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Good Reads  Evolutionary Biology  Evolution

Macroevolutionaries Reflections on Natural History, Paleontology, and Stephen Jay Gould

Coming Soon
By: Bruce S Lieberman(Author), Niles Eldredge(Author)
216 pages, 43 illustrations
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  • Macroevolutionaries ISBN: 9780231208109 Hardback Aug 2024 Available for pre-order
Price: £22.00
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

One of the twentieth century's great palaeontologists and science writers, Stephen Jay Gould was, for Bruce S. Lieberman and Niles Eldredge, also a close colleague, mentor, and friend. In Macroevolutionaries, they take up the tradition of Gould's acclaimed essays on natural history, offering a series of wry and insightful reflections on the fields to which they have devoted their careers.

Lieberman and Eldredge explore the major features of evolution, or "macroevolution," examining key issues in palaeontology and their links to popular culture, philosophy, music, and the history of science. They focus on topics such as punctuated equilibria, mass extinctions, and the history of life – with detours including trilobites, Hollywood stuntmen, coywolves, birdwatching, and New Haven-style pizza. Lieberman and Eldredge's essays showcase their deep knowledge of the fossil record and keen appreciation of the arts and culture while touching on different aspects of Gould's life and work. Ultimately, they show why Gould's writings and perspective are still relevant today, following his lead in using the natural history essay to articulate their view of evolutionary theory and its place in contemporary life. At once thought-provoking and entertaining, Macroevolutionaries is for all readers interested in palaeontology, evolutionary biology, and Gould's literary and scientific legacy.



1. The Three Musketeers of Macroevolution: Does Anyone Get to Be D'Artagnan?
2. Asleep at the Switch: Paleontological Life Lessons, Stasis, and the Genius of Yogi Berra
3. Survival of the Laziest: Does Evolution Permit Naps?
4. Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle, Times Square: Gould, Kant, and Super Dave
5. Expanding Evolution: Organisms and Species, the Soma, and the Technosphere
6. Declining Volatility: A General Evolutionary Principle and Its Relevance to Fossils, Stocks, and Stars
7. Paleo Personas: Musings on a Soviet Cephalopod, Norman Newell, and Mass Extinctions
8. Stardust Memories: Reading Evolution and Extinction in the Stars
9. Is Eternal Sex Necessary? Or, What Are These Coywolves Doing in My Backyard?
10. Darwin in the Galapagos: Running the Beagle Tape Backward
11. Of Cultural Nationalism, Hamlet, and the Cloaca Universalis: Why Citation Is the Best Policy
12. When Is a Raptor a Parrot? The Curious Case of the American Kestrel
13. What's Your Favorite Trilobite? Walter Winchell Wouldn't Have Cared


Customer Reviews


Bruce S. Lieberman is Dean's Professor of Evolutionary Biology and senior curator of invertebrate palaeontology at the University of Kansas, where he also directs the Paleontological Institute and is editor-in-chief of the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology. His research focuses on patterns and processes of evolution and extinction using the fossil record.

Niles Eldredge is an invertebrate palaeontologist, an evolutionary biologist, and an emeritus curator of invertebrates at the American Museum of Natural History. He discovered punctuated equilibria with Stephen Jay Gould and played a leading role in developing the field of macroevolution. His work has also emphasized understanding the biodiversity crisis and documenting Darwin's discovery of natural selection and evolution.

Coming Soon
By: Bruce S Lieberman(Author), Niles Eldredge(Author)
216 pages, 43 illustrations
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