A Critical Analysis of Gould’s “Dinosaurs in the Haystack”


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Essay #: 053711
Total text length is 5,360 characters (approximately 3.7 pages).

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The beginning:
Gould’s “Dinosaurs in the Haystack”
Scholars in many disciplines have long contemplated the relationship between theory and observation, debating whether one takes precedence over the other. In his article, “Dinosaurs in the Haystack,” Stephen Jay Gould enters into the debate quoting Darwin’s statement that "[a]ll observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service” (as cited in Gould, 1992, p. 393). In doing so, Gould firmly argues that observation and theory are two integral parts of one whole. Any science that claims otherwise is faulty and partial at best. Gould states, “[t]heories drive us to seek new information that only becomes relevant as data either for or against a hot idea. Data adjudicate theory, but...
The end:
.....receded us. In addition, Gould expertly illustrates through these case studies that theory and observation are integral parts of a whole. Theory without observation (or vice versa) leads to unsubstantiated conclusions that obscure real scientific discoveries. Science based on the symbiotic relationship between theory and observation allows us to gain a greater understanding of the evolution of earth’s species.
Darwin, C. (1859). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural
Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. London: John Murray. Retrieved 8-31-2009 from www.literature.org.
Gould, S. J. (1992). Dinosaurs in the Haystack. Natural History,
101, 2-13. Retrieved 8-31-2009 from www.sjgarchive.org.