Stephen Jay Gould Quotes

Stephen Jay Gould Picture Quote image saying: Unfortunately, all life on earth – the only life we know –
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Unfortunately, all life on earth - the only life we know - represents, for all its current variety, the results of a single experiment , for every earthly species evolved from the common ancestry of a single origin. We desperately need a repetition of the experiment (several would be better, but let's not be greedy!) in order to make a judgement. Mars represents our first real hope for a second experiment - the sine qua non - for any proper answer for the question of questions.

Stephen Jay Gould

Stephen Jay Gould Picture Quote image saying: When scientists need to explain difficult points of theory, illustration by hypothetical
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Picture Quotes

When scientists need to explain difficult points of theory, illustration by hypothetical example - rather than by total abstraction - works well (perhaps indispensably) as a rhetorical device. Such cases do not function as speculations in the pejorative sense - as silly stories that provide insight into complex mechanisms - but rather as idealized illustrations to exemplify a difficult point of theory. (Other fields, like philosophy and the law, use such conjectural cases as a standard device.

Stephen Jay Gould

Stephen Jay Gould Picture Quote image saying: When we seek a textbook case for the proper operation of science,
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Picture Quotes

When we seek a textbook case for the proper operation of science, the correction of certain error offers far more promise than the establishment of probable truth. Confirmed hunches, of course, are more upbeat than discredited hypotheses. Since the worst traditions of "popular" writing falsely equate instruction with sweetness and light, our promotional literature abounds with insipid tales in the heroic mode, although tough stories of disappointment and loss give deeper insight into a methodology that the celebrated philosopher Karl Popper once labeled as "conjecture and refutation.

Stephen Jay Gould

Stephen Jay Gould Picture Quote image saying: Rifkin’s assertions bear no relationship to what I have observed and practiced
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Rifkin's assertions bear no relationship to what I have observed and practiced for 25 years ... Either I am blind or he is wrong - and I think I can show, by analyzing his slipshod scholarship and basic misunderstanding of science, that his world is an invention constructed to validate his own private hopes ... Rifkin shows no understanding of the norms and procedures of science: he displays little comprehension of what science is and how scientists work.

Stephen Jay Gould