The Theory of Evolusion Revised Essay

Decent Essays

There is a monkey in your family tree. Whether that is fact or theory, and the difference, Stephen Jay Gould explains in, “Evolution as Fact and Theory”, which appeared in the May 1981 issue of Discover Magazine. Mr. Gould was described by the New York Times as, “one of the most influential evolutionary biologists of the 20th century” (Yoon). He wants to show how the creationist's have built their argument against evolution on sand, and the evolutionist’s argument built on solid rock, as any paleontologist would prefer. It is a war of words, where their meaning, use and misuse, determine on which side you stand. His argument is not perfect, but using lack of perfection as evidence of evolution, he makes the case quite convincingly. It is …show more content…

In contrast, Gould logically lays out three facts to buttress his evolution stance. He states, “… we have abundant, direct, observational evidence of evolution in action, from both the field and the laboratory” (440). The other two: the imperfection of nature, and transitions in the fossil record, “…rest upon inference”, which is then explained to the reader (441). Up to this point, Gould’s argument follows the path of logic, reason, and objectivity. However, as he picks apart the creationists argument, he ratchets up his emotions a notch or two. He readily confesses, “If I should sound sharp or bitter, indeed I am – for I have become a major target of these practices” (442). Justified or not, he seems to take personally, criticism of the theory, “punctuated equilibrium”, which he and colleague Niles Eldredge developed. The tone is angry, but he uses direct quotes from his opponents to show how he has been misquoted and his message twisted, which infuriates him. Duane Gish wrote, “…according to Gould, a reptile laid an egg from which the first bird, feathers and all, was produced”, which is just one example (443). The author manages largely, to reign in his anger, and he sounds almost conciliatory when admitting to the arrogance of the scientific community. Claiming to be mainly saddened by the sometimes-bitter feud with creationists, the impression is of someone who is tired. Tired of fighting a

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