Harry Rimmer and AGS?

Fri, 13 Aug 1999 21:00:37 EDT

This post is mostly aimed at Ted Davis (if he's still lurking out there) but
I'm sending it to the list hoping someone else may have some info as well.

I was re-reading Ted's "Whale of a Tale" article and noticed that he
mentioned that creationist/Fundamentalist preacher Harry Rimmer was a fellow
of the "American Geological Society" (hereafter AGS). A short-lived AGS
existed in the 1820's for less than a decade and the current Geological
Society of America (GSA) was semi-officially known as the AGS for the first
year after its founding in the late 1880's. All this was before Rimmer was
born, and as far as I know there is no organization known as AGS today. (A
quick internet search turned up only obvious examples of confusions with GSA
and the American GEOGRAPHICAL Society.)

Assuming, then, that Ted really meant GSA not AGS, I did a quick check of GSA
Bulletins (the journal of the organization) for lists of Fellows in the
1920's and 1930's. (GSA stopped publishing such lists in the Bulletin after
1934, so it would take more work to check out later years.) Rimmer is NOT

All of which (finally!) leads to my questions: Is or was there an AGS? Was
it a "legitimate" scientific organization? Was AGS an organization of
Rimmer's own making (like his one-man Research Science Bureau)? Or did
Rimmer simply lie, and claim fellow-status in a scientific-sounding but
non-existent society?

BTW, Rimmer's comments are being repeated essentially verbatim by the folks
in Kansas this week. What's that saying -- Events occur the first time as
tragedy, the second time as farce!

Karl V. Evans