Author(s): Stephen Jay Gould
Leonardo's Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Wormsis the newest collection of best-selling scientist Stephen Jay Gould's popular essays fromNatural Historymagazine (the longest-running series of scientific essays in history). It is also the first of the final three such collections, since Dr. Gould has announced that the series will end with the turn of the millennium. In this collection, Gould consciously and unconventionally formulates a humanistic natural history, a consideration of how humans have learned to study and understand nature, rather than a history of nature itself. With his customary brilliance, Gould examines the puzzles and paradoxes great and small that build nature's and humanity's diversity and order. In affecting short biographies, he depicts how scholars grapple with problems of science and philosophy as he illuminates the interaction of the outer world with the unique human ability to struggle to understand the whys and wherefores of existence.