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Eternal Ephemera
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Eternal Ephemera: Adaptation and the Origin of Species from the Nineteenth Century Through Punctuated Equilibria and Beyond

Niles Eldredge


This book follows the development of evolutionary science over the past two hundred years. It highlights the fact that life endures even though all organisms and species are transitory or ephemeral. It goes on to explain that the extinction and evolution of species—interconnected in the web of life as “eternal ephemera”—are key concerns of evolutionary biology. The book begins in France with the naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, who in 1801 first framed the overarching question about the emergence of new species. It moves on to the Italian geologist Giambattista Brocchi who brought in ideas fr ... More

Keywords: evolutionary science, biology, geology, paleontology, Giambattista Brocchi, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Charles Darwin, George Simpson, Steven Jay Gould, Beagle

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780231153164
Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015 DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231153164.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Niles Eldredge, author