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Henry Fairfield Osborn : race, and the search for the origins of man

Author: Brian Regal
Publisher: Aldershot, Hants, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, ©2002.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"The discovery in the 1920s of a huge cache of fossils in the Gobi Desert fuelled a mania for dinosaurs that continues to the present. But the original goal of the expedition was to search for the origins of man. Henry Fairfield Osborn (1857-1935), director of the American Museum of Natural history, stood at the forefront of the debate over human evolution and the expedition aimed to prove his theory of human  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
History
Trials, litigation, etc
Biographies
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Regal, Brian.
Henry Fairfield Osborn.
Aldershot, Hants, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, ©2002
(OCoLC)606801915
Online version:
Regal, Brian.
Henry Fairfield Osborn.
Aldershot, Hants, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate, ©2002
(OCoLC)607128117
Named Person: Henry Fairfield Osborn; John Thomas Scopes; Henry Fairfield Osborn; John Thomas Scopes; John Thomas Scopes; Henry Fairfield Osborn; John Thomas Scopes
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Brian Regal
ISBN: 0754605876 9780754605874
OCLC Number: 47289408
Description: xix, 219 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Contents: Introduction: Deconstructing Henry; 'The era of rash guesses'; 'The helmet of our salvation'; The Romantic empiricist; The Central Asia hypothesis; A mongrelized world; Go and find them; Terrible monkeys; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.
Responsibility: Brian Regal.
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Abstract:

An examination of the work of Henry Fairfield Osborn, whose great scientific concern was to link human origins to racial hierarchies. A product of conflicting paradigms, the author suggests that  Read more...

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Prize: Nominated for the Pfizer Prize 2003 'Brian Regal's book derives from a fresh study of Osborn's published and especially his archival sources, and provides important new insights into the Read more...

 
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A complex genius

by DocN (WorldCat user published 2007-03-12) Excellent Permalink
Regal's book is an in-depth examination of Osborn's life and particularly his views on human evolution. It examines the broader question of how personal feelings can alter and even drive scientific discovery. An excellent and deeply researched work of intellectual biography, a study of biology in late...
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   schema:reviewBody ""The discovery in the 1920s of a huge cache of fossils in the Gobi Desert fuelled a mania for dinosaurs that continues to the present. But the original goal of the expedition was to search for the origins of man. Henry Fairfield Osborn (1857-1935), director of the American Museum of Natural history, stood at the forefront of the debate over human evolution and the expedition aimed to prove his theory of human origins. Osborn rejected the idea of primate ancestry and constructed a non-Darwinian theory that the evolution of man was the long adventurous story of individuals and groups exerting personal will-power and inborn characteristics to achieve both biological and spiritual success. It is an idea that still echoes today." "Study of Osborn's thinking, however, has been obscured by the perception that racism influenced his theories. Brian Regal paints a different and more textured picture in this book - he shows that Osborn's views on race, like his political ideas, were motivated by his science, itself grounded in religious doctrine. His belief in the Central Asian origins of man, his role as an activist for eugenic reform and immigration controls, his support for Nordicism, his place in the 'New' versus 'Old' biology debate, his role in the Christian Fundamentalist controversy, the Scopes Monkey trial, and finally his construction of the 'Dawn Man' hypothesis - all stemmed from his desire to support his human evolution theory, and point the way to salvation." "This biography charts Osborn's intellectual development, from its roots in the eclectic Christianity of his mother, through his student days with Arnold Guyot, James McCosh, and T.H. Huxley, to his mature work at the American Museum. It examines his trials and tribulations, friendships and conflicts, and the world in which he lived: all contributed to the construction of his theory. It is the dramatic story of a man holding onto ideas that for him represented the very meaning of life itself."--Jacket." ;
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