cover image The Common But Less Frequent Loon and Other Essays

The Common But Less Frequent Loon and Other Essays

Keith Stewart Thomson, Author, Linda P. Thomson, Illustrator Yale University Press $30 (192p) ISBN 978-0-300-05630-3

Among the topics addressed in this collection are the literature of science, the link between Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin's lost tree and the debate over dinosaur extinction. Biologist Thomson, a columnist for American Scientist , collects some of his essays from that magazine in three sections, each introduced by new articles. He observes loons on a northern lake and gives his version of the Piltdown Man hoax. He explores the relation between the humanities (scholarship) and science (research) and argues that science is not separate from other intellectual activities but is a great intellectual adventure in itself. He discusses the meanings of evolution and the role of paleontology in modern science. Fans of Stephen Jay Gould's writings will appreciate these stimulating observations. Illustrations. (Nov.)