Stephen Jay Gould 's Theory Of Punctuated Equilibrium

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Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002) was a paleontologist and his technical research was in the field of evolutionary biology. Steven Gould along with Niles Eldredge developed the theory of punctuated equilibrium ("Stephen Jay Gould"). This theory is a revision of Darwinian theory. Darwinian theory suggests that evolution change occurs slowly over time. The theory of punctuated equilibrium speculated that evolutionary changes does not occur slowly, but rather in rapid bursts over short periods of time; short as in: thousands of years; which are then followed by long periods of time where organisms undergo little, to no, further changes. Gould met with a lot of criticism in his career, much like Charles Darwin. Gould was also known for his writings. One compiled book of essays called, “The Panda’s Thumb”; a particular essay called, “Natural Selection and the Human Brain: Darwin vs. Wallace” stuck out to me the most. This is where he suggests, “that dwarf sit atop of the shoulders of giants” (Gould). I believe this to mean that big ideas are always met with opposition. That should not mean the idea should ever waiver. In, “The Panda’s Thumb” Stephen Jay Gould brings together a series of essays (Gould). The essay that sticks out the most in my opinion is “Natural Selection and the Human Brain: Darwin vs. Wallace” (Gould). Gould’s idea for this essay in particular was made when he referred to the writings of Robert K. Merton (Gould,47). Gould wrote in reference to Merton and how he perceived his work, “He has shown that almost all major ideas arise more than once, independently and often virtually at the same time-and thus, that great scientist are embedded in their cultures, not divorced from them” (Gould,47). I believe that... ... middle of paper ... ...of someone’s continuously telling you that you are wrong. A great scientist will never wavier and never stop studying. I believe that Gould made very valid points about how Wallace’s ideas were incomplete. Gould was a paleontologist, but that was not all he was good at. Stephen Gould was an accomplished author as well. He was able to compare two very similar ideas between Darwin and Wallace. He was also able to relate the two as friends, but also explain the cold hard truth. That even in friendship opinions can vary. The two men were always very cordial with each other but acknowledge the fact that they did not agree with one another. He was also able to prove his points as to why Darwin was the better man. Darwin was superior in his intellectual capabilities. Darwin and Gould were able to widen his thought process and open his mind to new possibilities.

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