I have just finished your Japan memoir, and I must thank You for the extreme interest with which I have read it. It seems to me a most curious case of distribution; and how very well you argue, and put the case from analogy on the high probability of single centres of creation. That great man Agassiz, when he comes to reason, seems to me as great in taking a wrong view as he is great in observing and classifying.
CHARLES DARWIN TO ASA GRAY, 1860
For William James, the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard University was a natural choice. The elder Henry James had often mentioned his interest in moving to Boston or Cambridge because of its intellectual culture, especially the idealism of many thinkers associated with Harvard. Under his father's wing, young James had been developing an aptitude for science, but at the Lawrence Scientific School he received his first intensive education in both its professional practice and its philosophical implications. Here he circulated with some of the most prominent scientific thinkers and practitioners as they shaped the nation's opinions on the evolving relationship between science and religion. Like any good student, James did not follow instructions exactly; however, his teachers did establish the general framework of his education as they themselves debated scientific theories and their cultural consequences. Also like a good student, James came to embrace certain aspects of his education even as he reshaped and rejected others. His classes, his teachers, and their books provided James a stage on which to enact his interests in science and to muse about its implications. His years of scientific study in Cambridge marked his introduction to the swirling intellectual currents that would sweep