The Anti-Glacialists

A table listing some of the great scientists who have opposed the Glacial Theory of Louis Agassiz.
Anti-glacialists Position Reference
L. von Buch Von Buch opposed the initial presentation of the glacial theory by Agassiz in 1837. He was a diluvialist, who viewed the flood as  a very violent event, and also a follower of A.G. Werner, and the concept of a universal ocean.
A. Sedgwick Sedgwick supported the diluvial theory of G. Cuvier and W. Buckland, but he recanted, saying the early conclusions were premature and unfounded. Report of the 7th Annual Meeting of the Brit. Assn. American J. Science Vol 33 (1838) pp. 265-296.
R.I. Murchison Murchison defended Lyell's ice-berg theory of the drift, and remained a staunch supporter of it. He thought glaciers could only develop at high elevations in temperate latitudes.   Anniversary Address, Proc. Geol. Soc., Vol 4 (1843), pp 65-151.
W. Hopkins A mathematician, Hopkins believed the glacial theory involved mechanical absurdities. He thought sudden emergence would generate the currents that  distributed the drift and eroded valleys. On the elevation and denudation of the district of the lakes of Cumberland and Westmorland, Proc. Geol. Soc., Vol l3 (1842), pp 757-766.
H.D. Rogers He pointed out that in Europe, the ice flows outward in a radial pattern from major mountain valleys, but in North America it would have to flow mostly in one direction, towards the southwest. Annual Address at the Meeting of the Assoc.of American Geologists and Naturalists, American J. Science, vol 47 (1844) pp. 137-160 and 247-278.
H.H. Howorth Howorth investigated the mammoth fossils and the phenomenon of the drift. He supported the idea of a great flood, involving catastrophic currents, which drowned many kinds of animals and distributed the drift. The Glacial Nightmare and the Flood (1893), London, 2 vols.
Sir J.W. Dawson Dawson remained an opponent of the glacial theory, and favored the diluvial theory of the drift. The Canadian Ice-Age (1893) Wm. V. Dawson, Montreal.

Copyright © 1999 by Douglas E. Cox
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