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by STEPHEN JAY GOULD

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Author: STEPHEN JAY GOULD
ISBN: 0140135723
Language: English
Pages: 240 pages
Category: Earth Sciences
Publisher: PENGUIN BOOKS LTD; New Ed edition (1991)
Rating: 4.4
Formats: azw lit lrf mobi
FB2 size: 1771 kb | EPUB size: 1202 kb | DJVU size: 1425 kb
Sub: Math

In Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle Rarely has a scholar attained such popular acclaim merely by doing what he does best and enjoys most

In Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle Rarely has a scholar attained such popular acclaim merely by doing what he does best and enjoys most. But such is Stephen Jay Gould's command of paleontology and evolutionary theory, and his gift for brilliant explication, that he has brought dust and dead bones to life, and developed an immense following for the seeming arcana of this field.

Geological time, its enormousness and humankind's place in it, is the great intellectual contribution of geology

Geological time, its enormousness and humankind's place in it, is the great intellectual contribution of geology. In his latest book, Stephen Jay Gould shows us how its discovery embraced both time's cycle and time's arrow, and how, because these metaphors went unrecognized, we misinterpret geologic discoveries. Gould's style will be familiar to his readers―the historical snippets, the dichotomies, the odd and unusual, the common, the startling, and the contrary are all here. Jere H. Lipps, New Scientist.

In Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle his subject is nothing less than geology's signal contribution to human thought-the discovery of ''deep time,'' the vastness of earth's history, a history so ancient that we can comprehend it only as metaphor.

TIME'S ARROW, TIME'S CYCLE: Myth and Metaphor in the Discovery of Geological Time by Stephen Jay Gould. Harvard University Press, 1987. Man has been here 32,000 years. Stephen Jay Gould’s book Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle is an analysis of the history of this concept, the people and cultural forces that shaped our understanding of geological time. Published in 1987, it is not Gould’s most recent book, but its subject m atter seems to make such considerations incidental.

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Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle: Myth and Metaphor in the Discovery of Geological Time is a 1987 history of geology by the paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould.

In Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle his subject is nothing less than geology's signal contribution to human thought-the discovery of "deep time," the vastness of earth's history, a history so ancient that we can comprehend it only as metaphor. He follows a single thread through three documents that mark the transition in our thinking from thousands to billions of years: Thomas Burnet's four-volume Sacred Theory of the Earth (1680-1690), James Hutton's Theory of the Earth (1795), and Charles Lyell's three-volume Principles of Geology (1830-1833).

Time'S arrow, time's cycle At the end of time, the just rise to their beginning and reside in the bosom of Abraham.

Time'S arrow, time's cycle. Myth and Metaphor in the Discovery of Geological Time. The jerusalem-harvard lectures. Sponsored by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Harvard University Press. This book is a greatly elaborated and reworked version of the first series of Harvard-Jerusalem lectures, presented at Hebrew University in April 1985. Arthur Rosenthal, director of Harvard University Press, conceived this series and brought it to fruition-and to him as godfather my deepest thanks. At the end of time, the just rise to their beginning and reside in the bosom of Abraham.

Time's Arrow Time's Cycle written by Stephtn Jay Gould is a book that takes human thought to a new level in comprehending geology's .

Time's Arrow Time's Cycle written by Stephtn Jay Gould is a book that takes human thought to a new level in comprehending geology's vastness of history. the discovery of deep time. Gould works this book's major theme in the role of metaphor in the formulation and testing of scientific theories as the directionality (narrative history) of time's arrow or the immanence of time's cycle (immanent laws).

Rarely has a scholar attained such popular acclaim merely by doing what he does best and enjoys most. But such is Stephen Jay Gould's command of paleontology and evolutionary theory, and his gift for brilliant explication, that he has brought dust and dead bones to life, and developed an immense following for the seeming arcana of this field.

In Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle his subject is nothing less than geology's signal contribution to human thought--the discovery of "deep time," the vastness of earth's history, a history so ancient that we can comprehend it only as metaphor. He follows a single thread through three documents that mark the transition in our thinking from thousands to billions of years: Thomas Burnet's four-volume Sacred Theory of the Earth (1680-1690), James Hutton's Theory of the Earth (1795), and Charles Lyell's three-volume Principles of Geology (1830-1833).

Gould's major theme is the role of metaphor in the formulation and testing of scientific theories--in this case the insight provided by the oldest traditional dichotomy of Judeo-Christian thought: the directionality of time's arrow or the immanence of time's cycle. Gould follows these metaphors through these three great documents and shows how their influence, more than the empirical observation of rocks in the field, provoked the supposed discovery of deep time by Hutton and Lyell. Gould breaks through the traditional "cardboard" history of geological textbooks (the progressive march to truth inspired by more and better observations) by showing that Burnet, the villain of conventional accounts, was a rationalist (not a theologically driven miracle-monger) whose rich reconstruction of earth history emphasized the need for both time's arrow (narrative history) and time's cycle (immanent laws), while Hutton and Lyell, our traditional heroes, denied the richness of history by their exclusive focus upon time's Arrow.

