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Agassiz, Louis

Category: Genius

 

Professor Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz (May 28, 1807 – December 14, 1873) was a Swiss biologist and geologist recognized as an innovative and prodigious scholar of Earth's natural history.  He was a sort of mystic scientist, and is thus very difficult to classify on our site.  But, he is said to have said “I cannot afford to waste my time making money” – and this sentence thus places him in the genius category!

He made extensive contributions to ichthyological classification (including of extinct species) and to the study of geological history (including to the founding of glaciology), and has become widely known from his study and thorough regimen of observational data gathering and analysis. He made vast institutional and scientific contributions to zoology, geology, and related areas—including many multi-volume research series running to thousands of pages.

Agassiz received Doctor of Philosophy and medical degrees at Erlangen and Munich, respectively; and was professor of natural history at the University of Neuchâtel.  Under his care, the University of Neuchâtel soon became a leading institution for scientific inquiry.

 

In 1836 the Wollaston Medal was awarded to Agassiz by the Geological Society of London for his work on fossil ichthyology; and in 1838 he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Society.  In 1837, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. 

After visiting Harvard University mid-career, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1847 and became a professor of zoology and geology at Harvard, where he headed its Lawrence Scientific School and founded its Museum of Comparative Zoology.  Agassiz also served as a non-resident lecturer at Cornell University while also being on faculty at Harvard.

Many natural lakes and mountains bear his name. A crater on Mars, Crater Agassiz, and a promontorium on the Moon are also named in his honour, as is a main-belt asteroid - 2267 Agassiz.

Several animal species include his name in his honour, including Apistogramma agassizi Steindachner, 1875 (Agassiz's dwarf cichlid); Isocapnia agassizi Ricker, 1943 (a stonefly); Publius agassizi (Kaup), 1871 (a passalid beetle); Xylocrius agassizi (LeConte), 1861 (a longhorn beetle); Exoprosopa agassizi Loew, 1869 (a bee fly); and the most well-known, Gopherus agassizii Cooper, 1863 (the desert tortoise).

 

Spiritual beliefs of Louis Agassiz

‘His eyes were the feature of his face, par excellence.
They were of a beautiful bright brown, full of
tenderness, of meaning and earnestness; a liquid
brown eye, that would moisten with tears of emotion
as thoughts of his Creator came rushing to mind,
while he traced His footsteps in the sciences he
studied. His eyes mirrored his soul. I think there was
never but one pair of eyes such as Professor Louis
Agassiz's.' [Clara Conant Gilson]

Agassiz was the son of the Christian Protestant pastor of the parish of Motier, and believed fervently in God as the Creator.  Many of his insights came from dreams and we have an example in the observations.  He also had a vivid ‘imagination’, which, once one examines his descriptions, showed that it was almost as if he was able to remote view the past – he ‘saw’ how things looked in glacial ages, a time traveller in his mind.  When studying the superficial deposits of the Brazilian plains in 1865, for example, he ‘saw’ that wide tropical area covered with one vast glacier, extending from the Andes to the sea.  I have little idea whether this idea is accepted today or not, but I am sure he was right.

The subsequent distortion of Darwin’s ideas by the ‘science as religion’ materialists found no shrift with Agassiz and he wholeheartedly rejected this new interpretation of evolution as a materialistic concept of chance mutations.  Agassiz believed Nature had order because God created it as a system, and he viewed his career in science as a search for the ideas in the mind of the Creator expressed in creation.

Interestingly the flaws in the materialistic ‘chance mutation’ hypothesis are being recognised more and more, as such Agassiz may prove to be entirely correct in the long run:

Agassiz concluded that there is order in nature; that the animal kingdom especially has been constructed upon a plan which presupposes the existence of an intelligent being as its Author. Most of his arguments against Darwin have not been refuted even today but, instead, the research, especially in cell biology, has eloquently supported the many lethal problems with macro-evolution that Agassiz recognized over a century ago.

 

Agassiz thus believed that genera and species were ideas in the mind of God; part of the Intelligence hierarchy and the Tree of Life, their existence in God's mind prior to their physical creation meant that God could create humans as one species yet in several distinct and geographically separate acts of creation. The rather ironic thing about those who say that he did not support Darwin’s theories, is that he believed each different ‘species’ of humans was made fit for purpose – dark skin to protect those in areas of high radiation, for example, and light skin to enable vitamin D to be absorbed in areas of little light.

