January Books 7) The Panda’s Thumb, by Steven Jay Gould

Collection of essays on evolutionary biology by Gould, which topped the non-fiction section of this poll. Some of these pieces are a bit dated (not so surprising in a book published in 1980); his rather daring efforts to finger Teilhard de Chardin as a participant in the Piltdown Man hoax were easily refuted by the first researcher to check the documentary evidence. But his thoughts on punctuated equilibrium are pretty convincing, as is his (less developed here) criticism of Dawkins for obsessing about genes rather than individuals. And his essay on heartbeats and breaths in the lifespan of a mammal was very sobering.

Top LibraryThing Unsuggestion: Blue Like Jazz, by Donald Miller – I read this after it figured in a couple of other unsuggestions, and was deeply unimpressed.

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1 Response to January Books 7) The Panda’s Thumb, by Steven Jay Gould

  1. secritcrush says:

    This appeared on the day and Ian Whates made the following comment in Paul Cornell’s Facebook page (again, on the day)

    ” Plenty to say, Paul, plenty… Some of it will even be in public. Words such as ‘sorry’ and ‘apology’ may well feature, along with phrases such as ‘personal opinions should not be expressed via accounts directly associated with the BSFA’. There’ll be other words too, but they may not be in public.”

    So from the outside, the BSFA condemnation was quite swift. I get that there was a formal, official apology three days later, but the BSFA stance was clear right from the get go.

    Perhaps I have missed it, but so far all I’ve heard is crickets from folk who speak from an official capacity. And unpleasantness from those who do not.

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