Home » Darwinism » [Request:] Need to quote-mine Gould

[Request:] Need to quote-mine Gould

I seem to recall that Stephen Jay Gould, when pressed about his views on evolution before his death, remarked that he was a “Darwinian” or “Darwinist.” Can someone provide me with the exact quote as well as with the exact reference? (The context: I’m writing about punctuated equilibrium being at best a slight variant of Darwinism and that even Gould realized this.) Thanks.

–Bill Dembski

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9 Responses to [Request:] Need to quote-mine Gould

  1. Bill, I found these references.

    Michael Ruse writes December 2002

    “Gould would also have claimed to be an ardent Darwinian, but for him the essence of Darwinism was a multiplicity of causes of which selection is but one.”

    http://www.stnews.org/Books-1437.htm

    “I state for the record that I (along with all other Darwinian pluralists) do not deny either the existence and central importance of adaptation, or the production of adaptation by natural selection. Yes, eyes are for seeing and feet are for moving. And, yes again, I know of no scientific mechanism other than natural selection with the proven power to build structures of such eminently workable design.”

    S J Gould 1997

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1151

  2. So Gould was a creationist ? I knew it ! What a traitor !! As we all know, only evil creationist fundamentalists would ever use the term “darwinist”.

    He has been unmasked from beyond the grave!!!!

    :P

  3. Also, apparently Dawkins is a closet creationist as well. He used the term Darwinian in The God Delusion that I am currently working through.

  4. “I argue, as the major thesis of this book, that modern debates have developed important and coherent auxiliary critiques on all three branches of essential Darwinian logic, and that these debates may lead to a fundamentally revised evolutionary theory with a retained Darwinian core.” (p.61)
    The Structure of Evolutionary Theory
    Stephen Jay Gould
    The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002, 1433 pp
    reviewed by Gert Korthof, 28 May 2004 (updated 14 May 2006).
    Posted at: http://home.planet.nl/~gkortho.....m#Orthodox

  5. Great subject title, Bill!

  6. Gould mining might have been a bit more amusing.

  7. You might find something useful here: http://moby.mib.infn.it/~vmicc.....talism.pdf
    but it’s been a while since I’ve read it so I can’t remember whether if it has exactly what you want.

    “I’m writing about punctuated equilibrium being at best a slight variant of Darwinism and that even Gould realized this.”

    I agree, I think Gould tended to overemphasize the difference between his position and that of Dawkins et al. All PE shows really is that speciation occurs more rapidly than large species remain in relative stasis. Personally I would certainly still call it Darwinism.

  8. “eminently workable design”

    oups – there’s that pesky old design word again – funny how they just can’t escape it.

    Must torture some of them immensely.

    Sounds like even Gould may secretly have been a “creationist sleeper cell” (Sternberg scandal) to me.

  9. I think “Darwinism” and PE both get misrepresented. I’m not nearly as eloquent as Richard Dawkins so I recommend reading the chapter “Puncturing Punctiationism” in The Blind Watchmaker… I don’t have my copy on hand at the moment. Maybe I’ll dig it out later and put some quotes up, it’s really useful for one trying to understand PE.

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