Excerpts: Stephen Jay Gould, (...), died Monday morning
(May 20) in Manhattan of metastasized lung cancer.
Gould, along with Niles Eldredge, a paleontologist at New York's Museum of
Natural History, developed an evolutionary theory called "punctuated
equilibrium," where long periods of evolutionary stability are broken by
shorter spurts of evolutionary change, perhaps sparked by external events such
as climate change or the impact of a comet. The theory contrasts with more
traditional evolutionists, who believe evolution is a slow, steady process
occurring at a nearly constant rate.