Stephen Jay Gould
1941 - 2002
(Cartoon by kind permission of the artist Tony Auth)
"Humans are not the end result of predictable evolutionary progress, but rather a fortuitous cosmic afterthought, a tiny little twig on the enormously arborescent bush of life, which if replanted from seed, would almost surely not grow this twig again."
-- Stephen Jay Gould
"Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists—whether through design or stupidity, I do not know—as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups."
--Stephen Jay Gould, Evolution as Fact and Theory, Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes: Further Reflections in Natural History, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1994, p. 260
There is no doubting that Stephen Jay Gould was an outstanding scientist and educator. His contribution to scientific debate cannot be over emphasised. He was a prolific writer (a link to his books is below) and won countless awards for his essays and books. Not least among his many achievements was his vigorous defence of science from the onslaughts of creationists who, in typical fashion, chose to denigrate him in death as they have so many other scientists. A link to some typical creationists' comments is below.
There have been many tributes paid to the late Stephen Jay Gould. Below are links to just a few of them as well as some of Gould's writing.
An Australian Skeptic's Tribute to Stephen Jay Gould
A Tribute from the Science Show on ABC's Radio National
Garry Bennett's Tribute
Popular Science's Obituary (off site)
Harvard University Gazzette Obituary (off site)
Urchin in a Haystack (off site)
An Interview by Michael Shermer
The Survival of the Fittest - Stephen Jay Gould in London (off site)
The Origin of Specious (off site)
Evolution as Fact and Theory (off site)
The Unofficial Steven J. Gould Archive
I Have Landed (off site)
Some Creationists' Comments
Books by Stephen Jay Gould (off site)
Stephen Jay Gould: Dialectical Biologist (off site)