George Gaylord Simpson was an American paleontologist. He was
an expert on extinct mammals and their intercontinental migrations.
was the most influential paleontologist of the twentieth century
and a major participant in the Modern synthesis. He was Professor
of zoology at Columbia University and curator of the Department
of Geology and Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural
History from 1945 to 1959. He was curator of the Museum of Comparative
Zoology at Harvard University from 1959 to 1970.
main publications were Tempo and Mode in Evolution (1944) and
Principles of Classification and a Classification of Mammals (1945).
stands alone in the universe, a unique product of a long, unconscious,
impersonal, material process with unique understanding and potentialities.
These he owes to no one but himself, and it is to himself that
he is responsible. He is not the creature of uncontrollable and
undeterminable forces, but is his own master. He can and must
decide and manage his own destiny."