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Proposal of an ice age : "In 1837 Agassiz was the first to ... Prior to this de Saussure"
but de Saussure is linked to Ferdinand de Saussure (November 26, 1857 - February 22, 1913) so there is another De Saussure phe
This page is missing completely Agassiz's writings on race -- they should be added in. --Fastfission 04:34, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
-- re polygenism: Agassiz was a special creationist, and as such held views which are difficult to briefly characterize in modern terminology. Thus, he held that all men belonged to one species, but that a single species could be created in more than one place, and so held that the various races of man were "one and the same species capable of ranging over the whole surface of the globe" (quoted in Lurie (1988:256)), but that various races had been created in different biogeographic regions. This account is, of course, fairly nonsensical by modern lights, but provides useful insights into Agassiz's ideas on the origin of biological diversity. Embedded in an account of his views on special creation, a discussion of Agassiz's views on polygenism would be interesting, especially if linked to their social and theological implications, but the mere mention of the word in the introductory paragraph, with no elaboration in the body of the article, seems more misleading than helpful. Lurie does provide such an account of Agassiz's views. 220.127.116.11 28 November 2005
- I agree that there should be more elaboration in the body. I'm not sure total omission is the path either, though. One article I have found interesting on this point is Stephen Jay Gould, "Flaws in a Victorian Veil", New Scientist 79 (31 Aug. 1978), 632-633. I'm not sure if the account you've provided of A.'s views is completely accurate in my assessment (the piece A. wrote for Knott and Giddon's Types of Mankind does not encourage an idea that he thought all races were the same species, in my recollection), but I'll look over my papers again and try to come up with something fair and accurate. --Fastfission 01:39, 29 November 2005 (UTC)
- Just as one word cannot do justice to Agassiz's views, my one sentence cannot do so either, and it thus cries out for amplification and even correction. I am not sufficiently a scholar of Agassiz to supply this myself, and would welcome the results of your study. 18.104.22.168 5 December 2005
- I'd suggest that Progressive creationism is the closest to the position of Agassiz, but the term "creationist" is anachronistic and should be avoided: as was usual among scientists of his generation he believed in divine creation of species, but accepted that species had changed or at least differed over long periods of time. .....dave souza 08:41, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Please add a link to <http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/>, which is editing and publishing all of the correspondence of Charles Darwin. Louis Agassiz was a significant correspondent of Darwin. Eadp 14:24, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Cape of Good Hope race article has an exact copy of the map in this article under Racial Classification section. The small amount text in this other article would fit better here. Corrigann 22:37, 2 May 2006 (UTC)
I was just finishing an english paper based on Louis Agassiz and his views on race. I was looking more into his beliefs and came across this article. This article misses a heavy amount of what Agassiz was all about... his work with Samuel Morton and his implications that the white man was the most superior race in the world. He also suggested to a commissioner under Lincoln's presidency that the government do all they can to seperate the white and black man from ever recreating or living as one.
During the 1906 earthquake at Stanford University a statue of Agassiz fell from a building and embedded itself headfirst in the pavement. A professor is said to have remarked: "I always did appreciate Agassiz more in the abstract than in the concrete. . ."
http://quake06.stanford.edu/centennial/tour/stop3.html --Saxophobia 23:35, 26 June 2006 (UTC)--Saxophobia 23:35, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Not really appropriate for the main page, but have added the picture from Commons --Bwmodular 08:57, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Some to the autorship of the glacial theory
- North American review. / Volume 145, Issue 368, July 1887 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk • contribs) 06:19, 18 September 2006
Is racism notable?
I moved the sentence here:
- Louis Agassiz was a hard racist. He developed the theories of racism and of apartheid. (Daniel Ryser, Wochenzeitung Nr. 24, 14. Juni 2007 / Hans Fässler, Reisen in Schwarz-Weiss)
Anybody with better knowledge than me, please, verify if this opinion is verifiable and notable enough to be included! What I'm thinking is that this could be the conclusion of a single person, written up in a non-specialist weekly paper, which is not to be included because of undue weight per WP:NPOV. Anybody know? Awolf002 01:42, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
- There's little doubt that he had some racist theories; that was not unusual or particularly weird for scientists of his time. But if we say anything about, it needs to not extrapolate beyond reliable sources, and attribute anything we say via reference to a reliable source. Here are some places to look. Dicklyon 03:57, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
- It is certainly notable that such an important scientist supported and developed racist theories, and it should be included like in the German language article. Béka 10:01, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
- It is a shame that the well-known and well-documented racism of Agassiz is not adequately treated in the article (as it is in the French and in the German Wikipedia; see also the discussion pages). The whole article is a pure hagiography unworthy of Wikipedia. Why not document and admit the dark sides of a scientist? Who wants to hide the truth? Who asks the scandalous question "Is racism notable?" (title of this text)? Let's be honest and show the racism of Agassiz (which he shared with many Americans and Swiss of his times). -- R. L., 18:00, 12 Sep. 2007 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 16:01, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
