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Top 160 Stephen Jay Gould Quotes (2023 Update)

Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “We pass through this world but once. Few tragedies can be more extensive than the stunting of life, few injustices deeper than the denial of an opportunity to strive or even to hope, by a limit imposed from without, but falsely identified as lying within.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “We cannot win this battle to save species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature as well – for we will not fight to save what we do not love.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “We pass through this world but once.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Nothing is more dangerous than a dogmatic worldview – nothing more constraining, more blinding to innovation, more destructive of openness to novelty.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “The world is too complex for subsumption under any general theory of change.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Is uniformitarianism necessary?”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Charles Darwin viewed the fossil record more as an embarrassment than as an aid to his theory...”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Wind back the tape of life to the early days of the Burgess Shale; let it play again from an identical starting point, and the chance becomes vanishingly small that anything like human intelligence would grace the replay.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “The spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualist accounts of evolution.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Human consciousness arose but a minute before midnight on the geological clock. Yet we mayflies try to bend an ancient world to our purposes, ignorant perhaps of the messages buried in its long history. Let us hope that we are still in the early morning of our April day.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Honorable errors do not count as failures in science, but as seeds for progress in the quintessential activity of correction.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “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.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Details are all that matters; God dwells in these and you never get to see Him if you don’t struggle to get them right.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “In what I like to call the Great Asymmetry, every spectacular incident of evil will be balanced by 10,000 acts of kindness, too often unnoted and invisible...”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “If we are still here to witness the destruction of our planet some five billion years or more hence, then we will have achieved something so unprecedented in the history of life that we should be willing to sing our swansong with joy – Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Death is the ultimate enemy – and I find nothing reproachable in those who rage mightily against the dying of the light.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “The Darwinian revolution is about essence. The Darwinian revolution is about who we are, it’s what we’re made of, it’s what our life means insofar as science can answer that question.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Natural selection is a theory of local adaptation to changing environments. It proposes no perfecting principles, no guarantee of general improvement.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “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.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Eternal vigilance, as they say, is the price of freedom. Add intellectual integrity to the cost basis.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “All organisms vary, and it’s just folk knowledge. You just have to look around a room of people, and everybody knows that it’s true. Darwin didn’t know the mechanism of heredity, but you don’t have to. You just need to know the fact of it.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes – one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximum freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Odd arrangements and funny solutions are the proof of evolution – paths that a sensible God would never tread but that a natural process, constrained by history, follows perforce.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Life is a copiously branching bush, continually pruned by the grim reaper of extinction, not a ladder of predictable progress.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “The median isn’t the message.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “We are storytelling animals, and cannot bear to acknowledge the ordinariness of our daily lives.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Misunderstanding of probability may be the greatest of all impediments to scientific literacy.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Science is not a heartless pursuit of objective information; it is a creative human activity.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Human life is the result of a glorious evolutionary accident.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “What you see is that the most outstanding feature of life’s history is a constant domination by bacteria.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “The enemy of knowledge and science is irrationalism, not religion.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “If evolution almost always occurs by rapid speciation in small, peripheral isolates, then what should the fossil record look like? We are not likely to detect the event of speciation itself. It happens too fast, in too small a group, isolated too far from the ancestral range...”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Sure we fit. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t. But the world wasn’t made for us and it will endure without us.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “An old paleontological in joke proclaims that mammalian evolution is a tale told by teeth mating to produce slightly altered descendant teeth.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Pictures are not incidental frills to a text; they are essences of our distinctive way of knowing.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Orchids were not made by an ideal engineer; they are jury-rigged from a limited set of available components.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Memory is a fascinating trickster. Words and images have enormous power and can easily displace actual experience over the years.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “The history of life is a tale of decimation and later stabilization of few surviving anatomies, not a story of steady expansion and progress.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Evolution is an inference from thousands of independent sources, the only conceptual structure that can make unified sense of all this disparate information.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “In our struggle to understand the history of life, we must learn where to place the boundary between contingent and unpredictable events that occur but once and the more repeatable, lawlike phenomenon that may pervade life’s history as generalities.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “People talk about human intelligence as the greatest adaptation in the history of the planet. It is an amazing and marvelous thing, but in evolutionary terms, it is as likely to do us in as to help us along.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “People may believe correct things for the damndest and weirdest of wrong reasons.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “World views are social constructions and they channel the search for facts. But facts are found and knowledge progresses, however fitfully.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “I am glad that the life of pandas is so dull by human standards, for our efforts at conservation have little moral value if we preserve creatures only as human ornaments; I shall be impressed when we show solicitude for warty toads and slithering worms.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “Life began three and a half billion years ago, necessarily about as simple as it could be, because life arose spontaneously from the organic compounds in the primeval oceans.”
Stephen Jay Gould Quote: “I emphatically do not assert the general ‘truth’ of this philosophy of punctuational change. Any attempt to support the exclusive validity of such a grandiose notion would border on the nonsensical.”
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