source (?)

Johan Nylander johan.nylander at ZOOLOGI.UU.SE
Thu Jun 15 10:27:57 CDT 2000

John Grehan wrote:
For many years I have heard a description of the reception of new ideas or
new approaches classically divided into three stage: ignore, attack,and
finally incorporate as common knowledge. Does anyone know if there is an
 source citation for this description?
John Grehan

The same kind of argument is commented in Gould & Eldredge (Syst.Zool.
35:143-148). On p.143:

"A perceptive statement about the reception of unconventional ideas in
science is widely known and quoted, but usually misattributed to T. H.
Huxley. Such witticisms usually have ancient pedigrees, but the earliest
version we know dates to von Baer who bowed to Agassiz."

Then follows a quote in german, and translated:

"Therefore, Agassiz says that when a new doctrine is presented, it must go
through three stages. First, people say that isn't true, then that it is
against religion, and, in the third stage, that it has long been known."

(Original quote in german, p.63 in von Baer, K. E. 1866. Über Prof. Nic.
Wagner's Entdeckung von Larven, die sich fortpflanzen, Herrn Garren's
verwandte und ergänzende Beobachtung und über die Pädogenesis überhaupt.
Bull. Acad. Imp. des Sciences St. Petersbourg, 9:63-137.)

Johan Nylander

Johan Nylander
Department of Systematic Zoology
Evolutionary Biology Centre
Uppsala University
Norbyvagen 18 D
SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden
Tel. +46 18 471 64 78
Fax. +46 18 471 64 57

More information about the Taxacom mailing list