Louis Agassiz convinced a reluctant scientific community that glaciers moved and that a great Ice Age had once existed. In one of his most stirring public speeches he said, “Many years ago a long winter settled over a land previously covered with rich vegetation, where great beasts like those found in India and Africa freely roamed. Death entered with its terrors. With one blow of its violent hand it destroyed a mighty creation and wrapped all nature in a shroud of ice.”
Introduction: The Ghost Lake -The True Story of Louis Agassiz
Even when he was very young, Louis Agassiz was fascinated by the world of nature. All creatures interested him. He quickly learned the unique features of the fish and animals around his home in Switzerland. He eagerly explored to learn more.
In the 1800s, naturalists and scientists were not highly regarded by ordinary folks. His father believed it better for him to remain a farmer or become a bookkeeper or doctor. Young Agassiz had a dream to study nature. He did not give up easily. With the help of his sisters, he was able to attend the University of Heidelberg to work on a medical degree.
Along with his medical studies, Louis learned all he could about animals, plants, and fossils. He found fossils especially fascinating. He soon became well known for his great knowledge of science. A devout Christian, he was relentless in his quest for knowledge.