Re: Who's the expert?

Ed Conrad (
12 Dec 1996 16:33:29 GMT (M. Gallo) wrote:

> I recently read an article by Robert Wright,
>, where
>he unflinchingly attacked the reputation of Stephen Jay
>Gould. He writes, "... basically, that Gould is a fraud. He
>has convinced the public that he is not merely a great writer,
>but a great theorist of evolution. Yet, among top-flight
>evolutionary biologists, Gould is considered a pest -- not
>just a lightweight, but an actively muddled man who has warped
>the public's understanding of Darwinism."
> Of course, Gould has been taken to task before by
>people such as Richard Dawkins, but is Wright going over the
>top here? Gould, a Harvard professor and columnist for
>_Nature_, certainly seems respectable to a layman like me.
>How can I evaluate his stature in the scientific community?

You can simply ask Ed Conrad.

How DARE Robert Wright attack the reputation of Stephen Jay Gould,
such a fine upstanding scientist?

However, I have to frankly admit that, once upon a time, I also
THOUGHT Stephen Jay Gould was a horse's ass.

And I really thought Harvard University had the corner on horse's
asses because I knew of at least two: Gould and David Pilbeam,

Then I saw Gould being interviewed -- on a number of occasions --
during that terrific 75-part baseball series by What's-His-Name.
I thought to myself, ``Hmmm, Stephen Jay Gould sounds human. Maybe he
*ISN'T* a horse's ass."

Then, over the past few days, I came to the conclusion that I indeed
was mistaken and came to the conclusion that Stephen Jay Gould isn't
really such a bad guy after all.

You see, someone in the news groups quoted him as saying
the evolution of man from inhuman primates is nothing more
than ``an adult's fairy tale."

Obviously, Stephen Jay Gould is perfectly right -- echoing what I've
been saying for a long, long time. But I never dreamed, being who he
is and where he is, he'd ever have the nerve to come out and flatly
say so -- and in quite those eloquent terms.

Naturally, this fully explains why Stephen Jay Gould is now the target
of criticism by his colleagues in the scientific establishment, even
though their harsh words are nothing more than sour grapes.

And it certainly explains why, at least in this particular case,
Robert Wright may not realize it but he's really Robert Wrong.