Stephen Jay Gould Quotes (9 quotations)

1. Few tragedies can be more extensive than the stunting of life, few injustices deeper than the denial of an opportunity to strive or even to hope, by a limit imposed from without, but falsely identified as lying within. - Stephen Jay Gould

2. Good and kind people outnumber all others by thousands to one. The tragedy of human history lies in the enormous potential for destruction in rare acts of evil, not in the high frequency of evil people. Complex systems can only be built step by step, whereas destruction requires but an instant. Thus, in what I like to call the Great Asymmetry, every spectacular incident of evil will be balanced by 10,000 acts of kindness, too often unnoted and invisible as the "ordinary" efforts of a vast majority. - Stephen Jay Gould

3. Human consciousness arose but a minute before midnight on the geological clock. Yet we mayflies try to bend an ancient world to our purposes, ignorant perhaps of the messages buried in its long history. Let us hope that we are still in the early morning of our April day. - Stephen Jay Gould

4. 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

5. In science, 'fact' can only mean 'confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.' I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms. - Stephen Jay Gould

6. The most erroneous stories are those we think we know best - and therefore never scrutinize or question. - Stephen Jay Gould

7. The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos. - Stephen Jay Gould

8. We have become, by the power of a glorious evolutionary accident called intelligence, the steward of life's continutity on earth. We did not ask for this role, but we cannot abjure it. We may not be suited to to it, but here we are. - Stephen Jay Gould

9. We pass through this world but once. - Stephen Jay Gould

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