David Starr Jordan via Wikimedia Commons

In writing Fossil Friday/Answer Monday posts for the Science League of America, I don’t usually expect to discover fodder for historical posts. So it was a bit of a surprise to find, while composing a recent post asking readers to identify the provenance of a lovely specimen of Vinctifer comptoni from the Santana Formation of Brazil, a widely circulating mistake about David Starr Jordan’s involvement with the Scopes trial. V. comptoni, you see, was originally described as Aspidorhynchus comptoni by Louis Agassiz; it was relocated to Vinctifer by Jordan, a leading ichthyologist of his day, when, as I wrote, “he wasn’t frittering away his time as president of Indiana University or Stanford University.” As I was writing, I was sure that he served as president of Stanford University, but I wasn’t positive offhand about where his previous university presidency was, so I checked the entry for David Starr Jordan (right; 1851–1931) at Wikipedia.

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The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind.

— Mark A. Noll, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind (1994)

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Leslie Orgel, via the Salk Institute

A favorite passage of the Islamic creationist enterprise that publishes under the name Harun Yahya is taken from “The Origin of Life on Earth,” by the chemist and origin-of-life researcher Leslie Orgel (right; 1927–2007), which appeared in Scientific American in 1994. There Orgel wrote:

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