Dedicated to culture and critical thought since 1998
5/21/2 Obit: Stephen Jay Gould

Stephen Jay Gould.

By Lance Vargas

Harvard Paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, who helped define scientific racism in his book, "The Mismeasure of Man" died of cancer yesterday at the age of 60.

"The Mismeasure of Man" is widely considered the antitheses to "The Bell Curve" by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray. Both books detail the influence of environment and heredity in determining intelligence. However, "The Bell Curve" supported the idea of ranking and reification and notions of racism seemed implied if not outright stated. Gould's book rebuffed many of the idea's stated in "The Bell Curve" and ignited a debate among academics that has persisted ever since.

In addition to "The Mismeasure of Man," which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, Gould also wrote, "Ever Since Darwin," "The Panda's Thumb," which won an American Book Award in 1981.