Online: Evolution: A Journal of Nature, 1927-38

The full contents of the short lived journal Evolution: A Journal of Nature, have been made available online by Joe Cain, Professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies, at University College London. Evolution was established by American supporters of evolution following the Scopes trial in 1925. The aim of the periodical was to promote the teaching of evolution in American schools, while providing educators with the means of responding to creationist arguments. Reprinted in the fifth issue of the first volume of the journal is a letter of support for the endeavor from psychologist and philosopher John Dewey:

Permit me to offer my congratulations on your periodical, Evolution. They apply both to the idea and its execution. The present state of the public mind and of discussion as well of projected legislation make it highly important that there should be issued statements regarding the various aspects of the evolutionary controversy which can be widely read and understood. You have been fortunate in enlisting as writers persons of unquestioned competency and having a clear style. I am impressed with the fact that the Journal is scientific as well as popular. You are rendering a public service and I wish you every success.

Among the contents of the each issue of the journal are political cartoons, like that pictured to the right. The evolution of the human mind and its distinctness from that of apes is also a periodic topic within the journal’s pages.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.

1 thought on “Online: Evolution: A Journal of Nature, 1927-38

  1. I’m intrigued by the closing sentence of your entry: “The evolution of the human mind and its distinctness from that of apes is also a periodic topic within the journal’s pages.” Do you think this focus on distinctness was to make the teaching of evolution more palatable to the public, or were the journal contributors essentially Cartesians, convinced of meaningful divisions between humans and the other apes, despite the ostensible purpose of the journal to advocate for a Darwinian worldview?

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