Re: disparaging Gould

Spike Jones (
Thu, 28 Jan 1999 23:40:11 -0800 wrote:

> Read Dennett and Dawkins, [Gould'] opponents amongst popular writers.
> They're good too. Dawkins tends to be closest to mainstream biology...

after reading gould's wonderful life, i decided i had to see it for myself (wolcotts quarry) so i arranged to vacation in canada. stayed at emerald lake lodge.

hiked up with a guide who told me a story so good i do hope it is true. turns out the esteemed professor was to visit the site and some jokester at haahhvahd convinced him or somehow he got the impression that they were going to take him up there in a helicopter. he arrived and asked when the chopper would get there at which time dr gould was told that they had no helicopter and furthermore, if they had one, they would not disturb the peacefulness of emerald lake to take him or anyone else up there, and he would have to hike like everyone else. to his credit, he did so.

and so did i, five years after, and it was some of the most stunning scenery on the north american continent. i was fortunate to go up on a day when it was not raining. a group of students were collecting samples that day, and i watched as they discovered an anomalocarus. greatest trip of my life. i believe wolcotts quarry has been declared a world heritage site now. (my trip was in late summer 1990).

the guide to wolcott's quarry had mixed feelings about sjg. there was the expected resentment i guess, but also a deep admiration. gould did put them on the map, at least in the public's eye. spike