Full House

  • by Stephen Jay Gould
  • Narrated by Efrem Zimbalist
  • 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

We have always identified trends as bad (loosening of the moral fiber) or good (better ethnic eating in urban areas). But Stephen Jay Gould argues that this mode of interpretation is a bias that needs correcting. In Full House, Gould presents the truth about progress, evolution, and excellence, as well as a different way to understand trends other than as entities moving in a definite direction. Gould examines how the misinterpretation of data and statistics can result in bad science and social policy, while focusing on the nature of excellence from Plato to Darwin and the misconception that progress is inevitable.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

One of my favoritess

Stephen J Gould requires a little getting used to, but once you do you may really love his work.

This collection is largely focused around a single point, understanding "excellence" from a system point of view. The various topics seem at first unrelated, but he weaves them into a net so tight that you will be completely convinced of his conclusion be the time he is finished.

This book is not for everyone, but I would reccomend it strongly for those interested in Paleontology or evolution. I have listened to it three times now, since I fist downloaded it 2 years ago. Each time I enjoy it.
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- Erik

Words, Words, and more Words

As a member of the Skeptic Society, I had heard much about the accomplishments of S. J. Gould. This was my first attempt to acquaint myself directly with his work, and it will be my last. While he may have been a fine scientist, his writing leaves much to be desired. He can't merely make a statement just once. Rather, he seems to need to repeat himself ad nauseum. The section devoted to the demise of the 0.400 hitter in baseball could have been expressed in about 15 minutes. He manages to consume something close to 60 minutes (maybe more) to make his point. Frankly, this book (which, to my irritation, was constantly described as an 'audiocassette') is simply boring. His goal in writing it was to disprove the idea that the process of evolution involves progression. He does not truly begin his discussion of his principle focus until more than half of the book is done. He spends an inordinate amount of time describing the appropriate statistical methods necessary to prove his assertion. Long-winded speakers have often been described as 'in love with their own voice'. I truly believe that Mr. Gould was enamoured with his word-processing program. Why else would he have filled his pages with so many unnecessary words?
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- P. Hoppe "science nut"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-16-1999
  • Publisher: Phoenix Books