Steven Gould and his Expressive Style: Involving and Evolving with Readers Essay

Steven Gould and his Expressive Style: Involving and Evolving with ReadersJay Gould effectively demonstrates his scientific knowledge and succinct writing skills to persuade members of academia to understand the vital significance to the deletion of evolution studies in Kansas classrooms.  Not only does he appeal to the senses of scientists and teachers of science, but persons in other academic fields, such as theology, history, and law.  This can be seen by his style of writing that is humorous, at times, but also laden with jargon that only seasoned professors, teachers, and science students would understand.  It should be noted that in using science as a precursor to comprehending Gould’s work, that social science, as well, is included in his call to action and understanding of the evolution deletion in Kansas.

  This is a social issue, as much as it is a scientific one and many readers in diverse academic fields would recognize this.Gould does use this idea of the deletion of an important ingredient of scientific inquiry as a social issue, one that could effect any of his cohorts. In this way, he appeals to them and becomes one of them.  Gould achieves this most effectively toward the end of his piece, where he engages his readers in a charged dialogue of an important question.  “Why get excited over this latest episode in the long, sad history of American anti-intellectualism”?  This serves as not only an alarming wake-up call to American academic supporters, but patriotic and sensible persons, as well.  He assumes that his readers will be intellectual, socially conscious patriots that revere their ability to teach freely in this country without political “red tape” and he achieves this brilliantly.Gould organizes his piece using The Wizard of Oz as a metaphor for examining the problem between fact and fantasy.

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  This is especially important for his audience given the issue at hand, the fundamentalist view of the unconfirmed fact of evolution as non-science.  For all involved in scientific and historical inquiry, this brings the issue to the forefront that what is considered “fact” by those dedicated to study can be condemned as fantasy or non-truth.  After this metaphor, he uses a timeline of the evolution debate and then sets forth his argument for all of science and the need for evolution to be upheld as fact. He brings in the readers as he states, “if justification required eyewitness testimony, we would have no science of deep time–no geology, no ancient human history either”.In conclusion, Gould successfully captures the attention of his audience in a piece that is both readable and informative.  He asserts himself as an expert and a positive persuader for the cause of intellectualism and non-secular education.

  He does not alienate those in academia, either as he shows the corollary relationship between religion and science.  By acting as an expert, an entertaining writer, and a man who uses his opinions assertively and not aggressively, he does achieve the feat of reaching a diverse group of interested readers without alienating them from his ideas.


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