thinking about how great stephen jay gould was this morning


“I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.”

― Stephen Jay Gould

the first time i read this quote as a teenage science nerd i felt my brain explode and that's why i'm a communist now

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(gould himself was a lib iirc but he was vocally antiracist and did not have qualms about using his status as a very public biologist to attack racist "science" in popular culture, most notably Charles Murray)

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turbo fucked up that that charles murray is still alive and stephen jay gould is long dead

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@melissasage i also often think about how dope he was. He was like, a closet Marxist. Inspiring for radicals in word if not deed (though maybe when you have such reach words are deeds).

@Awizadofearthsea yeah with a platfo
rm like his, being so vocally against the revival of scientific racism, i think that alone counts for something. I don't know anything about his personal or professional life but it'd also be great if he like, practiced what he preached there, too.

He's one of those cases where like, regardless of his specific ideology, there's just no doubt that while he was alive he was actually doing good in the world

@melissasage oh i always wondered why dawkins seemed so pissed off with him (the non-overlapping magisteria thing that dawkins kept on about in the god delusion never seemed adequate explanation to me for dawkins disliking the guy so)

@FuchsiaShock yeah Richard Dawkins is more or less the evil mirror universe version of Stephen Jay Gould

@FuchsiaShock especially bc Gould was just straight-up better as an evolutionary biologist and theorist lmao

@melissasage and tbh i actually think the world would be a million times better off if nobody had ever coined the term meme

@melissasage can't use internet memes to spread bigotry if there's no concept of memes...

tho maybe they'd just be called something like macros instead

@FuchsiaShock yeah i think that memes are a structural feature of the internet and the only thing you'd change if you killed dawkins before he published his book was to give them a name

@FuchsiaShock @melissasage On the bright side, Dawkins probably hates how people have redefined "meme" to describe a form of Internet-based humor. And he probably hates thinking about how when he dies, "coining the term meme" is definitely going in his obituary, and might even come to be the only thing people remember him for after a few decades.

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