He too noticed the reusability of designs on opposite sides of the world, when the conditions were somewhat similar.  In order to employ reusable designs one needs a strategy for creation that employs this approach, and for there to be a strategy there has to be a mind to have created this strategy, thus by logic alone one can see that the Ultimate Intelligence is proven.

Agassiz did not believe that migration and chance adaptation could account for any of the observations he had collected.  Adaptation takes time and chance mutation takes even longer.  Furthermore Agassiz questioned how plants or animals could ‘migrate’ through regions they were not equipped to handle. “Creatures live" he said “in the conditions necessary to their maintenance, and what among organized beings is essential to their temporal existence must be at least one of the conditions under which they were created".

 

The poor man has been accused, by the hierophants of materialism, of ‘racism’ for proposing that man did not migrate en masse out of Africa.  But Agassiz was no racist.  Agassiz actually found racism abhorrent, much as he found sexism abhorrent and believed in a spiritualized human unity, in which all creatures were made equal and all creatures are equal in the eyes of God:

Those intellectual and moral qualities which are so eminently developed in civilized society, but which equally exist in the natural dispositions of all human races, constituting the higher unity among men, making them all equal before God.

There is adequate proof that Agassiz acted on his beliefs as well, and one of the things that marks Agassiz out as a kindly and humanitarian man is his treatment of women. 

Louis Agassiz as a teacher illustrative extracts on his method of instruction - Lane Cooper
….his college lectures were open to women as well as to men. He had great sympathy with the desire of women for larger and more various fields of study and work, and a certain number of women have always been employed as assistants at the Museum.

Mary Anning and her reliable dog, Tray, depicted on the Lyme Regis coast

Women actually did a great deal of research work in those days, but were rarely mentioned and their contribution never acknowledged.   Agassiz was grateful for the help a number of women had given him in examining fossil fish specimens during his visit to Lyme Regis in 1834.  And so he named a species after one of them - Mary Anning. She was a paleontologist who was known around the world for important finds, but because of her gender, usually omitted from formal recognition for her work. In the early 1840s he named two fossil fish species after her—Acrodus anningiae, and Belenostomus anningiae.

Agassiz’s family appear to have inherited his benevolence and humanity.  From his first marriage to Cecilie Bruan, Agassiz had two daughters in addition to son Alexander. In 1863, Agassiz's daughter Ida married Henry Lee Higginson, later to be founder of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and benefactor to Harvard University and other schools. On November 30, 1860, Agassiz's daughter Pauline was married to Quincy Adams Shaw (1825–1908), a wealthy Boston merchant and later benefactor to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

In 1850, after Cecilie’s death, he married his second wife, Elizabeth Cabot Cary of Boston, Mass., afterwards well known as a writer and as an active promoter of educational work in connection with Radcliffe College.  She wrote his biography.

 

 Louis Agassiz as a teacher

Agassiz made huge contributions to science, but one of his biggest contributions was one only enjoyed by his students at the time.  When the question was put to Agassiz, 'What do you regard as your greatest work?' he replied: “I have taught men to observe.” And in the preamble to his will he even described himself in three words as 'Louis Agassiz, Teacher.'  We have attempted in extracts from Lane Cooper’s book to show how he taught men to observe, and then in the extracts from his book provided his ‘Proofs that God exists’, which are extremely well argued [it is worth noting that Agassiz was greatly influenced by Schelling in writing this book]:

Louis Agassiz as a teacher illustrative extracts on his method of instruction - Lane Cooper
Passing from bench to bench, from table to table, with a suggestion here, a kindly but scrutinizing glance there, he made his sympathetic presence felt by the whole establishment. No man ever exercised a more genial personal influence over his students and assistants.

Agassiz was the epitome of a good teacher, commanding respect by his enthusiasm and desire to help and impart knowledge as well as his patience.  He appears to have entirely without ego:

Louis Agassiz as a teacher illustrative extracts on his method of instruction - Lane Cooper
When I first met Louis Agassiz, he was still in the prime of his admirable manhood; though he was then fifty-two years old, and had passed his constructive period, he still had the look of a young man. His face was the most genial and engaging that I had ever seen, and his manner captivated me altogether. But as I had been among men who had a free swing, and for a year among people who seemed to me to be cold and super-rational, hungry as I doubtless was for human sympathy, Agassiz's welcome went to my heart I was at once his captive. It has been my good chance to see many men of engaging presence and ways, but I have never known his equal.

