George Gaylord Simpson

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Simpson, George Gaylord


Born June 16, 1902, in Chicago. American paleontologist. Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1943) and the National Academy of Sciences (1941). Attended the University of Colorado in 1918 and 1919 and from 1920 to 1922. Doctor of philosophy (1926) and Doctor of sciences (1946).

Simpson worked at the American Museum of Natural History in New York from 1927 to 1959, heading the geology and paleontology department from 1944 to 1958. He was a professor of zoology at Columbia University in New York from 1945 to 1959. He worked at the Museum of Comparative Zoology from 1959 to 1970 and was simultaneously a professor of geology and biology at Harvard University. Simpson was also a professor of geology at the University of Arizona from 1967 to 1970; in 1970 he became a professor of geosciences at the university.

Simpson contributed to the development of the modern synthetic theory of evolution with studies linking paleontological and genetic data. He wrote on the rates and forms of evolution and coined the terms “megaevolution,” “bradytely,” “horote-ly,” “tachytely,” and “quantum evolution.”

Simpson is a foreign member of the Royal Society of London (1958).


The Meaning of Evolution, revised edition. Calcutta, 1965.
Horses. New York, 1951.
Life of the Past. London, 1953.
The Major Features of Evolution. New York, 1953.
Evolution and Geography. Eugene, 1953.
Life. New York, 1957. (With C. S. Pittendrigh and L. H. Tiffany.)
Quantitative Zoology. New York, 1960.
Principles of Animal Taxonomy. New York, 1961.
The Geography of Evolution. Philadelphia-New York, 1965.
Biology and Man. New York, 1969.
In Russian translation:
Tempy iformy evoliutsii. Moscow, 1948. [23–1201–]
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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