Notes: 250 pages. The first publication of Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould's paper "Punctuated Equilibria: An Alternative to Phyletic Gradualism." This was one of Gould's major contributions to evolutionary theory and it remains a controversial one to this day. Gould and Eldredge propose that evolution is not gradual, rather, they argue, species develop rapidly, followed by long periods without marked change.
In his essays, Gould wrote that science was too biased toward definitive results, when the real world and most studies produced no results. "Over and over again in my career I have bashed my head against this wall of nonreporting... When Niles Eldridge and I proposed the theory of punctuated equilibrium in evolution we did so to grant stasis in phylogenetic lineages the status of 'worth reporting'—for stasis had previously been ignored as nonevidence of nonevolution, though all paleontologists knew its high relative frequency" (quoted from "Cardboard Darwinism" in Gould's An Urchin in the Storm).
This lardmark of evolution appeared in an otherwise minor collection of papers, bound in a cheap, drab binding. Despite its inauspicious beginnings, everyone working in evolutionary biology has had to grapple with its ideas and it launched the career of one of the best-known scientists of the 20th century.
Edition + Condition: First edition (first printing). A very good hardcover copy; no dust jacket, as issued. This was one of Stephen Jay Gould's own copies, with a posthumous tipped in bookplate indicating the provenance.
Intellectually, Gould understood the true nature of these bookplates, but the book collector in him appreciated them. In his essay "A Seahorse for All Races" Gould writes about one of his prized possessions, a book from Charles Dickens' library: "Dickens made no annotations, but a bookplate on the cover, presumably inserted as a come-on for a sale after Dickens' death in 1870, does prove that [he] kept and shelved the book." We offer our Gould bookplates, printed letterpress in two colors, in the same spirit.
Publication: San Francisco: Freeman Cooper & Company, 1972.
Item No: #6379