Dinosaur in a Haystack (1995) is the seventh volume of collected essays by the Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould. The essays were culled from his monthly column "The View of Life" in Natural History magazine, which Gould contributed for 27 years. The book deals typically in discursive fashion with themes familiar to Gould's writing: evolution, science biography, probabilities, and common sense. One essay analyzes the controversial conchology textbook, The Conchologist's First Book, edited by Edgar Allan Poe in 1839.
From Publishers Weekly
||In his seventh volume of witty and erudite essays, Gould casts a wide net, though he always returns to the central theme of evolution. His topics are diverse: Edgar Allan Poe's bestseller, a textbook on shells; Alfred, Lord Tennyson's In Memoriam as an account of the psychology of mourning; the infamous Wannsee Protocol, Hitler's plan for the "final solution of the Jewish question." Gould is a master of making connections--Linnaeus and Erasmus Darwin (Charles's grandfather), the Razumosky brothers, Aleksei and Andrei; King Lear and the importance of negative results. He discusses evolutionary spin-doctoring, fossil whales, movies (Jurassic Park), museums and theme parks. As might be expected, Gould takes a swipe at creationists. Dinosaur measures up in every way to Bully for Brontosaurus; readers will not be disappointed.