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. We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's a tough task. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date or inaccurate, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • 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" backstories
  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • 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" backstories
  • 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 $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Islamic Enlightenment
    The Islamic Enlightenment
    by Christopher de Bellaigue
    In this comprehensive and well-researched history, de Bellaigue examines the evolution of Islamic ...
  • Book Jacket: The Leavers
    The Leavers
    by Lisa Ko
    The day before Deming Guo saw his mother for the last time, she surprised him at school. A navy blue...
  • Book Jacket: Wonderful Feels Like This
    Wonderful Feels Like This
    by Sara Lovestam
    High school is hard; or perhaps, more accurately, growing up and finding oneself is hard. This is ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Scribe of Siena
    by Melodie Winawer

    Equal parts transporting love story, meticulously researched historical fiction, and compelling time-travel narrative.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Chalk Pit

The Chalk Pit:
A Ruth Galloway Mystery

A string of murders takes Ruth underground in the newest book in the series.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T W Don't M A R

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -