By Stephen Jay Gould
"What excitement to determine the cheating, the inept, and the erroneous deftly given their due, whereas compliment is lavished at the deserving―for purposes good and really stated."―Kirkus Reviews
Ranging so far as the fox and as deep because the hedgehog (the urchin of his title), Stephen Jay Gould expands on geology, organic determinism, "cardboard Darwinism," and evolutionary conception during this glowing assortment.
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Extra resources for An Urchin in the Storm: Essays About Books and Ideas
Thomas V In Praise of Reason 14. Pleasant Dreams 15. The Perils of Hope 16. Utopia, Limited 17. Integrity and Mr. Rifkin 18. S. Army Teaching Manual is a compendium of wise and practical advice from an institution that surpasses all others (probably even the public schools, since most kids retain some spark of interest) in its need to foist information upon an unwilling and unresponsive audience. ” Yet I do not know how else to introduce a volume of book reviews (though my apology is only a tactical feint before the right cross of justification).
The storm of my title also, and obviously, has a negative meaning—but do remember that the hedgehog’s strategy of enrollment is no retreat or surrender: he presents a tough exterior, continues to prickle the enemy, and unrolls once again into glorious daylight. I do not underestimate the storm at several levels. Yet, as a card-carrying member of the guild of evolutionists, I must assert our primary ethic of valuing diversity in all its guises. Katisha noted that “there is beauty in the bellow of the blast and grandeur in the growling of the gale,” but the sad tale of little tit-willow then melted her hard heart.
The first two sections of this book group reviews that discuss the irreducibility of history (and the pleasures and challenges of contingency) in its two principal domains of life and the earth. The first section on evolution focuses upon structuralist and historicist alternatives to what I regard as the mistaken functionalist paradigm of adaptation that still shapes Darwinian theory, while (in striking irony) ripping from that theory the very theme—history itself—that defines the subject of life.
An Urchin in the Storm: Essays About Books and Ideas by Stephen Jay Gould