The Crucible of Creation

The Crucible of Creation : The Burgess Shale and the Rise of Animals

3.97 (106 ratings on Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$18.95

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Description

'tells a great story and manages to be informative at all levels. Conway Morris has a collector's eye for the sort of entertaining yet informative snippets that keep readers on their toes.' New Scientist Located in the west of Canada, the Burgess Shale contains a unique collection of fossil remains, and has become an icon for those studying the history of life. This remarkable book takes us on a fresh journey back in time through the Burgess Shale and its astonishing collection of pre-Cambrian creatures. In an entertaining and readable style, Simon Conway Morris paints a vivid picture of the critical period which saw the diversification of all the major animal groups, and takes a controversial stance on current evolutionary theories that is sure to provoke much interest and debate. 'It is less bleak in its assessment of life on earth and it is spiritually uplifting, rather than dry and mechanistic as some would have us believe' THES 'The centerpiece of The Crucible of Creation is a description, authoritative and readable, of the animals themselves. New York Times Book Reviewshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 128 x 192 x 18mm | 199.58g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 4 colour plates, halftones, line drawings
  • 0192862022
  • 9780192862020
  • 440,905

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION; 1. SETTING THE SCENE; 2. THE DISCOVERY OF THE BURGESS SHALE; 3. JOURNEY TO THE BURGESS SHALE; 4. THE SEARCH FOR NEW BURGESS SHALES; 5. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BURGESS SHALE; 6. THE ORIGIN OF PHYLA; 7. OTHER WORLDS; 8. THE LAST WORD; ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS; APPENDIX 1: FURTHER READING; APPENDIX 2: EXHIBITIONS; APPENDIX 3: LOCALITIES; GLOSSARY; INDEX.show more

Review quote

'tells a great story and manages to be informative at all levels. New Scientist spiritually uplifting THES The centerpiece of The Crucible of Creation is a descripion, authoritative and readable, of the animals themselves New York Times Book Reviewshow more

About Simon Conway Morris

Simon Conway Morris is Professor of Palaeontology in the Department of Earth Sciences at Cambridge. He was one of the team of three scientists who uncovered many of the fossils and worked on the interpretation of the Burgess Shale in the 1970s, for which work Stephen Jay Gould said "Palaeontology has no Nobel prizes though I would unhesitatingly award the first to Whittington, Briggs, and Conway Morris. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1990, and presented the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures in 1996. His search for fossils has taken him all over the world, including China, Mongolia, Australia, and Greenland.show more

Review Text

The Burgess Shale is a layer of rock that is a treasure trove for palaeontology. Here are detailed fossils of a host of weird and wonderful beasts that lived 500 million years ago. Many look like nothing that now lives on Earth; they had to be painstakingly reconstructed from shiny grey impressions within slabs of flaky grey stone by scientists like Conway Morris, a Professor at Cambridge University. He writes in an erudite, thorough and authoritative style. And while welcoming the attention given to the Burgess Shale by Stephen Jay Gould's book, Wonderful Life, he suggests that 'several of the claims made by Gould are perhaps exaggerated, and that some of them may be either incorrect or simply uninteresting'. Then he tells you why. It is great to have a ringside seat at a good scientific scrap, and this is one of the best. The Crucible of Creation is not as easy a read as Wonderful Life but it certainly leaves you with the feeling that its author has won this round, at least. Editor's note: Dr Sue Bowler is the editor of Astronomy and Geographysics, the journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, and works at the School of Earth Sciences at Leeds University. (Kirkus UK)show more
Book ratings on Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X