Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lovecraft Influenced by Alphaeus (Alpheus) Spring Packard, Jr. ?

Ne·o-La·marck·ism (n-l-märkzm), n., The theory, based on Lamarckism, that response to environmental influence can be inherited and transmitted through the action of natural selection.

Packard graduated from Bowdoin College and promptly joined the survey as a volunteer entomologist at the age of twenty-two. He afterward studied with the famous biologist, Agassiz, at the Lawrence Scientific School and was professor of zoology and geology at Brown University for years. A prolific writer, he gained prominence as entomologist, paleontologist, and neo-Lamarckian. He was quite influential and was a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Alphaeus Spring Packard, Jr. (1839-1905; APS 1878, ANSP 1876) DAB

Packard's father was equally reknowned in other fields.

As to Lovecraft, it's well established that he had acquaintanceships with many professors at Brown University. In some cases, he had the run of the campus as a youth. Many of his tutors came from Brown, and we can speculate that he attended the occassional lecture, too.

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