Life and career

Louis Agassiz was born in Môtier (now part of Haut-Vully) in the canton of Fribourg, Switzerland. Educated first at home, then spending four years of secondary school in Bienne, he completed his elementary studies in Lausanne. Having adopted medicine as his profession, he studied successively at the universities of Zürich, Heidelberg and Munich; while there he extended his knowledge of natural history, especially of botany.

 

In 1829 he received the degree of doctor of philosophy at Erlangen, and in 1830 that of doctor of medicine at Munich. Moving to Paris he came under the tutelage of Alexander von Humboldt (and later his financial benevolence) Humboldt and Georges Cuvier launched him on his careers of geology and zoology respectively. Previously he had not paid special attention to the study of ichthyology, but it soon became the focus of his life's work.

In 1819–1820, Johann Baptist von Spix and Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius were engaged in an expedition to Brazil, and on their return to Europe, amongst other collections of natural objects they brought home an important set of the fresh water fish of Brazil, and especially of the Amazon River. Spix, who died in 1826, did not live long enough to work out the history of these fish, and Agassiz, having just completed his studies, was selected by Martius for this project. He at once threw himself into the work with an enthusiasm which characterized him to the end of his busy life. The task of describing the Brazilian fish was completed and published in 1829. This was followed by research into the history of the fish found in Lake Neuchâtel. Enlarging his plans, in 1830 he issued a prospectus of a History of the Freshwater Fish of Central Europe. It was only in 1839, however, that the first part of this publication appeared, and it was completed in 1842.

 

In 1832 he was appointed professor of natural history in the University of Neuchâtel. The fossil fish there soon attracted his attention. The fossil-rich stones furnished by the slates of Glarus and the limestones of Monte Bolca were known at the time, but very little had been accomplished in the way of scientific study of them. Agassiz, as early as 1829, planned the publication of the work which, more than any other, laid the foundation of his worldwide fame. Five volumes of his Recherches sur les poissons fossiles ("Research on Fossil Fish") appeared at intervals from 1833 to 1843. They were magnificently illustrated, chiefly by Joseph Dinkel. In gathering materials for this work Agassiz visited the principal museums in Europe, and meeting Cuvier in Paris, he received much encouragement and assistance from him.

Agassiz found that his palaeontological labours made necessary a new basis of ichthyological classification. The fossils rarely exhibited any traces of the soft tissues of fish. They consisted chiefly of the teeth, scales and fins, with the bones being perfectly preserved in comparatively few instances. He therefore adopted a classification which divided fish into four groups: Ganoids, Placoids, Cycloids and Ctenoids, based on the nature of the scales and other dermal appendages.

As Agassiz's descriptive work proceeded, it became obvious that it would over-tax his resources unless financial assistance could be found. The British Association came to his aid, and the Earl of Ellesmere—then Lord Francis Egerton—stepped in to help. The 1,290 original drawings made for the work were purchased by the Earl, and presented by him to the Geological Society of London.

 

Meanwhile, invertebrate animals engaged his attention. In 1837 he issued the "Prodrome" of a monograph on the recent and fossil Echinodermata, the first part of which appeared in 1838; in 1839–40 he published two quarto volumes on the fossil Echinoderms of Switzerland; and in 1840–45 he issued his Études critiques sur les mollusques fossiles ("Critical Studies on Fossil Mollusks").

Before his first visit to England in 1834, the labours of Hugh Miller and other geologists brought to light the remarkable fish of the Old Red Sandstone of the northeast of Scotland. The strange forms of the Pterichthys, the Coccosteus and other genera were then made known to geologists for the first time. They were of intense interest to Agassiz, and formed the subject of a special monograph by him published in 1844–45: Monographie des poissons fossiles du Vieux Grès Rouge, ou Système Dévonien (Old Red Sandstone) des Îles Britanniques et de Russie ("Monograph on Fossil Fish of the Old Red Sandstone, or Devonian System of the British Isles and of Russia").

With the aid of a grant of money from the King of Prussia, Agassiz crossed the Atlantic in the autumn of 1846 with the twin purposes of investigating the natural history and geology of North America and delivering a course of 12 lectures on "The Plan of Creation as shown in the Animal Kingdom," by invitation from J. A. Lowell, at the Lowell Institute in Boston, Massachusetts.

