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Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History Summary
Stephen Jay Gould

Everything you need to understand or teach Wonderful Life (book) by Stephen Jay Gould.

  • Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History Summary & Study Guide
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  • 30 Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History Lessons
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Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History Summary

Plot Summary

Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History focuses on a limestone quarry high in the Canadian Rockies known as the Burgess Shale. The Burgess Shale formed 530 million years ago and contains fossils of creatures from an incredibly ancient sea, where a plethora of frighteningly alien creatures lived and died. Stephen Jay Gould, the famous paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and science journalist uses the Burgess Shale as a method of teaching the reader about the animals found therein and the evolution of our understanding of these animals' relationships to the organisms of today. However, he has a further purpose as well. He believes that the story of how scientists came to classify the animals of the Burgess Shale can shed light on the nature of history.

The man who discovered the Burgess Shale in 1909, Charles Doolittle Walcott, understood evolution as a gradual, steady progression from primitive, precursor...

(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

The Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History Study Pack contains about 81 pages of study material in 9 products, including:

Wonderful Life Study Guide

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Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History Lesson Plans contain 124 pages of teaching material, including:

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