Stephen Jay Gould
Appearances: “Lisa the Skeptic” (1997)
Evolutionary biologist/paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould turned up, appropriately enough, in the episode “Lisa the Skeptic.” It all starts when Lisa protests the construction of a new shopping mall on a site that’s rich in fossils. Her plan backfires somewhat when, in the midst of an archaeological dig on the site, Lisa uncovers a winged human skeleton — which the rest of the town immediately concludes is a dead angel. Gould rides into town to conduct tests on the “angel,” but before long the forces of faith and reason are squaring off head-to-head, with Judge Snyder forced to issue a restraining order that keeps science and religion 500 feet apart at all times. By the time all is said and done, the angel is revealed to be a publicity stunt to help hype the shopping mall, and the subject of religion and science has been well and truly skewered. (And Gould reveals that he basically did not help at all.)
Lisa: I don’t understand, Professor, why didn’t your test show that the skeleton was a fake?
Stephen Jay Gould: I’m going to be honest with you, Lisa, I never did the test.