Stephen Jay Gould citáty
Stephen Jay Gould
Datum narození: 10. září 1941
Datum úmrtí: 20. květen 2002
Stephen Jay Gould byl americký zoolog židovského původu, paleontolog, evoluční biolog a historik vědy, jeden z nejpopulárnějších a nejčtenějších popularizátorů těchto oborů svojí generace.
Byl jedním ze spolutvůrců a nadšených propagátorů tzv. teorie přerušované rovnováhy, která značně modifikuje náhled evolučních biologů na evoluci a řeší některé zásadní rozpory mezi neodarwinismem a fosilními podklady. Jeho velkými konkurenty a názorovými rivaly byli Richard Dawkins či J. Philippe Rushton.
Ve své knize Jak neměřit člověka , ostře napadá některé základní práce a měření v oblasti lidské inteligence. Např. o měření obsahu lebek, které prováděl Samuel George Morton, Gould napsal: „Morton měří pomocí semínek a bere do ruky nebezpečně velkou černošskou lebku. Zlehka ji naplní a ledabyle zatřese. V dalším případě se mu ovšem dostane do ruky znepokojivě malá lebka bělocha: pořádně zatřepe a palcem ještě přitlačí na foramen magnum. Takové věci se stávají i bez vědomé motivace.“John Michael provedl přeměření reprezentativního vzorku Mortonova souboru lebek a uvádí, že i přes drobná pochybení jsou výsledky Mortonových měření v zásadě přesné, naproti tomu samotný Gould se při své práci dopustil řady chyb. Další přeměření, které provedl Jason E. Lewis a jeho tým, a bylo publikováno v roce 2011, prokázalo, že se Gould nařkl Mortona z rasového zkreslení údajů opravdu neoprávněně a sám při svém měření chyboval a manipuloval.Podle ekonoma Paula Krugmana nebyl Gould popularizátorem v pravém slova smyslu, protože místo snahy přiblížit práci vědecké komunity veřejnosti prosazoval své vlastní, odlišné myšlenky.
Podle biologa Bernarda Davise se v populární knize Jak neměřit člověka Gould snaží „zdiskreditovat vědecké zkoumání tam, kde je v konfliktu s politickým dogmatem“.
Citáty Stephen Jay Gould
„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, kniha The Panda's Thumb
"Wide hats and narrow minds" https://books.google.com/books?id=-lWtVSZoqWkC&pg=PA776 New Scientist 8 March 1979, p. 777. Reprinted in The Panda's Thumb, p. 151 https://books.google.com/books?id=z0XY7Rg_lOwC&pg=PA151.
Zdroj: The Panda's Thumb: More Reflections in Natural History
„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.“
Zdroj: The Flamingo's Smile: Reflections in Natural History
„When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown.“
— Stephen Jay Gould, kniha An Urchin in the Storm
"The Quack Detector", p. 245
An Urchin in the Storm (1987)
Kontext: [A]s we discern a fine line between crank and genius, so also (and unfortunately) we must acknowledge an equally graded trajectory from crank to demagogue. When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown.
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„The animals of the Burgess Shale are holy objects—in the unconventional sense that this word conveys in some cultures. We do not place them on pedestals and worship from afar. We climb mountains and dynamite hillsides to find them. We quarry them, split them, carve them, draw them, and dissect them, struggling to wrest their secrets. We vilify and curse them for their damnable intransigence. They are grubby little creatures of a sea floor 530 million years old, but we greet them with awe because they are the Old Ones, and they are trying to tell us something.“
— Stephen Jay Gould, kniha Wonderful Life
Zdroj: Wonderful Life (1989), p. 52
„So why fret and care that the actual version of the destined deed was done by an upper class English gentleman who had circumnavigated the globe as a vigorous youth, lost his dearest daughter and his waning faith at the same time, wrote the greatest treatise ever composed on the taxonomy of barnacles, and eventually grew a white beard, lived as a country squire just south of London, and never again traveled far enough even to cross the English Channel? We care for the same reason that we love okapis, delight in the fossil evidence of trilobites, and mourn the passage of the dodo. We care because the broad events that had to happen, happened to happen in a certain particular way.“
— Stephen Jay Gould, kniha The Structure of Evolutionary Theory
And something unspeakably holy—I don't know how else to say this—underlies our discovery and confirmation of the actual details that made our world and also, in realms of contingency, assured the minutiae of its construction in the manner we know, and not in any one of a trillion other ways, nearly all of which would not have included the evolution of a scribe to record the beauty, the cruelty, the fascination, and the mystery.
