The Structure of Evolutionary Theory: on Stephen Jay Gould's Monumental Masterpiece

Stephen Jay Gould’s monumental The Structure of Evolutionary Theory ‘‘attempts to expand and alter the premises of Darwinism, in order to build an enlarged and distinctive evolutionary theory . . . while remaining within the tradition, and under the logic, of Darwinian argument.’’ The three branches or ‘‘fundamental principles of Darwinian logic’’ are, according to Gould: agency (natural selection acting on individual organisms), efficacy (producing new species adapted to their environments), and scope (accumulation of changes that through geological time yield the living world’s panoply of diversity and morphological complexity). Gould’s efforts to contribute something important to each of these three fundamental components of Darwinian Theory are far from successful.
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