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That might have been interpreted as an argument against New World puniness but de Pauw insisted that giant frogs were a further sign of degeneracy since frogs are icky.

In the mid-19th century, Morton measured hundreds of skulls from different ethnic groups to determine differences in cranial capacity, initially using mustard seed and later, on a more diverse sample, lead shot.

Cornelius de Pauw, son of a director of the Dutch West Indies Company, also insisted that the New World was cold and its people and animals were scrawny.

Arguing against Buffon and de Pauw was Thomas Jefferson, who assembled physical specimens of big American animals.

In fact, under the furry coat, ape skin is often light, not dark.

Over two centuries later, popular society still reserved its sharpest contempt for evolutionists.This tall tale got an 18th-century reinforcement from the British admiral John Byron who commanded the .He claimed to have met a 7-foot-tall Patagonian chief, and further claimed that few of the other men in the tribe were shorter. Byron's story gained traction during the 1760s, with some outlets describing the Patagonians' height at 8 or 9 feet, but de Pauw rejected the story as fabulous, writing, "some living proofs of their existence would certainly have been brought to Europe: or, at least, their skeletons." De Pauw went on for 30 more pages refuting the Patagonian giant claim.At first glance, the Great Chain of Being might look like an early form of evolutionary theory, but it wasn't.The hierarchy wasn't only strict, it was static and, unlike evolution, precluded change.

"In whatever respect the African differs from the European," White wrote, "the particularity brings him nearer to the ape." The Great Chain of Being didn't come into existence with Charles White's 1799 diagram. Persisting throughout the centuries, the great chain was a hierarchical structure of all matter and life, with God at the top and minerals at the bottom.

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