Quotes by Stephen Jay Gould
- Contrary to current cynicism about past golden ages, the abstraction known as 'the intelligent layperson' does exist - in the form of millions of folks with a passionate commitment to continuous learning.
- 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.
- Goethe died in 1832. As you know, Goethe was very active in science. In fact, he did some very good scientific work in plant morphology and mineralogy. But he was quite bitter at the way in which many scientists refused to grant him a hearing because he was a poet and therefore, they felt, he couldn't be serious.
- I don't think academic writing ever was wonderful. However, science used to be much less specialized.
- I love the wry motto of the Paleontological Society, meant both literally and figuratively, for hammers are the main tool of our trade: Frango ut patefaciam - I break in order to reveal.
- If I don't make it, I'll be very sad that there are things I didn't do, but I'm happy that I've done what I have.
- 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.
- Science is an integral part of culture. It's not this foreign thing, done by an arcane priesthood. It's one of the glories of the human intellectual tradition.
- Science is not a heartless pursuit of objective information. It is a creative human activity, its geniuses acting more as artists than as information processors.
- With copious evidence ranging from Plato's haughtiness to Beethoven's tirades, we may conclude that the most brilliant people of history tend to be a prickly lot.