October 1, 2014
Stephen Jay Gould
Stephen Jay Gould was born on September 10, 1941 the son of Leonard and Eleanor Gould. His father was a court reporter and part-time, unpaid naturalist. Leonard Gould was a self-taught man who took his son to the American Museum of Natural History when the boy was five years old. It was there where Gould decided to devote his life to studying geologic periods. Gould was reading about evolution by age eleven. In high school he encountered the ongoing battle between creationism and evolution as Darwin explained it. After attending Antioch College and graduate school at Columbia University, he became a professor at Harvard. He spent much time trying to make science understandable to untrained readers as well as to scholars. As a popular writer and amateur historian of science, Gould concentrated upon the issues of science and culture. Gould was also a National Science Foundation grantee. He was a member of several scientific societies—American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Society of Naturalists, Paleontological Society, Society for the Study of Evolution, Society of Systematic Zoology, and Sigma Xi. In 1999 he assumed the presidency of the American Association of the Advancement of Science. Gould developed the theory of punctuated equilibrium, which proposes that evolution is marked by long periods of stability, punctuated by rare instances of evolution. Stephen Jay Gould argued that "unconscious manipulation of data may be a scientific norm" because "scientists are human beings rooted in cultural contexts, not automatons directed toward external truth." He argued that evolution proceeds quite rapidly at crucial points, with speciation occurring almost immediately. It could be due to quite sudden genetic changes. This process would account for the lack of middle forms throughout the fossil record. Biography:
"Stephen Jay Gould." Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2014. Web. 30...
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