Definition of Stephen Jay Gould from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

Stephen Jay Gould

 
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(1941-2002) a US palaeontologist (= person who studies the remains of animals and plants in rock as a guide to the history of life on earth). He is well known for his theory of 'punctuated equilibrium', which explains evolution (= the development of life forms) that takes place in short periods of rapid change separated by long periods without change. He wrote many popular books and articles about the history of life on earth.