The financial offers presented to him in the United States induced him to settle there, where he remained to the end of his life.

 

The Great Work and Creation

 

“his head was fine and large. In later years his hair, of a
chestnut colour, deserted his brow, but he wore it full
at the sides and back, and this, with the side-whiskers
of the day, tended to conceal his ears. “[Mrs Agassiz]

Agassiz In his long and meticulous studies of the thousands and thousands of observations he made, noticed that there were similarities of distribution of like species in different geological eras, a phenomenon clearly not the result of migration.

In essence, Agassiz did not believe that, for example, humans migrated out of Africa and evolved on the way, he believed that there were pockets of environmental diversity in which species were placed suited to the environment,  In other words there was a Creator, or if you prefer numerous Intelligent Creators, that designed species and placed them in ecological islands.

Agassiz questioned, for example, how it was possible for fish of the same species to live in lakes well separated with no joining waterway, concluding they were created at both locations. He held that the intelligent adaptation of creatures to their environments testified to an intelligent plan. In other words he recognised the existence of the Great Work.

There appears to be the belief that Agassiz was ‘anti-Darwin’, but the evidence does not support this.  In essence he saw the need for a theory of how completely new species appeared over the aeons and then saw evolution as a means of improving the design.  Analogously, the Master software package maker designs and creates a new species package, which is then implemented in the physical environment for which it was designed.  The entire ecological system of animals, plants and humans were all created to be together in "special provinces" with distinct populations of species created in and for each province. After monitoring this ecosystem over time [via perceptions], the species was then tweaked – evolved to improve the design.  Agassiz did not believe in chance to create the mutation [but then neither did Darwin or Wallace].

 

The conclusions of Agassiz’s studies led him to believe that whichever region each animal was found in, was created [placed there physically- apported!] - "animals are naturally autochthones wherever they are found". He later extended this idea to humans in his theory of polygenism.

Agassiz was needless to say criticised by the materialists for his theories, but they make far more sense than the idea that humans migrated from Africa.  Anyone who is any sort of observer of human beings will have noted that humans do not move unless they have to.  If they have a source of food and an environment that sustains them, they stay put.  As such the ‘out of Africa’ theory does not have much going for it, especially as there were no roads at the time this migration was supposed to take place, and the earth would have been an impenetrable mass of vegetation and not at all easy to traverse.

But, of course one has to believe in the idea of a Creator and the concept of apporting to accept Agassiz’s theory, and although we have hundreds upon hundreds of example apporting observations to show it does happen, Agassiz’s detractors at the time did not. 

According to Agassiz, the different races were also created in different provinces, with each race indigenous to the province it was created in, citing evidence from Egyptian monuments to prove that racial types had been fixed for at least five millennia. He held that all species and human races are fixed, and that species do not evolve into other species.

His example ecosystems - the provinces that the different races were created in-  included Western American Temperate (the indigenous peoples west of the Rockies), Eastern American Temperate (east of the Rockies), Tropical Asiatic (south of the Himalayas), Temperate Asiatic (east of the Urals and north of the Himalayas), South American Temperate (South America), New Holland (Australia), Arctic (Alaska and Arctic Canada). Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), and American Tropical (Central America and the West Indies).

Increments of evolution and the Ice ages

 

It is worth noting that Agassiz was not one of those who literally believed the Bible or who maintained that the Bible was history. 

He knew of its symbolism and used the ethical teachings of Jesus to direct his approach to his work, acknowledging the work of others, employing honesty in his research but pushing out the boundaries of understanding using observation. 

He was the first to recognise the existence of Ice ages – ice ages that through their action created increments of evolution.

1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 1 by Horace Bolingbroke Woodward
The year 1836 witnessed the inauguration of a new investigation, which proved to be of the utmost importance to geological science. Previously to this date de Saussure, Venetz, Charpentier and others had made the glaciers of the Alps the subjects of special study, and Charpentier had even arrived at the conclusion that the erratic blocks of alpine rocks scattered over the slopes and summits of the Jura mountains had been conveyed thither by glaciers.

Etudes sur les glaciers by Louis Agassiz

The question having attracted the attention of Agassiz, he not only made successive journeys to the alpine regions in company with Charpentier, but he had a hut constructed upon one of the Aar glaciers, which for a time he made his home, in order to investigate thoroughly the structure and movements of the ice. These labours resulted in the publication of his 'grand work in two volumes entitled Études sur les glaciers, 1840.

