The anniversary of Stephen Jay Gould’s death was a little over a week ago. He was the most eloquent voice of reason.

“Objectivity cannot be equated with mental blankness; rather, objectivity resides in recognizing your preferences and then subjecting them to especially harsh scrutiny—and also in a willingness to revise or abandon your theories when the tests fail (as they usually do).”

— “Capturing the Center,” 1998

“Scientific claims must be testable; we must, in principal, be able to envision a set of observations that would render them false. Miracles cannot be judged by this criterion…”

— “Genesis vs. Geology,” 1984

“Forelimbs of people, porpoises, bats and horses provide the classic example of homology in most textbooks. They look different, and do different things, but are built of the same bones. No engineer, starting from scratch each time, would have built such desperate structures from the same parts. Therefore, the parts existed before the particular set of structures now housing them: they were, in short, inherited from a common ancestor.”

— “Inside a Sponge’s Cell,” 1980

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