steven jay gould

Are microbes everywhere?

Pretty much. They can survive in almost every habitat. There are microbes at the bottom of the ocean, for example. They don’t use light or sugar. They use sulfur. They eat sulfur like it’s candy, and there’s lots of that down there.

Were microbes the first to evolve?

Yes, three and a half billion years ago—and they’ll be the last. Microbes will have the planet to themselves again. Steven Jay Gould once said we should forget about the Age of Dinosaurs, forget about the Age of Man—we’ve always lived in the Age of Bacteria.

Learn much more in the ABC’s of microbes. 

Linda is 31 years old, single, outspoken, and very bright. She majored in philosophy. As a student, she was deeply concerned with issues of discrimination and social justice, and also participated in anti-nuclear demonstrations. Which is of the following is more probable?

Linda is a bank teller.
Linda is a bank teller and is active in the feminist movement.


Kahneman and Tversky’s “Linda Problem”

 " I am particularly fond of this example [the Linda problem] because I know that the [conjoint] statement is least probable, yet a little homunculus in my head continues to jump up and down, shouting at me—"but she can’t just be a bank teller; …“

Steven Jay Gould