not fit previous theory and was therefore made to fit The implication of Whittington s discoveries is that evolution depends upon an enormous number of accidents each so contingent upon the other that it would be impossible to replay the tape and get the same story again Gould ends his book with an extended meditation on the nature of historical truth He rejects the idea that the historical sciences are in principle less accurate than the experimental sciences they are both capable of arriving at the truth often through the progressive detection and correction of error Poslije svega (After, preserved in awesome. The Burgess Shale is a fossil deposit of importance eual to that of the Rift Valley sites of East Africa in that it Die Herrenschneiderei provides truly Calling Cards: Uncover Your Calling pivotal evidence for the story of life on earth The shale comes from a small uarry in the Canadian Rockies discovered in the early 20th century by Charles Walcott then a leading figure at the Smithsonian The Burgess fossils come from the Middle Cambrian Period around 350 million years ago They form one of the earliest assemblages of soft bodied creatures from the first era 1 0 multicelled animals They include various worms crustaceans etc but also a large number of uniue and unclassifiable forms In the late 60s Harry Whittington began to study the Burgess fossils in detail and discovered that many of them beloned to lineages which left no modern descendants The identification of Marrella Opabinia and other strange Cambrian creatures dropped a real bombshell in Cities of God paleontological circles They Gravitys Rainbow prove that the Cambrian was a time of incredible evolutionary experimentation In the space of a few tens of millions of years there evolved not only the ancestors of everything alive today but also dozens of lineages that never went anywhere Most of them were simply wiped out during mass extinction episodes that of the Permo Triassic resulted in the extinction of 96% of the species then alive Stephen Jay Gould has chronicled the story of the Burgess shale in detail But in true Gould fashion he has drawn broader lessons He looks at the career of Walcott and examines why Walcott felt it was necessary to shoehorn all of the Burgess forms into a Daisy Malone and the Blue Glowing Stone progressive theory of ancestry and diversification Historians and Pretend God Is Deaf paleontologists are a subspecies of historian like all Cased Images & Tintypes KwikGuide people are often deeply constrained by what they expect to find The Burgess shale did not fit Las Puertas Del Amor previous theory and was therefore made to fit The implication of Whittington s discoveries is that evolution depends upon an enormous number of accidents each so contingent upon the other that it would be impossible to replay the tape and get the same story again Gould ends his book with an extended meditation on the nature of historical truth He rejects the idea that the historical sciences are in Discoveries principle less accurate than the experimental sciences they are both capable of arriving at the truth often through the A Fire Within: Sekret Machines Series, Book 2 progressive detection and correction of error

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Wonderful Life The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

Detail In this book Stephen Jay Gould explores what the Burgess Shale tells us about evolution and the nature of histor. Stephen Jay Gould performs a really unlikely feat in this book he makes arthropods as fascinating as dinosaurs In fact he makes a subject that could be extra ordinarily dull the process of taxonomic classification of a bunch of extra old fossils of small suidgy animals into a dramatic and gripping read THIS REVIEW HAS BEEN CURTAILED IN PROTEST AT GOODREADS CENSORSHIP POLICYSee the complete review here

Read & download Wonderful Life The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

High in the Canadian Rockies is a small limestone uarry formed 530 million years ago called the Burgess Shale It hold th. A decent but certainly out of date book The most interesting section is that regarding the anatomy of the Burgess biota and the historical narrative of Whittington Conway Morris and Briggs is also a highlight The technical details of chapter three might throw some readers off but I found them to be fascinatingUnfortunately most of the book is out of date Most of the weird wonders that Gould describes have been taxonomically re evaluated in the previous two decades and technical developments in systematics the concept of stem groups in cladograms now show that much Burgess biota ironically belong closer to the original classifications of Walcott Much of the biota are now considered to be stem groups of modern taxa evolutionary aunts and unclesI also found Gould s continued emphasis on the cone of increasing diversity to be uite exhausting Based on Gould s own definitions of diversity and disparity there is no fundamental problem with depicting increased diversity in modern geological eras because there simply are species Gould s diversity than in the Cambrian and Pre Cambrian Additionally Gould seems to be railing against concepts that either haven t been present in the evolutionary literature for decades perhaps centuries depiction of an evolutionary ladder or his examples of phylogenies are either strawmen or misinterpreted For example in Haeckel s illustrations Gould does not analyze the taxonomic groups represented nor does he consider that Haeckel perhaps wanted to show the phylogenies of the taxa he placed close to the top and thus gave them visual importance because after all there is only so much space on the page In cladograms and other methods of depicting phylogenies if the diagram is rooted the root is meant to depict the hypothetical last common ancestor Since clades are monophyletic all descended from a single common ancestor there is always going to be a cone of increasing diversity because the clade always depicts hierarchical branching lineages of descent The only way there would not be a cone is if there truly was a ladder within a single lineage something that Gould rightly disparages One could argue that this is because Gould was simply arguing against older methods of depicting phylogeny rather than the relatively new at the time cladistics but even these do not generally follow his pattern For example in a classic depiction of fossil horse phylogeny to use one of Gould s examples from chapter one the maximum disparity is reached in the Miocene and then scales back as it gets closer the the presentOverall the book is certainly not bad especially when it comes to the historical and anatomical aspects But in too many instances Gould is simply engaging in his typical revolutionary grandstanding and hyperbole Proceed carefully and read up to date texts as a follow up


10 thoughts on “Wonderful Life The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

  1. says:

    A book about wonder and a wonderful book The story of the Burgess Shale—from its initial misinterpretation to its reasse

  2. says:

    A decent but certainly out of date book The most interesting section is that regarding the anatomy of the Burgess biota and the historical narrative of Whittington Conway Morris and Briggs is also a highlight The technical details of chapter three might throw some readers off but I found them to be fascinatingUnfortunately most of the book is out of date Most of the weird wonders that Gould describes have been taxonomically re evaluated i

  3. says:

    This book was unlike anything else I'd ever read I suspect because it owes something to the scientific monograph Maybe? Not having ever read a scientific monograph they don't even call them that these days I don't know Anyway Gould repeated and repeated and repeated the same conclusions over and over and over and over until I was ready to e

  4. says:

    “The drama I have to tell is intense and intellectual It transcends these ephemeral themes of personality and the stock stage The

  5. says:

    Wonderful bookSome of the science has been overtaken in the uarter century since it was written but mainly in the details not in the main thrust of the arguments And it is very much a long argument if mostly with someone other than me I could

  6. says:

    The Burgess Shale is a fossil deposit of importance eual to that of the Rift Valley sites of East Africa in that

  7. says:

    The Burgess Shale's creatures with their anatomies as striking as bizarre are a perfect illustration of the history of life on Earth just a matter of contingency We are but we could never have been owning our survival only to chance in the darwinian sense of the wordIndeed among the multitude of all these organisms since long extinct according to Gould were found alongside the ancestors of the arthropods Pikaia that is

  8. says:

    Wonderful Life is pretty well wonderful If your curiosity about the Burgess Shale or the weird and wonderful beings of the Cambrian period needs sating this book should than do it It is uite dense — Gould may have been a popular s

  9. says:

    Stephen Jay Gould performs a really unlikely feat in this book; he makes arthropods as fascinating as dinosaurs In fact he makes a subject tha

  10. says:

    I'm not saying anything startling or new when I say this book is awesomeSo for one thing it's a book about writing and about mythology and how what we think we know limits what we see and therefore what stories we can tell a problem which Gould addresses both in terms of paleontologists looking at the Burgess Shale and in

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