Berkeley's first paleontologist,
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students. Le Conte's textbooks
on physical and historical geology (Le Conte 1878, 1888) were well illustrated with fossils,
many of which were reproduced from the Geological Survey of California’s Palaeontology volumes.
He even had a chapter about the antiquity of humans. He lectured on paleontology extensively,
and as he said, "My textbook, Elements of Geology, was simply the embodiment of my daily class
lectures, but far less discursive and illustrative and therefore far less interesting than the
viva voce lectures" (Armes 1903).
the Oakland Tribune called him). Reconciling
evolution and religion, he wrote "...I was an evolutionist, thorough and enthusiastic. Enthusiastic,
not only because it is true, and all truth is the image of God in the human reason, but also
because of all the laws of nature it is by far the most religious, that is, the most in accord with
religious philosophic thought. It is, indeed, glad tidings of great joy which shall be to all
peoples" (Armes 1903). By "enthusiastic," he likely meant its older definition of "inspired by God."
For him, religion was important for ordinary people, and evolution demonstrated its truth.