Comments (7)
Vetalol
Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle - Stephen Jay Gould

I recently purchased a copy of Martin Rudwick's The Great Devonian Controversy, but was somewhat intimidated by its size, font and physical layout. To prepare myself mentally I decided to start by reading Stephen Jay Gould's Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle, which I imagined would be a more accessible introduction to some of the issues surrounding the discovery of Deep Time. And it was, although I was surprised to find that Gould's book is as much pure intellectual history as it is history of science.

As others have pointed out, Gould discusses three books written by three different geologists ranging from the 17th to 19th centuries, each describing the geologic history of the Earth from a different perspective. He uses these books to frame the discovery of Deep Time, the idea that Earth's age is measured not in mere thousands or millions of years, but in fact billions of years. He also uses these books to illuminate a discussion of two distinct world views of the Earth's geologic history, namely a linear, historical interpretation (Time's Arrow), versus a cyclical, non-directional interpretation (Time's Cycle). It is this latter aspect which I refer to as intellectual history. I shouldn't have been surprised. In his other books, Gould enjoys showing how general overarching principles can shed light on many aspects of the natural world, for example, he has invoked the relationship between volume and surface area to compare the smallest bacteria with the largest Gothic cathedrals. Other classic Gould themes are in evidence, including the rehabilitation of a longed mocked historical figure (Thomas Burnet), and the deflation of a current icon (Charles Lyell). He also shows us that scientists are not flawlessly objective beings who operate on a plane above ordinary mortals, but rather human beings influenced by the preconceptions of their own time and culture.

All in all a good read although I am not sure I am any readier to tackle Rudwick.
JoJogar
Most of us science majors learned somewhere along the line that advances in understanding the truly expansive timeline of geologic changes which occurred in the earth's history were necessary before scientists could support Darwin's proposal of evolution by natural selection. What Stephen Jay Gould shows us is that the process of advancements in scientific thought are rarely if ever a smooth step wise sequence of the discovery of new objective findings which are widely accepted and dramatically advance the movement toward accurate information about the world in which we live, In this case the concept of "deep time".

He reviews three historic geology texts: Thomas Burton's Sacred Theory of the Earth written in the 1680's (often cited as a voice of theological dogmatism); James Hutton's Theory of the Earth in the 1780's (often cited as using objective field work to break through centuries of "arm chair" speculation; and Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology in the 1830's (often cited as one of the first voices of enlightened modern thought on the subject). Gould tells us he read several editions of each of these volumes many times over before truly understanding what was being presented by the authors until he applied today's widely held concept of time moving in a continuous forward direction versus the largely ancient concept in time moving in an ongoing series of cycles, hence the name of the book.

I enjoyed Gould's book due to the detailed information related to the intellectual climate of the times in which the reviewed books were written, the palpable excitement he shares in his new found perspectives, the wealth of academic research Gould always exhibits as well as his gift of writing sentences that I envy (gee, I wish I could have said that).

If your main goal is to better understand the evolution of today's understanding of deep geologic or cosmic time involving literally billions of years move forward to Martin Rudwick's Earth's Deep History, University of Chicago Press, 2014. Meanwhile, anything by Stephen Jay Gould is worth reading for intellectual stimulation and his articulate presentation of new ideas.
Malhala
Interesting philosophical discussion of geologic time and uniformitarianism. A little difficult to read in places; wordy and redundant. But Gould makes some excellent points and obviously knows his subject.
Crazy
Does history repeat itself or does it generate a sequence of unique events? This is the fundamental question "Time's Arrow and Time's Cycle" asks. It is my third favourite Gould book, after "Wonderful Life" and "Bully for Brontosaurus". From a literary and philosophical point of view, it's possibly his best book, being more tightly focused than WL and more developed than the essays in BfB.

You'll find here many standard Gould devices such as fascinating segues and the rehabilitation of discredited thinkers. For instance we read the story of how James Hampton built his masterpiece, his throne to the glory of God, out of discarded junk (it's now at the Smithsonian). Gould also rehabilitates the 17th century thinker Thomas Burnet and his unsubstantiated cosmological theories. He also presents two more orthodox thinkers, James Hutton and Charles Lyell, and contrasts their gradual uniformitarianism with the sudden catastrophism of Burnet.

Gould explicitly dismisses Burnet's scientific credentials but still uses Burnet's vision as a starting point. It is by opposing Burnet to Hutton and Lyell that Gould asks the question as to what history is: repetive and uniform, or cyclical? The answer of course is a little of both. Again, Burnet's vision provides the clue to the answer. There are cycles, and within the cycle there are shocks and catastrophes. Or is it the other way around? Clearly Time is a difficult concept to grasp!

Vincent Poirier, Tokyo
Perius
Gould teaches on so many levels, how people eventually taught themselves how geological time works. Great science detective work.
Ahieones
good