Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Georges Cuvier - Father Of Extinction

The December 16, 2013, issue of The New Yorker has a fascinating article on extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert.  It chronicles the "discovery" of extinction by the French biologist Jean-Léopold-Nicholas-Frédéric "Georges" Cuvier.  Although extinction is now a distressingly common concept, in large part due to the current anthropogenic mass extinction event, the article discusses just how controversial an idea extinction was in the 18th Century.