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Galton, Francis: A cousin of Charles Darwin, Galton was a British explorer and anthropologist. He was known for his studies of human intelligence and later for his work in eugenics (a term he coined), the "science" of improving human heredity characteristics. Known for his efforts at various sorts of measurement (he developed fingerprinting and was a pioneer in statistics), he was knighted in 1909. (PBS evolution Glossary)

Gauthier, Jacques: American vertebrate paleontologist, comparative morphologist, and systematist, and one of the founders of the use of cladistics in biology and paleontology. His paper on the origin of birds from theropod dinosaurs (Gauthier 1986) was the first detailed cladistic analysis of the theropods, and initiated a revolution in dinosaur phylogenetics, in which cladistics replaced the Linnaean system in the classification and phylogenetic understanding of the dinosaurs. In this way an obscure neontological system came to be the fundamental orientating paradigm of paleo geeks everywhere. i.e. paleo geeks love big charismatic animals like dinosaurs, so anything that helps understand dinosaurs or provides an easy and logical way to map their eveolutionary relationships will be enthusiastically embraced, and then applied not just with dinosaurs but with all tetrapods and eventually all organisms. Gauthier co-authered 1988 amniote paper (Gauthier et al 1998) is also frequently cited to demonstrate the importance of taxon sampling in phylogenetic analysis, in particular the importance of sampling rare or fossil taxa that can break long branches along which convergence can occur. More recently, Gauthier has, together with Kevin de Queiroz, argued for replacing Linnaean taxonomy with the PhyloCode. (MAK, Wikipedia)

Gehring, Walter J.: Dr. Gehring and his research group discovered the homeobox, a DNA segment characteristic for homeotic genes which is not only present in arthropods and their ancestors, but also in vertebrates up to humans. Their work on the "master control gene" for eye development sheds light on how the mechanism for building eyes may have evolved long ago in the ancestor of what are now very different types of organisms. (PBS evolution Glossary)

Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Étienne (1772 – 1844) French naturalist who established the principle of "unity of composition". Although a friend and coworker with Georges Cuvier, Geoffroy also supported and developed Lamarck's evolutionary theories. Unlike Lamarck's naturalist explanations, Geoffroy advocated an idealist position similar to those of the German Naturphilosophie morphologists like Lorenz Oken. Held that organisms were based on a basic archetype. He believed in the underlying unity of organismal design, and the possibility of the transmutation of species in time, amassing evidence for his claims through research in comparative anatomy, paleontology, and embryology. (Wikipedia)

Gould, Stephen Jay: (1941-2002) American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, historian of science, and popular science writer who spent most of his career at Harvard University. With Niles Eldredge he formulated the theory of punctuated equilibrium in 1972. Gould was very critical of the idea of evolutionary ascent, arguing that this is a misinterpretaion of Darwinism. In Ever Since Darwin, he explains that Darwinian selection means is that no organism becomes better fitted to survival in its environment. A nematode parasite is just as valid an example of evolution as a graceful gazelle; in other words, Darwinism is not about progress. In Wonderful Life he argued that the Cambrian explosion involved a large number of organisms totally unrelated to extant phyla, and hence that evolution does not have any direction, and that the rise of intelligence on Earth was purely accidental. Based on his interpretation of the Burgess Shale and the many anatomical designs he saw arise there only to then die out, he felt "amazement . . . at the fact that humans ever evolved at all. . . . Replay the tape a million times from a Burgess beginning, and I doubt that anything like Homo sapiens would ever evolve again. It is, indeed, a wonderful life." (Wonderful Life: the Burgess Shale and the Nature of History (1989) p. 289, cited at Fossils and other living things blog). Some of his paleontological interpretations here have since been refuted, as taxa such as Hallucogenia have been slotted in or related to current phyla. Gould and Dawkins were the major players in the "Darwin wars", a long-running disagreement about the details of sociobiology, adaptationism and whether evolution took place more on the level of genes or organisms; Gould opposed strict selectionism, sociobiology as applied to humans, and evolutionary psychology. Gould tirelessly campaigned against creationism and proposed that science and religion should be considered two distinct fields, or "magisteria", whose authorities do not overlap. Contrast with Evolution (Systems Theory), Simon Conway Morris. Links: The Unofficial Stephen Jay Gould Archive, World of Dawkins: The Gould Files, Darwinian Fundamentalism by Stephen Jay Gould (MAK, Wikipedia, EvoWiki)

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