[ExI] Books: The Mismeasure of Man

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Fri Sep 4 17:19:51 UTC 2009

> 2009/9/4<natasha at natasha.cc>:
>> Has anyone read The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould?

Of course, it's an important book, however controversial. I used a 
citation as an epigraph in my recent novel QUIPU:

"The spirit of Plato dies hard. We have been unable to escape the 
philosophical tradition that what we see and measure in the world is 
merely the superficial and imperfect representation of an underlying 
reality... The temptation to reify is powerful. The idea that we have 
detected something "underlying" the externalities of a large set of 
correlation coefficients, something perhaps more real than the 
superficial measurements themselves, can be intoxicating. It is Plato's 
::Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure of Man

A nifty little book is Dawkins vs Gould: Survival of the Fittest 
(Revolutions in Science)
by Kim Sterelny. You might also look at Andrew Brown's delicious The 
Darwin Wars (Simon&Schuster).

Damien Broderick

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