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Book Title: Fossils: The Evolution and Extinction of Species|
The author of the book: Niles Eldredge
ISBN 13: 9780691026954
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 9.93 MB
Edition: Princeton University Press
Date of issue: November 17th 1996
Read full description of the books:In this fascinating exploration of the fossil record, Niles Eldredge overturns the traditional view of evolution as a slow and inevitable process, and he shows that lifeforms generally do not evolve to any significant degree until after massive extinction. This rhythm of life a concept developed by Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould known as punctuated equilibria in evolution is revealed by the fossilized remains of the earth's ancient flora and fauna. Distinguished photographer Murray Alcosser augments Eldredge's text with 160 luminous color plates illustrating more than 250 different fossil specimens. In this new paperback edition, Fossils becomes an accessible text with appeal to a broad audience, including natural history readers and students."Fossils, with its stimulating text and the best photographs of fossils ever published, is indeed splendid." Ernest Mayr, author of "The Growth of Biological Thought" "Eldredge has cleverly combined our knowledge of living organisms with instructive insights into the fossil record to convincingly argue that evolution is, indeed, the grand unifying idea of biology." Donald C. Johanson, author of "Lucy: The Beginning of Humankind""Fossils goes a long way toward bridging the gap between information and aesthetic satisfaction.... More than a picture book: it is a readable and informative text on the history of life, its geology, biology, and anthropology. Living fossils, stratigraphy, extinction, and evolution are all here." New Scientist
Read information about the authorNiles Eldredge (born August 25, 1943) is an American biologist and paleontologist, who, along with Stephen Jay Gould, proposed the theory of punctuated equilibrium in 1972.
Eldredge began his undergraduate studies in Latin at Columbia University. Before completing his degree he switched to the study of anthropology under Norman D. Newell. It was at this time that his work at the American Museum of Natural History began, under the combined Columbia University-American Museum graduate studies program.
Eldredge graduated summa cum laude from Columbia College of Columbia University in 1965, and enrolled in the university's doctoral program while continuing his research at the museum. He completed his PhD in 1969.
In 1969, Eldredge became a curator in the Department of Invertebrates at the American Museum of Natural History, and subsequently a curator in the Invertebrate Paleontology section of Paleontology, a position from which he recently retired. He was also an Adjunct Professor at the City University of New York. His specialty was the evolution of mid-Paleozoic Phacopida trilobites: a group of extinct arthropods that lived between 543 and 245 million years ago.
Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould proposed punctuated equilibria in 1972. Punctuated equilibrium is a refinement to evolutionary theory. It describes patterns of descent taking place in "fits and starts" separated by long periods of stability.
Eldredge went on to develop a hierarchical vision of evolutionary and ecological systems. Around this time, he became focused on the rapid destruction of many of the world's habitats and species.
Throughout his career, he has used repeated patterns in the history of life to refine ideas on how the evolutionary process actually works. Eldredge is proponent of the importance of environment in explaining the patterns in evolution.
Eldredge is a critic of the gene-centric view of evolution. His most recent venture is the development of an alternative account to the gene-based notions of evolutionary psychology to explain human behavior.
He has published more than 160 scientific articles, books, and reviews, including Reinventing Darwin, an examination of current controversies in evolutionary biology, and Dominion, a consideration of the ecological and evolutionary past, present, and future of Homo sapiens.
Eldredge enjoys playing jazz trumpet and is an avid collector of 19th century cornets. He shares his home in Ridgewood, New Jersey with his wife and more than 500 cornets. He also has two sons, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren.
Eldredge possesses a chart of the historical development of cornets (the musical instruments), which he uses as a comparison with that of the development of trilobites. The differences between them are meant to highlight the failures of intelligent design by comparing a system that is definitely designed, with a system that is not designed.
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