PDF book:The Meaning of Evolution (A Special Revised and Abridged Edition) (1951)

Download The Meaning of Evolution (A Special Revised and Abridged Edition) (1951) PDF book by George Gaylord Simpson.

The book will try to illustrate the meaning of the evolution in easy language and with illustrations

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.

He follows the rise and fall of the dynasties of life through the two billion years of the history of the earth and explains clearly and concisely the modern views on the principles of evolution. "This masterly book . . . should rank as one of the triumphs of science popularization of our time. The author, a leading paleontologist, has written the first adequate account for laymen of present-day evolutionary thinking, avoiding technical jargon without sacrificing either clarity or the stamp of authority .” — The New Yorker Dr. Simpson was graduated from Yale in 1923 and received his Ph.D. from Yale in 1926.

 He is a member of the National Academy of Science, the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Science, the Society for the Study of Evolution, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and many others. He is the author of more than 350 articles and several books. The original edition of this book was published by Yale University Press.

The present book is an abridgment 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.

In this version, Part I of the original book, constituting nine chapters on “The Course of Evolution,” has been radically abridged. The nine chapters give some detail regarding geological time, the fossil record, and the factual reconstruction of the history of life. This presentation of evidence is now condensed to the barest summary in Chapter I of the present book, in order to leave space for emphasis, in a shorter presentation, on the interpretation and significance of evolution. The seven chapters of Part II, ‘The Interpretation of Evolution,” and the four chapters of Part III, “Evolution, Humanity, and Ethics,” from “The Meaning of Evolution” are here presented without noteworthy abridgment. Some passages have been slightly changed, but the discussion and conclusions remain essentially as first written. Thanks are again due to Drs. E. H. Colbert, N. D. Newell, A. Roe, and B. Schaeffer, who read and criticized the manuscript of the earlier, full version, and to J. C. Germann and N. Altshuler, who prepared the illustrations. Although it is not practical to list all their names, I now also wish to add thanks to the many authorities in various fields who have discussed “The Meaning of Evolution” with me since its publication, and also to reviewers who wrote constructive criticisms of that work.

George Gaylord Simpson
 Publication Date:1951

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