SUBSEQUENT APPEARANCES Gould republished “The Creation Myths of Cooperstown” in his 1991 essay collection Bully for Brontosaurus. This important change helps to better set up and clarify Gould’s argument for using evolutionary stories to contextualize the abortion debate.
This book was the fifth of nine collections ultimately culled from Gould’s “This View of Life” pieces. All of the black and white photographs from the Natural History version are reprinted in the Bully for Brontosaurus version. “The Creation Myths of Cooperstown.” Natural History Nov.
When he learned that there was a field of study called paleontology, and that an adult could have a career seeking the fossils of extinct animals, his course in life was set.
With only the slightest knowledge of what this career would be, he moved inexorably toward his goal.
He ultimately rejects an “origin” story for the beginning of life, in favor of an evolutionary one that views development as more of a continuum. In the essay’s final section on abortion, Gould critiques a controversial Supreme Court ruling from July 1989.
IMMEDIATE CONTEXT “The Creation Myths of Cooperstown” first appeared in the November 1989 issue of Natural History magazine, in Stephen Jay Gould’s monthly column “This View of Life.” (Gould wrote over 280 essays for the magazine during his twenty-seven years as its columnist.) Gould, Stephen Jay. Gould’s article featured several black-and-white photographs of individuals responsible for perpetuating baseball’s “origin myth,” including A. This ruling upheld a Missouri anti-abortion law stating that “the life of each human being begins at conception.” Gould quotes this phrase and argues for it being yet another example of a creation myth. Stephen Jay Gould was born on September 10, 1941, in Queens, New York, the son of Leonard Gould, a court stenographer, and Eleanor, an artist and entrepreneur.Gould took his first steps toward a career in paleontology after a visit to the American Museum of Natural History with his father.Gould references two important theories he himself helped popularize—punctuated equilibriums and spandrels—when making his case for baseball’s evolutionary story.In the essay’s final section, Gould attempts to reframe the abortion debate regarding when a fetus is considered alive.Stephen Jay Gould was born in New York City and raised in Bayside in the borough of Queens.On a trip to the Museum of Natural History with his father, five-year-old Stephen was captivated by the giant dinosaur skeletons.“The Creation Myths of Cooperstown.” Natural History Nov. Full-color advertisements appear opposite the essay on every other page. Gould’s essay was reprinted in 1991 in Bully for Brontosaurus, his fifth collection of essays culled from “This View of Life.” Gould made a single change to this republished version, replacing a period with a colon in the first sentence of the penultimate paragraph. Products include the Chrysler New Yorker Fifth Avenue sedan, non-fiction history books with titles like The Story of a Confederate Warrior and The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, and ceramic figurines of animals similar to those found in the American Museum of Natural History. His Natural History version read: “To state the most obvious example in our current political turmoil. These advertisements seem to target an affluent audience of middle-aged men with children of their own; Gould’s defense of abortion can be understood as addressing this specific readership. Human growth is a continuum, and no creation myth can define an instant for the origin of human life” (24). The article’s six pages each feature a single black and white photograph; almost all of these photos feature historical figures involved in baseball’s creation myth. His Bully for Brontosaurus version reads: “To state the most obvious example in our current political turmoil: Human growth is a continuum, and no creation myth can define an instant for the origin of human life” (57).