The Meaning of Evolution (1951) PDF by George Gaylord Simpson

The Meaning of Evolution (A Special Revised and Abridged Edition) 

The Meaning of Evolution


This is a profound and stimulating study of the entire span of life on earth, written by a leading scientist, Dr George Gaylord Simpson, chairman of the Department of Geology and Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History. Dr Simpson answers, simply and straightforwardly, the fundamental questions about the evolution of life and its meaning in terms of man’s nature, ethical standards and destiny.

The present book is an abridgement and revision of “ The Meaning of Evolution: A Study of the History of Life and of its Significance for Man,” published by Yale University Press, to which the reader is referred for a more complete discussion of certain points than is possible in this shorter book. That book was an expansion of the twenty-fifth series of Terry Lectures, delivered by the author at Yale University. Thanks are due to the Dwight Harrington Terry Foundation and to Yale University Press for the opportunity to present “The Meaning of Evolution” to the public and now to present a shortened and somewhat altered version of it to a still wider audience.


some contents:


1. Examples of the most important basic types,
phyla, of animals 16
2. The broad outlines of the historical record of life 18
3. The broad outlines of the historical record of the vertebrates 20
4. Basic adaptive radiation in the reptiles 22
5. Adaptive radiation of the dinosaurs 23
6. Representatives of the main groups of primates 24
7. A representation of primate history and the
origin of man 25
8. The evolution of the horse family 33
9. A hypothetical example of known facts of animal
history and various ways of interpreting them 36
10. Skulls of sabre-toothed “tigers” 43
11. Evolution of a coiled oyster, Gryphaea 47
12. Evolution of titanothere horns 48
13. Heads of the principal types of antelopes
in the Belgian Congo 55
14. Some light-receiving organs or photoreceptors 59
15. Continuation of fig. 14, some advanced types
of image-forming eyes 60
16. Some convergent types among North and
South American mammals 66
17. Different sorts of wings 68
18. Relationships between divergence and con-
vergence in adaptive evolution 69
19. Divergent, opportunistic formation of flesh-
cutting (carnassial) teeth in carnivores 74
20. Some of the “immortals” 75
21. • A few ammonites 82
22. An example of “Williston’s law” 118 


    the book details :
  • Author: George Gaylord Simpson
  • Publication date: 1951

  • Download 6 MB

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