Silly Science

Louis Agassiz was a Harvard zoologist and earth scientist who is credited with discovering that the earth was once frozen in an ice age. His genius was unassailable in Victorian America and Stanford was not the only University to immortalize him in a statue (on the Zoology Building in Stanford’s case). For all of his intellectual rigor, the guy floated some fairly zany notions about humans and animals springing from multiple pools of creation and a world without natural selection or evolved genetics. So there is just something very funny to me about a statue of an earth scientist head planted into the ground after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Even funnier was Stanford president David Starr Jordan’s quip that “Agassiz was great in the abstract but not in the concrete”.

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