Top 10 Quotes by Stephen Jay Gould

Stephen Jay Gould

Still, our creationist incubi, who would never let facts spoil a favorite argument, refuse to yield, and continue to assert the absence of all transitional forms by ignoring those that have been found, and continuing to taunt us with admittedly frequent examples of absence.

Stephen Jay Gould
... each with its own beauty, and each with a story to tell.
Stephen Jay Gould

No one supposed that dinoflagellates might actively kill fish as an evolved response for their own specific advantage, including a potential nutritional benefit for the algal cells. And yet the dinoflagellates do seem to be killing and eating fishes in a manner suggesting active evolution for this most peculiar reversal.

Stephen Jay Gould
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

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
The spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm.
Stephen Jay Gould

... a fortuitous cosmic afterthought.

Stephen Jay Gould
The myriad valleys could have arisen anywhere on the landscape. The current positions are quite accidental. If we could repeat the experiment, we might obtain no valleys at all, or a completely different system. Yet we now stand at the shore line contemplating the fine spacing of valleys and their even contact with the sea. How easy it is to be misled and to assume that no other landscape could possibly have arisen.
Stephen Jay Gould

I picture several reviewers of my own books as passing a long future lodged between Brutus and Judas in the jaws of Satan.

Stephen Jay Gould
We can now determine, easily and relatively cheaply, the detailed chemical architecture of genes ; and we can trace the products of these genes ( enzymes and proteins ) as they influence the course of embryology . In so doing we have made the astounding discovery that all complex animal phyla - arthropods and vertebrates in particular - have retained, despite their half-billion years of evolutionary independence, an extensive set of common genetic blueprints for building bodies.