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Medicine And Books

Full House: The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin.

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 08 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:761
  1. Charles Weijer, bioethicist,
  1. Mount Sinai Hospital and University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics, Toronto, Canada

    Stephen Jay Gould / Harmony Books, $25, pp 244 ISBN 0 517 70394 7

    The median is not the message, and neither, says evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, is the mean or the maximum. To avoid erroneous conclusions about a “biological system”–be it baseball, life on earth, or cancer—you must examine the total variation within a system, the “full house” of all cases, and not merely one narrow aspect of it. Gould challenges two widely accepted claims. Firstly, that the decline this century of very …

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