Therein he discussed the movements of the glaciers, their moraines, their influence in grooving and rounding the rocks over which they travelled, and in producing the striations and roches moutonnées with which we are now so familiar. He not only accepted Charpentier's idea that some of the alpine glaciers had extended across the wide plains and valleys drained by the Aar and the Rhone, and thus landed parts of their remains upon the uplands of the Jura, but he went still farther.

He concluded that, at a period geologically recent, Switzerland had been another Greenland; that instead of a few glaciers stretching across the areas referred to, one vast sheet of ice, originating in the higher Alps, had extended over the entire valley of north-western Switzerland until it reached the southern slopes of the Jura, which, though they checked and deflected its further extension, did not prevent the ice from reaching in many places the summit of the range. The publication of this work gave a fresh impetus to the study of glacial phenomena in all parts of the world.

Thus familiarized with the phenomena attendant on the movements of recent glaciers, Agassiz was prepared for a discovery which he made in 1840, in conjunction with William Buckland. These two savants visited the mountains of Scotland together, and found in different localities clear evidence of ancient glacial action. The discovery was announced to the Geological Society of London in successive communications from the two distinguished observers. The mountainous districts of England and Wales and Ireland were also considered to constitute centres for the dispersion of glacial débris; and Agassiz remarked “ that great sheets of ice, resembling those now existing in Greenland, once covered all the countries in which unstratified gravel (boulder drift) is found; that this gravel was in general produced by the trituration of the sheets of ice upon the subjacent surface, &c.”

The scientific method

 

Agassiz was perhaps one of the best exponents of the scientific method as it was intended to be practised. 

These days, with researchers sponsored by large corporations, the 'scientist' [if one can even call them this these days] is given an hypothesis to prove by the sponsoring company.  Needless to say, the hypothesis is always proved – as money has directed the outcome, and as such now we have – especially in the USA ‘rubber stamp science’. 

Few appear to consider this to be fraud, which is somewhat worrying, but corruption of this level can lead to some terrible outcomes, as is witnessed by the problems experienced with DDT, thalidomide, nanoparticles, GMO, vaccines and pharmaceuticals.  People are now dying from fraudulent science.

In contrast, Agassiz, informed by his deeply religious beliefs and his strong ethical ethos was the opposite.  He practised the genuine scientific method, which involves the setting of a scope [no hypothesis] and the collection of thousands and thousands of observations, which one eventually analyses and syntheses looking for patterns.

Within his lifetime, Agassiz had a reputation for a particularly demanding method of teaching someone how to observe. He would allegedly "lock a student up in a room full of turtle-shells, or lobster-shells, or oyster-shells, without a book or a word to help him, and not let him out till he had discovered all the truths which the objects contained."

 

The beauty of his better self lives on
In minds he touched with fire, in many an eye
He trained to Truth's exact severity;
He was a Teacher : why be grieved for him
Whose living word still stimulates the air?
In endless file shall loving scholars come
The glow of his transmitted touch to share.
Lowell, Agassiz.

Another reason for including Agassiz on our site, is his ideas on how these observations should be carried out, and the need for observation, - meticulous and constant observation - of thousands of objects within the scope of study before any conclusions are drawn – any synthesis made. 

Agassiz had, for many years yearned after the establishment of a permanent school where zoological science could be pursued amidst the haunts of the living, subjects of study for this reason.

 

The last, and possibly the most influential, of the labours of his life was the establishment of such an institution, which ‘he was enabled to effect through the liberality of Mr John Anderson, a citizen of New York’. That gentleman, in 1873, not only handed over to Agassiz the island of Penikese, in Buzzard's Bay, on the east coast, but also presented him with $50,000 wherewith permanently to endow it as a practical school of natural science, especially devoted to the study of marine zoology.
The John Anderson school was closed down after Agassiz's death; but it spawned another more famous school for studying biology in its natural state - the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, which is nearby.

Death

Agassiz was at the inauguration of the Anderson Summer School of Natural History at Penikese Island, on July 8, 1873.  But then...

