How a Famous Naturalist Solved His Problem

Professor Louis Agassiz, [ Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz (May 28, 1807–December 14, 1873), commonly known as Louis Agassiz, was a Swiss-born and European-trained biologist and geologist recognized as an innovative and prodigious scholar of Earth’s natural history, with later American writings that have received scrutiny because of particular racial themes. Agassiz grew up in Switzerland, and studied and received Doctor of Philosophy and medical degrees at Erlangen and Munich, respectively.] of Harvard University was one of the most distinguished American naturalists of the nineteenth century. He discovered the great powers of his subconscious mind while he slept.

The following example comes from a biography of Agassiz, written by his widow.

He had been for two weeks striving to decipher the somewhat obscure impression of a fossil fish on a stone slab in which it was preserved. Weary and perplexed, he put aside his work at last, and tried to dismiss it from his mind. Shortly after, he waked one night persuaded that while asleep he had seen his fish with all the missing features perfectly restored. But when he tried to hold and make fast the image it escaped him. Nevertheless, he went early to the Jardin des Plantes, thinking that on looking anew at the impression he should see something which would put him on the track of his vision. In vain— the blurred record was as black as ever. The next night he saw the fish again, but with no more satisfactory result. When he awoke it disappeared from his memory as before. Hoping that the same experience might be repeated, on the third night he placed a pencil and paper beside his bed before going to sleep.
Accordingly, toward morning the fish reappeared in his dream, confusedly at first, but at last with such distinctness that he had no longer any doubt as to it’s zoological characters.
Still half dreaming, in perfect darkness, he traced these characters on the sheet of papers at the bedside. In the morning he was surprised to see in his nocturnal sketches features which he thought it impossible the fossil itself should reveal. He hastened to the Jardin des Plantes, and, with his drawing as a guide, succeeded in chiselling away the surface of the stone under which the portions of the fish proved to be hidden. When wholly exposed it corresponded with his dream and his drawing, and he succeeded in classifying it with ease. 

Source: The Power of your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy

Louis Agassiz, a true erratic, fiercely opposed Darwin’s theory of evolution, insisting that while the Earth may change over time, creatures never do. Each species, he thought, was specifically created by God. He did not use the Bible as scientific authority, but he felt that God’s transcendent authority did not allow for species to blur and produce ever-changing forms of life. Many of his students opposed him, even left him, but he would not relent. Source


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