|Stephen Jay Gould||
Stephen Jay Gould was originally a biologist who studied snails. However, he became well known as a scientific writer and lecturer. Mr. Gould wrote a monthly column for the Natural History magazine for many years.
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Stephen Jay Gould (September 10, 1941 – May
20, 2002) was a prominent American paleontologist,
evolutionary biologist, and historian of
science. He was also one of the most influential
and widely read writers of popular science
of his generation. Gould spent most of his
career teaching at Harvard University and
working at the American Museum of Natural
History in New York. In the latter years
of his life, Gould also taught biology and
evolution at New York University near his
home in SoHo.
Gould's greatest contribution to science was the theory of punctuated equilibrium which he developed with Niles Eldredge in 1972. The theory proposes that most evolution is marked by long periods of evolutionary stability, which is later punctuated by rare instances of branching evolution. The theory was contrasted against phyletic gradualism, the popular idea that evolutionary change is marked by a pattern of smooth and continuous change in the fossil record.