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Daniel Nettle
Icon Review
Paul R. Gross

Kim Sterelny

Dawkins vs Gould

The names of Richard Dawkins and Stephen J Gould will be familiar to readers of popular science books, but sometimes its difficult to place the two in context. Dawkins is responsible for some provocative work, such the idea of the 'selfish' gene, but his view seems to be the one adopted by the mainstream. Gould on the other hand seems more moderate and conciliatory in his books, but has sometimes been seen as a thorn in the side of the scientific establishment, with his ideas of punctuated equilibrium. This book summarises the positions of these two famous biologists and does an excellent job in providing the required context.

However, I didn't feel that the book provided evidence of great disagreements between the two scientists. Partly this is due to the passage of time, which allows discordant views to be accepted into the mainstream. But I think there is always the temptation to make more of such disagreements than is really there. In the book only the last couple of chapters deal with the supposed antagonism. Sterelny is a supporter of Dawkins, but this means he assumes that his ideas are the same as Dawkins, rather than quoting what he has actually written. So to me it seemed more a case of Sterelny vs Gould.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 155 pages  
ISBN: 1840462493
Salesrank: 3326588
Weight:0.36 lbs
Published: 2001 Totem Books
Marketplace:New from $12.00:Used from $1.41
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 192 pages  
ISBN: 1840464712
Salesrank: 9423189
Weight:1.74 lbs
Published: 2005 Icon Books Ltd
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Amazon.ca info
Paperback 160 pages  
ISBN: 1840462493
Salesrank: 2851305
Weight:0.36 lbs
Published: 2001 Icon Books
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 51.70:Used from CDN$ 0.01
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Product Description
Over the last twenty years, Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould have engaged in a savage battle over evolution that shows no sign of waning. Sterelny moves beyond caricature to expose the real differences between the conceptions of evolution of these two leading scientists. Australian author.