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Simon Conway Morris

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The underlying ideological agenda of Gould has always been fairly clear. Even where there has been a shift in thinking, it might be argued that in general the discussions were reflecting a particular world-view that at the least was sympathetic to the greatest of twentieth-century pseudo-religions, Marxism.

Simon Conway Morris

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In all my years of teaching with Steve, I have never seen him flustered or at a loss for words—except once. In our course entitled "Thinking About Thinking," he had been presenting a lecture on the randomness of nature and referred to Einstein's famous dictum "I shall never believe that God plays dice with the world." I responded by walking up to the blackboard and writing, "Gould or God?" I then argued that if God does not play dice with the universe, as Einstein said, and if the universe is as random as the throws of honest dice, as Gould says, then there could not be a God. Hence, Gould or God? (Or at the very least, Gould or Einstein?) Then I sat down, leaving it to Steve to answer the challenge. He stood up and looked at the words on the blackboard. He hesitated, gathered his thoughts, and then launched into a defense of God so brilliant that even William Jennings Bryan would have been proud. It was then that I realized what a great lawyer Gould would make. As for God... ?

Stephen Jay Gould

It has now become clear that the exploration of the Universe, as conducted by physicists, astronomers and cosmologists, is one of the greatest intellectual adventures of the mid-twentieth century.

Dennis Sciama

But, in the late twentieth century, it became more important to many leftists to save “Third World” culture, no matter how barbaric, from “neo-colonialism,” than to support equality and democracy. People on the left would defend brutal dictators (Castro, Mao, Pol Pot, Khomeini, et al.) simply because they opposed “Western imperialism.” As a result, all politics that were derived, no matter how loosely, from Marxism, lost credibility, and finally died in 1989. This was naturally a disaster for communists and socialists, but also for social democrats, for they had lost an ideological basis for their idealism. And, without idealism, politics becomes a form of accounting, a management of purely material interests.

Ian Buruma

The power of Gould's analysis lies in his focus on particulars. Rather than attempt a grand critique of all “scientific” efforts aimed at justifying social inequalities, Gould performs a well-reasoned assessment of the errors underlying a specific set of theories and empirical claims.

Stephen Jay Gould

Pevsner's career is a prism through which to view the world of art history as it developed in England in the middle of the twentieth century.

Nikolaus Pevsner
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