Today is the anniversary of the death, in 1873, of the Swiss-born American zoologist and geologist, Louis Agassiz (born in 1807) whom I've mentioned before. It is fair to say that Agassiz was the last intellectually respectable creationist in America. A vehement anti-evolutionist and polygenist, Agassiz none-the-less left modern science with a theory of glaciation. He was influential in the formation of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) & the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), and founded the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard (home of Gould, Mayr, and Wilson). He was, it is fair to say, one of the great scientists of 19th century America.
huh...Miles and now Agassiz...I like the way you think!
He's also the namesake of (doubtless among others) the desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii.
You need to add a reference to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake (tremor) when the statue of Agassiz at Stanford toppled into the concrete courtyard. [Agassiz in the concrete]
This gave rise to the famous saying that Agassiz looked better in the abstract than in the concrete.
Mentioned in the introduction I linked to.
To me, Agassiz stands alongside Richard Owen, Robert FitzRoy, Adam Sedgwick, and many others of Darwin's generation: admirable (and, in FitzRoy's case, Admiral) men who often get a bad press because we like to judge people with the benefit of 20:20 hindsight. They made huge contributions to science, and they deserve our respect.
(Wonderful photo, by the way.)
Richard mentions the "men who often get a bad press because we like to judge people with the benefit of 20:20 hindsight". I wholeheartedly agree. People like Agassiz, Robert Chambers, Sedgwick & St George Jackson Mivart have interested me precisely,/b> for this reason (and I've written professionally on all four).
What is interesting is how (compared to the people we've mentioned) individuals like Wells, Dembski and Morris are, well, so totally insignificant scientifically that I doubt historians of science will be mentioning them favorably in any way.