Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck?

David M. Raup, Author W. W. Norton & Company $19.95 (210p) ISBN 978-0-393-03008-2
Raup takes up a cocktail-party science topic--Why do entire branches of life ``suddenly'' (in geologic time) disappear?--and gives it weight and validity. Despite the catchy title, Raup's presentation is plenty rigorous, drawing in just enough geology, anthropology, biostatistics and yes, even the Alvarez meteor/earth cataclysm, to send readers looking for additional reading on current evolutionary theory. Fans of Stephen Jay Gould will find a similarly fluent and friendly lecture style here. University of Chicago professor Raup is coauthor of several standard graduate-level texts on paleontology and evolution. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Sept . )
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-393-30927-0
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