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The Lying Stones of Marrakech: Penultimate…

The Lying Stones of Marrakech: Penultimate Reflections in Natural History (original 2000; edition 2001)

by Stephen Jay Gould

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Title:The Lying Stones of Marrakech: Penultimate Reflections in Natural History
Authors:Stephen Jay Gould
Info:Three Rivers Press (2001), Paperback
Collections:Your library

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The Lying Stones of Marrakech: Penultimate Reflections in Natural History by Stephen Jay Gould (2000)

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
A landmark book - fluid account of scientific discovery ( )
  ToniRy | Jul 26, 2013 |

I was a little disappointed at this book at first. It had been so long since I read the last in the series. I'd always found his essays inspirational. They are as always very informative and insightful, but these seemed more tedious than previous ones. Perhaps my tastes have changed over the decades I've been reading Gould's essays. It took me half the book to get into it. The last three essays were the Stephen Jay Gould I remembered and saved the collection for me. ( )
  clmerle | Apr 2, 2013 |
The usual Gould. Erudite prose, vastly cultured knowledge and insightful analogies. He cares about science and about getting it right, and he makes the fine points accessible and consequential. ( )
  rsubber | Nov 10, 2012 |
Natural history > Popular works/Evolution (Biology) > Popular works
  Budzul | Jun 1, 2008 |
It's a Gould, so it's interesting. I liked the essay(s) about the Lying Stones - interesting reflections on various levels of scam and handiwork. I don't remember (even immediately after reading it) what other essays are in this one, though I enjoyed reading it. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | May 19, 2008 |
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For Jack Sepkoski (1948-1999),
who brought me one of the greatest possible joys
a teacher can ever earn or experience:
to be surpassed by his students.
Offspring should not predecease their parents,
and students should outlive their teachers.
The times may be out of joint,
but Jack was born to set the order of life's history right -
and he did!
First words
In the fall of 1973, I received a call from Alan Ternes, editor of Natural History magazine.

We tend to think of fakery as an activity dedicated to minor moments of forgivable fun (from the whoopie cushion to the squirting lapel flower), or harmless embellishment (from my grandfather's vivid eyewitness tales of the Dempsey-Firpo fight he never attended, to the 250,000 people who swear they were there when Bobby Thomson hit his home run in a stadium with a maximum capacity of some fifty thousand).

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"All of the essays in this work were previously published by Natural History magazine"
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0609807552, Paperback)

Celebrated paleontologist and science writer Stephen Jay Gould has honed and matured his voice over almost 30 years of writing for Natural History. His tenure at that magazine closes with the end of the century, so The Lying Stones of Marrakech is his next-to-last collection of essays from this era. As ever, his works are clever, thoughtful, and inspiring; however, the longtime reader will detect a deeper reflection and a longer view taken by Gould in latter days, perhaps inevitable outcomes of experience and growth. The title essay refers to false fossils carved by Moroccans intent on making a few bucks off of hapless tourists, discusses the case of Beringer's 18th-century fossil hoax, and ends with a plea for a stricter separation between commercial and scientific interests--showing the breadth and scope of his paleontological interests and thinking.

Of course, he also has much to say beyond the confines of his profession: Joe DiMaggio and Dolly the sheep each get respectful treatment from the Gould pen, and he discusses the competing Christian groups sharing the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Though his attitudes may have mellowed over time--he's far from the crotchety oldster some feared he'd become--his passion for knowledge and scientific freedom is still radiant. Whether you're an old-school fan of Gould's writings or a newcomer to his delightfully brainy essays, you'll find The Lying Stones of Marrakech a joy to behold. --Rob Lightner

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:22 -0400)

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