Zdroj: The Structure of Evolutionary Theory (2002), p. 1342
„I am not insensible to natural beauty, but my emotional joys center on the improbable yet sometimes wondrous works of that tiny and accidental evolutionary twig called Homo sapiens.“
And I find, among these works, nothing more noble than the history of our struggle to understand nature—a majestic entity of such vast spatial and temporal scope that she cannot care much for a little mammalian afterthought with a curious evolutionary invention, even if that invention has, for the first time in some four billion years of life on earth, produced recursion as a creature reflects back upon its own production and evolution. Thus, I love nature primarily for the puzzles and intellectual delights that she offers to the first organ capable of such curious contemplation.
Prologue, p. 13
Bully for Brontosaurus (1991)
„The silliest and most tendentious of baseball writing tries to wrest profundity from the spectacle of grown men hitting a ball with a stick by suggesting linkages between the sport and deep issues of morality, parenthood, history, lost innocence, gentleness, and so on, seemingly ad infinitum.“
The effort reeks of silliness because baseball is profound all by itself and needs no excuses; people who don't know this are not fans and are therefore unreachable anyway.
"The Creation Myths of Cooperstown", p. 46
Bully for Brontosaurus (1991)
„If the resident zoologist of Galaxy X had visited the earth 5 million years ago while making his inventory of inhabited planets in the universe, he would surely have corrected his earlier report that apes showed more promise than Old World monkeys and noted that monkeys had overcome an original disadvantage to gain domination among primates.“
— Stephen Jay Gould, kniha Eight Little Piggies
He will confirm this statement after his visit next year—but also add a footnote that one species from the ape bush has enjoyed an unusual and unexpected flowering, thus demanding closer monitoring.
"The Declining Empire of Apes", p. 288
Eight Little Piggies (1993)
I still have not recovered from the rise of a pound of hamburger at the supermarket to more than a buck.
"A Time to Laugh", p. 82; originally published as "A Happy Mystery to Ponder: Why So Many Homers?" in The Wall Street Journal (2001-10-10)
Triumph and Tragedy in Mudville (2003)
„This new consensus seemed so compelling that Ernst Mayr, the dean of modern Darwinians, opened the ashcan of history for a deposit of Geoffrey's ideas about anatomical unity.“
— Stephen Jay Gould, kniha Leonardo's Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms
"Brotherhood by Inversion", p. 329
Leonardo's Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms (1998)
„But, as we consider the totality of similarly broad and fundamental aspects of life, we cannot defend division by two as a natural principle of objective order. Indeed, the “stuff” of the universe often strikes our senses as complex and shaded continua, admittedly with faster and slower moments, and bigger and smaller steps, along the way. Nature does not dictate dualities, trinities, quarterings, or any “objective” basis for human taxonomies; most of our chosen schemes, and our designated numbers of categories, record human choices from a cornucopia of possibilities offered by natural variation from place to place, and permitted by the flexibility of our mental capacities. How many seasons (if we wish to divide by seasons at all) does a year contain? How many stages shall we recognize in a human life?“
The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Magister's Pox: Mending the Gap between Science and the Humanities (Harmony, 2003), p. 82
„I am not unmindful of the journalist's quip that yesterday's paper wraps today's garbage. I am also not unmindful of the outrages visited upon our forests to publish redundant and incoherent collections of essays; for, like Dr. Seuss' Lorax, I like to think that I speak for the trees. Beyond vanity, my only excuses for a collection of these essays lie in the observation that many people like (and as many people despise) them, and that they seem to cohere about a common theme—Darwin's evolutionary perspective as an antidote to our cosmic arrogance.“
— Stephen Jay Gould, kniha Ever Since Darwin
Prologue, p. 14
Ever Since Darwin (1977)
„Perhaps randomness is not merely an adequate description for complex causes that we cannot specify. Perhaps the world really works this way, and many events are uncaused in any conventional sense of the word. Perhaps our gut feeling that it cannot be so reflects only our hopes and prejudices, our desperate striving to make sense of a complex and confusing world, and not the ways of nature.“
— Stephen Jay Gould, kniha Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes
"Chance Riches", p. 342
Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes (1983)