NATHANIEL SOUTHGATE SHALERAnd the Culture of American Science.
David N. Livingstone. The University of
Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, AL, 1987.
395 pp. $32.95.
David Livingstone, in his analysis of the writings of Nathaniel S. Shaler (1841-1906), documents Shaler’s attempt to reconcile the conflicts between science and theology that dominated scientific discussion in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Shaler, a Harvard geologist and prolific writer, was often prophetic in his discussion of geologic and geographic concepts. These include the creationism-evolution debates; conservation of natural resources, such as soils, minerals and marshes; the origins of drumlins and other glacial features; isostatic sea level changes; the importance of geologic field work and the effects of geography on history.
Livingstone, research officer and curator of maps at The Queen’s University of Belfast, provides a thematic approach to Shaler’s life. The first section, “Man and Milieu” contains an introduction and a chapter on...