In the year 1869 he had suffered a temporary breakdown of a very threatening sort, and for months was in seclusion, forbidden by his medical advisers even to think. His own wise efforts, and a quiet spring passed in the village of Deerfield, Connecticut, brought about his recovery, so that three years of activity were yet to be vouchsafed him. But the strain of his lectures, of his correspondence, of his labours at and for the Museum, was perilous. On the second of December, 1873, he gave a lecture, his last, on ' The Structural Growth of Domestic Animals’  before the Massachusetts Board of Agriculture at Fitchburg. On the third he dined with friends; on the fifth he was present at a family gathering and smoked cigars, defying the orders of his physician. But the end was not far off. He spoke of a 'dimness of sight'; he complained of feeling strangely asleep.  On the morning of the sixth he went as usual to the Museum, but with a sense of great weariness he shortly returned to his room, where he lay down, never to depart from it alive…. The last few days of his life were passed, not in great suffering, with his loving family around him.

 He was buried at Mount Auburn. His monument is a boulder selected from the moraine of the glacier of the Aar near the site of the old Hotel des Neuchatelois, not far from the spot where his hut once stood; and the pine-trees which shelter his grave were sent from his old home in Switzerland.

His 'daring conceptions were only equalled by the unwearied industry and genuine enthusiasm with which he worked them out'.  A great man.

The Fiftieth Birthday of Agassiz – Longfellow  May 28, 1857 

It was fifty years ago
  In the pleasant month of May,
In the beautiful Pays de Vaud,
  A child in its cradle lay. 

And Nature, the old nurse, took
  The child upon her knee,
Saying: "Here is a story-book
  Thy Father has written for thee." 

"Come, wander with me," she said,
  "Into regions yet untrod;
And read what is still unread
  In the manuscripts of God." 

And he wandered away and away
  With Nature, the dear old nurse,
Who sang to him night and day
The rhymes of the universe. 

And whenever the way seemed long,
  Or his heart began to fail,
She would sing a more wonderful song,
  Or tell a more marvellous tale. 

So she keeps him still a child,
  And will not let him go,
Though at times his heart beats wild
  For the beautiful Pays de Vaud; 

Though at times he hears in his dreams
  The Ranz des Vaches of old,
And the rush of mountain streams
  From glaciers clear and cold; 

And the mother at home says, "Hark!
  For his voice I listen and yearn;
It is growing late and dark,
  And my boy does not return!"

References

  • Paul M. Blowers, 2008, "Entering 'This Sublime and Blessed Amphitheatre': Contemplation of Nature and Interpretation of the Bible in the Patristic Period, In "Nature and Scripture in the Abrahamic Religions: Up to 1700", 2 vols
  • L. Agassiz, His Life and Correspondence,2 vols., by E. C (Mrs) Agassiz (London, 1885);
  • Louis Agassiz, His Life and Work, by C. F. Holder (New York and London, 1893).

By Agassiz

  • "'Recherches sur les poissons fossiles (1833–1843)
  • History of the Freshwater Fishes of Central Europe (1839–1842)
  • Études sur les glaciers (1840)
  • Études critiques sur les mollusques fossiles (1840–1845)
  • Nomenclator Zoologicus (1842–1846) - a classified list, with references, of all names employed in zoology for genera and groups — a work of great labour and research.
  • Monographie des poissons fossiles du Vieux Gres Rouge, ou Systeme Devonien (Old Red Sandstone) des Iles Britanniques et de Russie (1844–1845)
  • Bibliographia Zoologiae et Geologiae (1848)
  • Lake Superior: Its Physical Character, Vegetation and Animals, compared with those of other and similar regions (Boston: Gould, Kendall and Lincoln, 1850)
  • Contributions to the Natural History of the United States of America (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1857–1862)
  • Geological Sketches (Boston: Ticknor & Fields, 1866)
  • A Journey in Brazil (1868)
  • De l'espèce et de la classification en zoologie [Essay on classification] (Trans. Felix Vogeli. Paris: Bailière, 1869)
  • Geological Sketches (Second Series) (Boston: J.R. Osgood, 1876)
  • Essay on Classification, by Louis Agassiz (1962, Cambridge)

Obiter Dicta - Louis Agassiz
The only true scientific system must be one in which the thought, the intellectual structure, rises out of, and is based upon, facts.
He is lost, as an observer, who believes that he can, with impunity, affirm that for which he can adduce no evidence.
Have the courage to say: ‘I do not know.'

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Observations

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