Punctuated Equilibrium in a new (sorta) book

If you have a subscription to New Scientist, you can read my review of Stephen Jay Gould’s latest book. “He’s dead!” you might say, but he does have a new book on the way, titled Punctuated Equilibrium(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll).

Actually, it’s not new — it’s simply chapter 9 of The Structure of Evolutionary Theory(amzn/b&n/abe/pwll) extracted and published as a stand-alone book. It tells you something about Structure that this actually works well!

If you don’t subscribe to New Scientist, the gist of the review is that it’s an excellent book, it’s actually much more digestible on its own, and that if you want a solid, meaty summary of the theory of punctuated equilibrium, this is it. It’s not a light book, though—there’s both a great amount of supporting data presented, and some weighty considerations of the implications of the theory.


  1. Adam Cuerden says

    It does sound like a good book. Though the very frank review of a creationist physicist’s book one page before your review was more fun.

  2. Nix says

    I’ll admit I had to check to make sure that PZ hadn’t managed to pen *two* back-to-back articles :)

  3. Ick of the East says

    “there’s both a great amount of supporting data presented”

    I think you meant to say, “a pathetic level of detail.”

  4. Oh, fishy, fishy, fishy, fish! says

    Dang! I just let my NS subscription get canceled. I tried harder than I should have to renew it, but the service, at least here in the US, is horrible. When I subscribed a bit more than a year ago, they gave me 2 subscriptions, and I was wondering why I was getting 2 same issues. I had to complain to them, and never got my money back.

    Now when I tried to renew, I couldn’t get into my account on their website, and when I called, a girl asked me to leave a message. Never got the call back. My emails went unanswered for weeks. I don’t know if I can blame those people, though, because from what I talked to the girl on the phone, it might just be one guy dealing with all this, but I don’t know.

    Has anyone else gotten some trouble like this? Should I only stick to Sci Am from now on? I have been thinking of giving NS another try.

  5. ferfuracious says

    The only real problem with the New Scientist is that you end up with hundreds of them because it’s weekly. I can’t turn over any object in my house without finding a NS mag or two underneath.

  6. quork says

    “He’s dead!” you might say, but he does have a new book on the way,

    He can battle it out for book sales with Carl Sagan.

  7. says

    Elliot Smith released a new record last week, too. it makes me sad that some people are more productive in death than i am in real life.

  8. says

    Oh, fishy, fishy, fishy, fish!:

    Yep, I had some problems similar to yours, including not being able to change my address on their website. Now that I have moved, it only seems to come once every two weeks…but I probably have to blame US Mail for that one. I wonder if I can blame the missing issues on the curiosity of my postperson?;0

    In any case, this works out just fine, since I still can get all the content online, and the weekly issues do not take over my house.