A Wonderfull Life by Stephen Jay Gould

Essay by RuNaWaYJunior High, 9th gradeA+, November 1996

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This was a Book report. I kinda BS'd it. But I got an A. Very Good

Name: Wonderful Life

Date: 1989

Publisher: W. W. Norton and Company, Inc.

Pages: 322 (Not including Bibliography and Index)

This book written by Stephen Jay Gould is about the concepts of evolution based on the findings in the Burgess Shale that was found in Yoho National Park in British Columbia, Canada. The organisms that were found here at first by C.D. Walcott in the early 1908-09. At first Walcott placed these organisms into phyla that were present at the time. Years later though two expeditions were released one by the Canadians and one by the Americans the purpose of both was to follow up Walcott's research. In these expeditions the scientists started to discover that these species didn't belong in the phylum's they had been placed but in fact made up their own phylum's.

This is where we are today and this is the setting for this book.

First the book talks about what evolution is and the major misconceptions in the evolutionary process in the beginning. It shows at first how evolution is not a ladder but a tree. It brings up how the media always shows the evolution of man in a ladder form one after another after another. This seams to make you think that evolution occurred in a straight line. The problem is it didn't, evolution occurred in a tree shape. Sending branches off in different directions and all the time braking. Not always a straight brake but sometimes one moving a way. All the time though reaching forward towards the sun. Never retracing its track. Always evolving. This is shown by Stephen Jay Gould by bringing forward some of the media's ways of using the ladder approach.