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.
According to Gould and Eldredge, the reason why so many links are missing is that they simply do not exist. They take the view that biological evolution proceeds in successive stages of "punctuated equilibrium." Living species would remain unchanged for extremely long stretches of time, and then undergo profound changes in relatively short periods. To borrow a term from the quantum theory of atoms, evolution would occur in "quantum jumps." It is very likely that the spark of life appeared during the first such "jump."niles eldredge
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
I have always found, even to the most trivial detail, that Mr. Gould lived up to the whole nature of his obligations. Of course he was always careful and reticent about what he promised, but that promise was invariably fulfilled.E. Ellery anderson
I do not believe that since man was in the habit of living on this planet anyone has ever lived possessed of the impudence of Jay Gould.jay gould
My name has been associated with that of Mr. Jay Gould and others in connection with the speculation, and gross injustice has been done me thereby.… You have my authority for stating that I consider Mr. Jay Gould a damned villain.jay gould
A rare book at once of great importance and wonderful to read.… Gould presents a fascinating historical study of scientific racism, tracing it through monogeny and polygeny, phrenology , recapitulation, and hereditarian IQ theory. He stops at each point to illustrate both the logical inconsistencies of the theories and the prejudicially motivated, albeit unintentional, misuse of data in each case.… A major addition to the scientific literature.stephen jay gould