Stephen Jay Gould Quotes

Stephen Jay Gould Quotes: Even the standard example of ancient nonsense - the debate about angels on pinheads - makes sense once you realize that theologians were not discussing whether five or eighteen would fit, but whether a pin could house a finite or an infinite number.
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Stephen Jay Gould Quote: If we choose a weak and foolish speculation as a primary textbook illustration (falsely assuming that the tale possesses a weight of history and a sanction of evidence), then we are in for trouble - as critics properly nail the particular weakness, and then assume that the whole theory must be in danger if supporters choose such a fatuous case as a primary illustration.
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Quotes about Stephen Jay Gould: Creationist critics often charge that evolution cannot be tested, and therefore cannot be viewed as a properly scientific subject at all. This claim is rhetorical nonsense.
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Quote about Stephen Jay Gould: Iconography becomes even more revealing when processes or concepts, rather than objects, must be depicted for the constraint of a definite
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Stephen Jay Gould Sayings: When we look to presumed sources of origin for competing evolutionary explanations of the giraffe's long neck, we find either nothing at all, or only the shortest of speculative conjectures. Length, of course, need not correspond with importance. Garrulous old Polonius , in a rare moment of clarity, reminded us that
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Stephen Jay Gould Saying: I would rather label the whole enterprise of setting a biological value upon groups for what it is: irrelevant, intellectually unsound, and highly injurious.
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Sayings about Stephen Jay Gould: We have become, by the power of a glorious evolutionary accident called intelligence, the stewards of life's continuity on earth. We did not ask for this role, but we cannot abjure it. We may not be suited to it, but here we are.
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Saying about Stephen Jay Gould: Among people I have met, the few whom I would term
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Stephen Jay Gould Quotes: The basic formulation, or bare-bones mechanics, of natural selection is a disarmingly simple argument, based on three undeniable facts (overproduction of offspring, variation, and heritability) and one syllogistic inference (natural selection, or the claim that organisms enjoying differential reproductive success will, on average, be those variants that are fortuitously better adapted to changing local environments, and that these variants will then pass their favored traits to offspring by inheritance).
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Stephen Jay Gould Quote: The more important the subject and the closer it cuts to the bone of our hopes and needs, the more we are likely to err in establishing a framework for analysis.
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Quotes about Stephen Jay Gould: It seems the height of antiquated hubris to claim that the universe carried on as it did for billions of years in order to form a comfortable abode for us. Chance and historical contingency give the world of life most of its glory and fascination. I sit here happy to be alive and sure that some reason must exist for
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Quote about Stephen Jay Gould: Evolution has encountered no intellectual trouble; no new arguments have been offered. Creationism is a home-grown phenomenon of American sociocultural history-a splinter movement ... who believe that every word in the Bible must be literally true, whatever such a claim might mean.
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Stephen Jay Gould Sayings: Current utility and historical origin are different subjects.
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Stephen Jay Gould Saying: It has become, in my view, a bit too trendy to regard the acceptance of death as something tantamount to intrinsic dignity. Of course I agree with the preacher of Ecclesiastes that there is a time to love and a time to die - and when my skein runs out I hope to face the end calmly and in my own way. For most situations, however, I prefer the more martial view that death is the ultimate enemy - and I find nothing reproachable in those who rage mightily against the dying of the light.
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Sayings about Stephen Jay Gould: I am not, personally, a believer or a religious man in any sense of institutional commitment or practice. But I have a great respect for religion, and the subject has always fascinated me, beyond almost all others (with a few exceptions, like evolution and paleontology).
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Saying about Stephen Jay Gould: Not since the Lord himself showed his stuff to Ezekiel in the valley of dry bones had anyone shown such grace and skill in the reconstruction of animals from disarticulated skeletons. Charles R. Knight, the most celebrated of artists in the reanimation of fossils, painted all the canonical figures of dinosaurs that fire our fear and imagination to this day.
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Stephen Jay Gould Quotes: I contend that the continued racial classification of Homo sapiens represents an outmoded approach to the general problem of differentiation within a species. In other words, I reject a racial classification of humans for the same reasons that I prefer not to divide into subspecies the prodigiously variable West Indian land snails that form the subject of my own research.
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Stephen Jay Gould Quote: Organisms are not billiard balls, propelled by simple and measurable external forces to predictable new positions on life's pool table. Sufficiently complex systems have greater richness. Organisms have a history that constrains their future in myriad, subtle ways.
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