William King Gregory (1876-1970)

"Perhaps the majority of paleontologists of the present time who believe in orthogenesis, the irreversibility of evolution and the polyphyletic origin of families will assume that a short molar must keep on getting shorter... however, I must conclude that 'orthogenesis' should never mean solely that structures and races evolve in a certain direction or toward a certain goal, only until the direction of evolution shifts toward some other goal. I believe that 'irreversibility of evolution' means only that past changes irreversibly limit and condition future possibilities" (1916)

Primatologist, paleontologist, brilliant functional and comparative morphologist. A Darwinian during a period when American paleontology was dominated by orthogeneticists like his own employer H. F. Osborn, Gregory still advocated remarkably modern ideas on human evolution.

Gregory. From Rainger, p. 229.

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