Worcester Business Journal
Delivering news and opinion for the Central Massachusetts business community. All Business, All the Time…
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In the late 1700s, America as a nation was just getting underway. At the same time the most famous and influential French philosopher and natural historian Georges-Louis LeClerc Buffon published his theory that all of the New World’s wildlife was “degenerate”. Our birds sang inferior songs, all our animals were puny and weak and our Native Americans were so effeminate that the men gave milk. This theory of American degeneracy became so popular that philosophers like Kant and poets like Keats and Byron also wrote about it. As you can imagine, our Founding Fathers were not about to take this Euro-trashing of America lying down, and before you knew it James Madison was measuring weasels and Jefferson began a unique search for a living Mastodon! This is a wild and crazy history of early America, not generally known. Our guest tonight on Inquiry is DR. LEE ALAN DUGATKIN, Professor of Biology at the University of Lousiville and he discusses his new and very unique history MR. JEFFERSON AND THE GIANT MOOSE: NATURAL HISTORY IN EARLY AMERICA.