Stephen Jay Gould

From The Jolly Contrarian
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People who write excellent books
Mr Gould, and friend, yesterday.


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Stylish, elegant, a spandrel fancier — who isn’t? — and he irritated the living piss out of Richard Dawkins. What’s not to like? Books include The Mismeasure of Man and Rocks of Ages, but his main thing was paleontology. He and Richard Lewontin wrote the famous The spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian paradigm: a critique of the adaptationist programme — which led the JC to make a pilgrimage to Venezia to see said spandrels. Alas, San Marco was chiuso. But we got to experiment with the proverbial crisp-packet blowing across St Mark’s square, which was nice.