Elite[s] and elitists, Cooper and Others
ottertee at silverwinggraphics.com
Wed Nov 5 13:16:40 EST 2003
Charles Butler wrote:
>>The reason I was so outraged about Gould is that these people all live
>>practically within spitting distance of the Burgess Shale. Most of them
>>have seen it, been on it, or been past it. Since Gould is the man
>>responsible for its popularisation, I found it outrageous that they hadn't
>>heard of him.
> I love the idea of pre-Cambrian life forms suddenly being popular - just
> shows it's never too late for a comeback! But *Wonderful Life* is a great
> book, to be sure. And not without literary influence: at least, I have a
> theory that it's one of the key texts lying aback of Penelope Lively's book
> *Cleopatra's Sister*. (ObDWJ - Lively and DWJ overlapped at St Anne's
The scientists involved in the exploration of the Burgess Shale
changed their minds, you know. They decided that they didn't
have bunches of new life forms. There was quite a stink in the
evolutionary science community about it, and about Stephen J.
Gould's own status as an evolutionary scientist.
My personal take on it is this: I confess to never having made
it all the way through _Wonderful Life_, but in the early part,
where he was talking about the influence of scientific illustration,
I think he was making important points that are valid whether
the Burgess Shale was full of new life forms or not.
Also, he remains a great popular writer and historian of science,
whatever his failings.
To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at suberic.net with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at http://suberic.net/dwj/list/
More information about the Dwj