Monday, May 25, 2009

George Gaylord Simpson

I have a new favorite book: The Dechronization of Sam Magruder by George Gaylord Simpson (1902-1984). Simpson was an influential American paleontologist who was professor of zoology at Columbia University, curator of geology and paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History, curator of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard, and professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona. Museums, animals, fossils - what's not to like? - and he looks rather endearing, too! He said, "I don't think that evolution is supremely important because it is my specialty; it is my specialty because I think it is supremely important." And he wrote several books, but only one piece of fiction: this novella, which was published after his death. I usually don't go in much for fiction - much less science fiction - but this is about time travel back to the time of dinosaurs without being cheesy. I don't want to give away the good parts, but if this has piqued your interest, you can order a used copy from an Amazon seller for a penny! Or, you can read it on Google Books.
And if you are interested in evolution and fossils, don't miss "The Link," which premieres on the History Channel at 9pm tonight. It's about the 47-million-year-old primate fossil you may have seen on the news:

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