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Show Me the BoneReconstructing Prehistoric Monsters in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America$
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Gowan Dawson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226332734

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226332871.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Cuvier’s Law of Correlation

Cuvier’s Law of Correlation

(p.1) Introduction Cuvier’s Law of Correlation
Show Me the Bone

Gowan Dawson

University of Chicago Press

This introduction explores the origins of the “show me the bone” claim in the lectures of Samuel Mitchill. It explains how the law of correlation transformed the science of paleontology, especially in relation to extinction, and was popularized by Cuvier’s rhetoric. It shows how the book follows the transit of scientific knowledge beyond national boundaries, examining how such knowledge is not merely passively communicated, but is actually made in the process of global circulation. It also sets out how the book tracks the law of correlation’s various incarnations across the long nineteenth century. This extended timeframe also reveals the remarkable afterlife of the law of correlation in the latter part of the nineteenth century, especially in popular science and literature.

Keywords:   Georges Cuvier, Latham Mitchill, extinction, rhetoric, knowledge in transit, global circulation, Long Nineteenth Century, afterlife, popular science, literature

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