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Foreword: This Was a Man, by Stephen Jay GouldThe Editor's Introduction, by John Tyler Bonner--On Growth and Form [Abridged]Index
This book is a meticulous work that's both thought provoking and inspiring in its scope. There are plenty of profound, even poetic, insights scattered throughout a density of seemingly sterile precision. An especially interesting holism can be found in the chapter titled 'On the Theory of Transformations, or the Comparison of Related Forms' : "With the 'characters' of Mendelian genetics there is no fault to be found; tall and short, rough and smooth, plain or coloured are opposite tendencies or
I tend to despise hard science and life science, I hold it in much less favor than social sciences. I'm rarely a reader of scientific tracts. The ones I have read, have usually proved edifying and informative but never electrifying or enthralling. Welcome to one of the rare exceptions to that rule. This book is one such; and you will find it so, as well. It more than lives up to its glowing reputation; in just the first chapter --and barely thirty pages in--I find my eyes wide as saucers and goo...
"On Growth and Form" is a brilliant piece of scientific literature written by a true renaissance man. This remarkably varied book describes the wondrous diversity of patterns we see in nature, yet helps us to see the unity in their origins, through detailed explanations of the simple, common rules that govern the development and structure of all living organisms. Written in 1917, "On Growth and Form" was ahead of its time, and was surely a seminal piece in the development of complexity theory an...
This is one of the most beautifully written works of science that I have had the luxury of reading, the prose style comparable to Gould at his best but with some of the clarity of Dawkins. It is also lavishly illustrated. Unfortunately, the author seems to have been a bit of an evolution-sceptic, and while he does not come out and say so, it is indicated in the introduction that he intended his principles to stand as an alternative explanation for structures in nature.Thompson's drive, however,
A beautiful and bountiful book, I have spent many hours since reading it the first time just looking at the pictures.
I read the modern reprint by Dover. I highly recommend this classic book, but I also recommend anyone avoid the Canto abridged edition pictured here.
A science classic. The meaning of form. Invention of chaos: A science masterpiece. Written during WWI, revised during WW2. An amazing amount of knowledge, viewed through the eyes of an incredibly perceptive scholar and scientist. Early 20th century writing style. Greek, Latin, French and German citations. From the prefatory note: "an easy introduction to the study of organic Form, by methods which are the common places of physical science, which are by no means novel in their application to natu...
One of my double armful of totally mind blowing books on my shelves!
This is the classic on the subject
This may be the most monumental read of my adult life. This book is not for the faint of heart. But, oh, the miracle that is this book. The work is considered by many to be the greatest work of scientific literature of the 20th century.One note: I read the abridged version which is a mere 321 pages in comparison to the 1100+ page full version. But as Stephen Jay Gould wrote in his jewel of an introduction:"Much as it must pain any scholar and publisher of integrity to abridge such a work (for su...
This is an abridged version; the 1942 edition is over a thousand pages. The editor has taken advantage of the abridgement to cut out passages he considers outdated. The book is apparently considered a classic of sorts; it deals with the growth and forms of living organisms, from microbial life to the bones and skeletons of larger animals in terms of mathematical and physical patterns. It was actually quite interesting; although the author occasionally engages in polemics against "natural select
Many of you consider yourselves readers, but no one can call himself/herself a reader if they have not thoroughly made their way through this ergodic text. Consider the following inviting attributions which one will find in the course of a leisurely afternoon lakeside: 1. Citation: The author's analysis of H. Dreisch's teaching on Entelechy to the Lutheran reformer Melanchthon, page 5, "the soul is not a substance but an entelecheia" (using the Greek). This is congruent with Claude Bernard's "fo...
It is basically a Bible, a Holy Grail for the study of Morphogenesis and understanding the patterns in nature. It is poetic, it is almost mystical and religious, it is artistic, it is science, it talks about complexity, it is a masterpiece and it has been a compass for my passion in biologic design and nature geometry
Never read end-to-end but have worked sections over the years. The conceit is remarkable -- applying mathematical language to the changes organic morphology over time and across species. A different kind of Origin Of The Species.
Really nice work on mathematical biology, must-read for everyone who wants to learn about patterns that emerge in Nature. On the whole, the book focuses on empirical and analytical studies of emergent biological phenomena.
1961 version, abridged
Highly recommended for anyone interested in explaining natural phenomena. The author takes us on a journey at the interface between biology and physics, and also of his mind! Of course, the entire book is speculative. However, I think that the book is a perfect example of how to generate curiosity about a particular topic. It has greatly impacted my thinking.
A classic. Ties to natural history... In fact I was turned onto this by Stephen Jay Gould who penned monthly essays in Natural History (the Journal)for most of his adult life. The test goes back a ways and is not accessible to the average modern reader. Its scope is broad, but it can get rather dry for the uninitiated.
Notesa surface such that 1/r+1/r'=C, in other words a surface which has the same mean curvature at all points, is equivalent to a surface of minimal area for the volume enclosedthe sphere is also, of all posssible figures, that which encloses teh greatest volume with the least area of surface; it is strictly and absolutely the surface of minimal area, and it is
I'm basically calling it quits on this one. The first several chapters are of especial interest, but I find that he gets really bogged down towards the end. There are better and more easily read books on the same subject, all of which obviously owe a great debt to this one, for example Life's Devices by Steven Vogel.
Still haven't found a bad book from the Canto line of Cambridge Publishing, and this one looks to continue the strong trend. I saw this at Borders the other day, and DJ's addition reminded me I ought pick this up and take a look...
this was a great read. insightful. poetic. timeless.
Great book. I get the overall idea. But really hard to read. Need patience.
Read years ago in grad school. I love this one.
Pretty book. Pretty pretty book. Sometimes the math lost me, but his descriptions of bees building their hives, and the like are astounding portraits of nature.