Stephen Jay Gould Baseball Essay

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“I dreamed of becoming a scientist, in general, and a paleontologist, in particular, ever since the As a youngster, Gould also enjoyed playing stickball in the street, and poker at home, a game that stimulated his interest in the laws of probability. As a teenager he was a member of New York’s All-City High School Chorus, and he continued to participate in choral groups for the rest of his life.

But his thoughts continually returned to the dinosaurs in the museum.

These advertisements seem to target an affluent audience of middle-aged men with children of their own; Gould’s defense of abortion can be understood as addressing this specific readership. Human growth is a continuum, and no creation myth can define an instant for the origin of human life” (24).

The article’s six pages each feature a single black and white photograph; almost all of these photos feature historical figures involved in baseball’s creation myth. His Bully for Brontosaurus version reads: “To state the most obvious example in our current political turmoil: Human growth is a continuum, and no creation myth can define an instant for the origin of human life” (57).

Stephen Jay Gould was born on September 10, 1941, in Queens, New York, the son of Leonard Gould, a court stenographer, and Eleanor, an artist and entrepreneur.

Gould took his first steps toward a career in paleontology after a visit to the American Museum of Natural History with his father.

The essay boasts Gould’s trademark discursive style, using science, history, and his own personal voice to showcase the subtle connections between apparently disparate subjects.

At the beginning of the essay, Gould uses both historical facts and his intimate knowledge of paleontology to explain how the Cardiff Giant hoax was perpetrated in 1869.

Gould references two important theories he himself helped popularize—punctuated equilibriums and spandrels—when making his case for baseball’s evolutionary story.

In the essay’s final section, Gould attempts to reframe the abortion debate regarding when a fetus is considered alive.

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