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RE: Voltaire and fossils
Forwarded from the SKEPTIC list:
You're in luck. I've got a source handy and everything.
>From Andrew White's 'Hisatory of the warfare of science with theology in
"all his [V's] wisdom and wit were compacted into arguments to prove that the
fossil fishes were reamins of fishes intended for food, but spoiled and
thrown away by travellers; that the fossil shells were asccidentally dropped
by crusaders and pilgrims returning from the Holy Land; and that the fossil
bones found between Paris and Etampes were parts of a skeleton belonging to
the cabinet of some ancient philosopher. Through chapter after chapter,
Voltaire, obeying the supposed necessities of his theology, fought desperately
the growing results of the geologic investigations of his time."
White's footnote reads: 'See Voltaire, Dissertation sur les Changements
arrives dans notre Globe ; also Voltaire, Les Singularites de la Nature, chap
xii ; also Jevons, Principles of Science, vol. ii, p.328'
Since White's book is from 1895 the sources are a little out of date, I
expect, but straight from the horse's mouth.
Incidentally, my significant other used to work for an autograph seller, who
may still have a Voltaire letter that reads 9(in part) as follows:
"The stories of beds of shells that cover the continents, the coral formed by
insects, the mountains raised by the sea, all of these seem to me to be
fashioned to be printed in the collection of one thousand and one nights."
The letter is not in his hand, but signed by him.
If you're REAL interested, contact Max Rambod Autographs (310) 475 - 4535
The price in the catalog is $2450.
Item number 2539
Tell Max that Rebecca Strong sent you. maybe he'll give you a deal.