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A Tribute to Stephen Jay Gould

Gary Bennett

With the death of Stephen Jay Gould another candle has gone out.

Gould was a shining example of the Renaissance person our age so desperately needs.  He could speak authoritatively on science, music, literature, politics, and sports.  He always had an insight that provided a bright, new perspective.

I was privileged to hear him speak some years ago at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C.  Without notes he spoke for over an hour to a rapt, standing-room-only audience.  It was an unforgettable evening, a true intellectual feast.

Dr. Gould was scheduled to speak at BSU in October.  His insights on science (and on evolution in particular) would have been extremely beneficial in helping us resist the anti-science virus of creationism that threatens Idaho's students.

We had earlier lost luminaries like Carl Sagan and Isaac Asimov and now we have lost Stephen Jay Gould.  As the forces of darkness spin their treacherous webs, reaching out from bases in Teheran, Virginia Beach and Colorado Springs, we more than ever need the rational reasoned voices of people like Stephen Jay Gould.

We must continue to light candles of rational humanism against the faith-based blackness that threatens to snuff out the light of Western Civilization.

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