On September 14, 2007, the Swiss Federal Council (Swiss Government) criticized the "racist thinking" of Agassiz. -- R.L., 16:08, 14 September 2007 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk)
- Please provide a source, otherwise we'll have to remove that assertion from the article. I agree with you that this "dark side" should be documented, but wikipedia policy requires that we do that with verifiable sources, not hearsay. Dicklyon 23:39, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
- Okay. On September 12, 2007, the Swiss Government (Federal Council) answered an interpellation by Carlo Sommaruga (member of the Swiss Parliament) about Louis Agassiz. It is interpellation 20073486. You can read it in (in German): http://search.parlament.ch/cv-geschaefte?gesch_id=20073486. The Government stated: "Es besteht kein Zweifel, dass der heutige Bundesrat sein rassistisches Denken verurteilt". My translation: "There is no doubt that the actual Swiss Government condemns his racist thinking." -- R.L., 10:58, 16 September 2007 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk)
Many sources on Agassiz's racism exist: Stephen Jay Gould, "Flaws in a Victorian Veil," Chapter 16 in The Panda's Thumb, is a very accessible one. There are far more academic ones as well; basically any work on ethnology before Darwin discusses him extensively. Practically any book about Agassiz will feature some discussion of it. --220.127.116.11 14:33, 16 October 2007 (UTC)
Broken Link removed
He's called Swiss-American in the intro and certainly spent a lot of his life in the US, but did he ever take American citizenship or self-identify as American? If not, then it's not correct to call him Swiss-American - he was simply a Swiss person who settled in America. Also, the article is written with a mix of Commonwealth English spellings and American English ones. It should be one or the other, not a mix. 18.104.22.168 (talk) 13:48, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
I think it's reasonable to say that Agassiz became Swiss-American. He ended his life here, and was considered during his life one of the nation's great scientists by his peers. Whether he took citizenship or not, he became part of the United States by virtue of his fame. If he had traveled back to Europe every year to visit, that would be another matter. He and his family settled in the Untied States until his death - that's good enough.
Other than the section on racism, the article as a whole badly needs more inline citations. I've tagged one section, but others could be tagged as well. Peter coxhead (talk) 22:40, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
The racism thing
The article on Agassiz does a good job of dealing with Agassiz and racism as it is written today (Dec 22, 2010). There seem to be people who work themselves into a froth over Agassiz's racism to make themselves feel important and superior. Let's be clear - NO ONE writing on this site would have known about Agassiz's racism if not for Stephen Jay Gould's Book The Mismeasure of Man and his short magazine articles that were connected into books. It was Gould who revealed the incident from a Philadelphia restaurant found in Agassiz's letters. Yes, folks, Louis Agassiz was a racist. As was virtually every white person on the planet during the same years. Darwin was a racist(EDIT: No he wasn't :"I did not anywhere meet a more civil and obliging man than this negro; it was therefore the more painful to see that he would not sit down and eat with us." --Charles Darwin) , as was Lincoln, and every other figure of note during the time. While it is worthwhile to discuss Agassiz's racism as it appears in his work, as far as I know there is no known incident of Agassiz doing harm to a black person in his lifetime. Which is more than we could say about millions of white people in the Western World at the same time.
I saw a comment on a message board just about a week ago. Agassiz was mentioned regarding a school named after him, and the commenter huffed "He's one of the most notorious racists of all time!" Really? Someone read his private letters and put them in a magazine article 100 years after he died, and that makes him one of history's most notorious racists? Let's not project our own morality on to the people of the past - let's face it, they're just not as good and virtuous as we are. :-(
The same scientists who believed, with Agassiz, that blacks were biologically inferior to whites (that would be all of them) also believed that white women were inferior in the same way - also a favorite topic of Stephen Jay Gould. Is there a section here about Agassiz the Sexist? The truth is that Agassiz the Racist became a meme - parroted by people who don't even know the source, much less the context. It lets white people feel superior to someone who can't defend himself (being dead), and most importantly, it doesn't cost them anything. The article as it is covers the topic - to satisfy the sophomoric haters - while keeping the man's work in focus. That's a good thing - unless we're going to dig up the man's body and drag it through the streets for the crime of being a man of his time.
Agassiz was not a racist. He was a polygenist who believed races were different, unique and were created separately in different locations. He was not political and he opposed slavery. Please look up polygenism, you will see it is not racist.
Stephen Jay Gould's book The Mismeasure of Man is a dishonest book, filled with many distorted references. For example Gould claimed Samuel George Morton (another polygenist) had faked data to prove polygenism (skull data). This was just Gould's opinion and turned out to be completey false. Recent studies have confirmed Morton's data. Check out for example the study by John Michael "A New Look at Morton's Craniological Research".
Gould also claimed Agassiz was a sexist, this was completey false. The letters concering the restaurant, Gould blew out of context. Gould wrote the book mismeasure of man just to attack polygenists, it is not an honest book. Agassiz believed that all the races are different, this viewpoint is not racist. It is biologically impossible that all the races came from the same source (every race acts and looks completley different) Polygenism is the only logical explanation and science confirms it. 22.214.171.124 (talk) 03:39, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
Apologies, that last edit was mine. A number of my friends were having trouble finding this info., since "Agassiz" searchstring comes here, with no hotlink to the relevant AgCam page. Dak06 (talk) 12:43, 23 April 2011 (UTC)