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.


Studied under:



Key publications:

Lefalophodon Home - Timeline - Bibliography - Related Sites - Comments & Suggestions