Top 10 Quotes by Stephen Jay Gould

Stephen Jay Gould

There is no gene "for" such unambiguous bits of morphology as your left kneecap or your fingernail. [...] Hundreds of genes contribute to the building of most body parts and their action is channeled through a kaleidoscopic series of environmental influences: embryonic and postnatal, internal and external. Parts are not translated genes, and selection doesn't even work directly on parts.

Stephen Jay Gould
They have this absurd notion that something that occurs in the past and that is not subject to direct observation is not provable. That's nonsense .... There is a mystery as to how evolution occurs, but there is not a whole lot of doubt as to whether it occurs.
Stephen Jay Gould

What's important is that all human knowledge be made available to all intelligent people who want to learn it.

Stephen Jay Gould
A lot of scientists hate writing. Most scientists love being in the lab and doing the work and when the work is done, they are finished.
Stephen Jay Gould

At a minimum, in explaining evolutionary pathways through time, the constraints imposed by history rise to equal prominence with the immediate advantages of adaptation.

Stephen Jay Gould
The fundamentalists, by 'knowing' the answers before they start, and then forcing nature into the straitjacket of their discredited preconceptions, lie outside the domain of science -or any honest intellectual inquiry.
Stephen Jay Gould

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
The oppressive weight of disaster and tragedy in our lives does not arise from a high percentage of evil among the summed total of all acts, but from the extraordinary power of exceedingly rare incidents of depravity to inflict catastrophic damage, especially in our technological age when airplanes can become powerful bombs. (An even more evil man, armed only with a longbow, could not have wreaked such havoc at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.
Stephen Jay Gould

The world is full of signals that we don't perceive.

Stephen Jay Gould
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.