Stephen Jay Gould biography

Author Biography  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Author Image Not Available

Stephen Jay Gould

How to pronounce Stephen Jay Gould: goold

Stephen Jay Gould Biography



Stephen Jay Gould was born in 1941 and became one of the best known and most popular writers on general science matters and his own specialist field of evolutionary biology.


He had his own column in Natural History magazine, for which he wrote 300 consecutive monthly pieces under the title 'This View of Life'. He also wrote 20 books, many of which were bestsellers, and approximately 1,000 scientific papers.


He taught at Harvard University from 1967 up until his death in 2002, at which time he was Professor of Geology and Curator of Inverterbrate Paleontology, Museum of Comparative Zoology.


He is famous for the concept of 'punctuated equilibrium' which he developed with paleontologist Niles Eldredge. They theorized that the reason that evolutionary change appears to happen in bursts of activity, followed by periods of little or no change, is due to dramatic environmental shifts.


Although some scientists disagree about the importance of punctuated equilibrium as an evolutionary factor (the most vocal of whom is probably Richard Dawkins), there appears to be general acceptance for the theory.


Gould is also known for popularizing the theory that the evolutionary process has no pre-determined outcome. To quote Gould "humans are not the end result of predictable evolutionary progress, but rather a fortuitous cosmic afterthought, a tiny little twig on the enormously arborescent bush of life, which if replanted from seed, would almost surely not grow this twig again."


Whilst scientists generally agree that humanity itself was not pre-ordained most argue that, in the absence of humans, another intelligent species would probably have developed to fill the same evolutionary niche.

Copyright BookBrowse.com 2004



This bio was last updated on 08/02/2010. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Stephen Jay Gould at BookBrowse
The Richness of Life jacket The Lying Stones of Marrakech jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Stephen Jay Gould but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Steve Jones

    Steve Jones

    Steve Jones is a Welsh geneticist and was the Head of the Department of Genetics, Evolution, and Environment at University College London until June 2010. He regularly appears on British TV and radio, and wrote and presented... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Lying Stones of Marrakech

    Try:
    Darwin's Ghost
    by Steve Jones

  • Jack Repcheck

    Jack Repcheck

    Jack Repcheck is an editor at W. W. Norton & Co., where he publishes the work of leading scientists and economists. His previous book was the critically acclaimed The Man Who Found Time: James Hutton and the Discovery of the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Lying Stones of Marrakech

    Try:
    The Man Who Found Time
    by Jack Repcheck

We recommend 5 similar authors

View all 5 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Story of Russia
    The Story of Russia
    by Orlando Figes
    In The Story of Russia, British historian and writer Orlando Figes shares panoramic and ...
  • Book Jacket: Moth
    Moth
    by Melody Razak
    On August 15, 1947, India gained independence from the United Kingdom, and on that same day the ...
  • Book Jacket: All the Lonely People
    All the Lonely People
    by Mike Gayle
    Mike Gayle's charming novel All the Lonely People introduces us to Hubert Bird, an 82-year-old ...
  • Book Jacket: Perish
    Perish
    by LaToya Watkins
    It's a commonly cited fact that many perpetrators of sexual abuse, particularly men, are victims of ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Ways We Hide
by Kristina McMorris
From the bestselling author of Sold On A Monday, a sweeping tale of an illusionist recruited by British intelligence in World War II.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Natural History
    by Andrea Barrett

    A masterful new collection of interconnected stories, from the renowned National Book Award–winning author.

Book Club Giveaway!
Win A Minor Chorus

A Minor Chorus

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Y Can't G H A

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.