November 18, 2010
Asa Gray, Louis Agassiz, and the Debate over Evolution. Following Darwin's breakthrough on the theory of evolution in 1859, two of Harvard's leading men of science squared off. Biologist Louis Agassiz rejected evolution, keeping to his theory of multiple divine creations, while botanist Asa Gray, whose bicentennial is today, become Darwin's chief champion in America. Robin Hazard Ray and Jim Gorman will discuss the history of this conflict, and Gray's research on the plants of eastern Asia that convinced him of Darwin's theories.