Stephen Jay Gould is the most popular modern guardian not just of Charles Darwin’s evolutionary science, but of the quasi-religious enthusiasm that closes the “Origin of Speech,” where Darwin wrote “there is grandeur in this view of life.” Through 27 years now Steve Gould has written an unbroken series of essays in the magazine Natural History, all under the heading: “This view of life.” Excitement, awe, a certain sentimentality some would say, are the mark of his scientific writing-about the beauty of fossils, about Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak or the majestic, improbable continuity of 3-and-a-half billion years of life on earth.
He writes with a connected passion about his Hungarian immigrant grandparents, Grammy and Papa Joe, who landed 100 years ago in New York. Encompassing continuity and change, evolution is the “roots” story write large. Steve Gould’s view of life is this hour on The Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
Stephen Jay Gould, the influential evolutionary biologist and professor at Harvard University.