George Gaylord Simpson

American paleontologist

George Gaylord Simpson (June 16, 1902October 6, 1984) was an American paleontologist. Simpson was perhaps the most influential paleontologist of the twentieth century, and a major participant in the modern evolutionary synthesis, contributing Tempo and mode in evolution (1944), The meaning of evolution (1949) and The major features of evolution (1953).


  • Exobiology - a curious development in view of the fact that this "science" has yet to demonstrate that its subject matter exists!
    • Simpson in: Elie Alexis Shneour (1966) Extraterrestrial Life: An Anthology and Bibliography. p. 269
  • Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind.
    • George Gaylord Simpson (1967) The Meaning of Evolution, revised edition. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 345.
  • I don't think that evolution is supremely important because it is my specialty; it is my specialty because I think it is supremely important.
  • It is another aphorism that no ones knows everything about anything. That need not dull the pleasure and fascination of the fact that a great deal is known about some things.
    • Splendid Isolation (1980) New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 38

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