Darwin-L Message Log 8:49 (April 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.

<8:49>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Fri Apr 15 13:39:31 1994

Date: Fri, 15 Apr 1994 14:38:54 -0500 (EST)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: April 15 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro


1772: ETIENNE GEOFFROY SAINT-HILAIRE is born at Etampes, France.  The youngest
of fourteen children, Geoffroy's precocious intellegence will win him many
early patrons in the church and at the College de Navarre in Paris, where he
will study with Brisson and Antoine de Jussieu.  His wide-ranging interests in
natural history will lead him to study mineralogy with Hauy, and to receive at
the age of twenty-one an appointment in zoology at the Jardin des Plantes
(later the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle) as successor to Lacepede.  Geoffroy
will become a close friend and colleague of Lamarck, and will be an important
member of the school of pre-Darwinian French evolutionists, devoting much
study to comparative vertebrate anatomy, the influence of the environment on
the variation of species, and the causes of teratologies.  From 1789 to 1801
he will serve as a naturalist on Napoleon's Egyptian campaign and will travel
up the Nile collecting natural history specimens, including mummified animals
in the pyramids that demonstrated there had been little change in some species
for at least three thousand years.  A bitter dispute with Georges Cuvier will
cloud Geoffroy's mature reputation, but his many publications both descriptive
and theoretical, including _Catalogue des mammiferes du Museum_ (Paris, 1803)
and _Recherches sur les grandes sauriens trouves a l'etat fossile (Paris,
1831), and the many students he will teach at the Museum over more than forty
years, will influence French natural history for decades after his death.

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