Agassiz - Creator or Creationist?


February 09, 2013

Louis Agassiz: Creator of American Science
Author: Christoph Irmscher
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 2013. 448 pp. $35

Reviewed by Kevin Padian in Nature

Louis Agassiz was an internationally respected 19th century scientist, born in Switzerland , who moved to the United States and taught natural history at Harvard. His views influenced academics and laymen at the time but are regarded as creationist and racist today. Kevin Padian, professor of Integrative Biology on the University of California’s Berkeley campus, reviews a new biography of Agassiz in this week’s Nature.

An naturalistic comment on Agassiz was created by the earthquake which struck northern California on April 18, 1906. Across the front of a building on the campus of Stanford University were a well elevated series of statues of prominent men. The statue of Agassiz  was shaken loose by the temblor and penetrated the sidewalk below, as shown in the photograph  below entitled “Agassi in concrete”. The irony of this event is not contradicted by Padian’s review.

Agassiz in Concrete