Stephen Jay Gould and the contingent nature of history

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Date: Spring 1993
From: CLIO(Vol. 22, Issue 3)
Publisher: Indiana University, Purdue University of Fort Wayne
Document Type: Article
Length: 5,017 words

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Abstract :

Stephen Jay Gould reveals himself to be as scientifically conservative as the people he would criticize in his book 'Wonderful Life.' Gould's book tells the story of Charles Doolittle Walcott's discovery and interpretation of the Burgess Shale. Walcott adapted his theories to match Darwinian evolution and, according to Gould, turn of the century notions of progress. Gould's own evolutionary model is linear, as is his narrative, implying the certification of some didactic moral. Gould's contingency and Walcott's gradualism are both evolutionary theories cut from the same cloth. Both rely on linear thought to arrive at evolutionary ends.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A14212956