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Letters to the Editor, October 2000

This a traditional letter column. You are encouraged to write a letter of comment on anything that you find worthy of comment. It will (may) be published in this column along with my reply. As editor I reserve the right to delete material; however I will not alter the undeleted material. E-mail to me that solely references the contents of this site will be assumed to be publishable mail. All other e-mail is assumed to be private. And, of course, anything marked not for publication is not for publication. Oh yes, letters of appreciation for the scholarly resources provided by this site will be handled very discreetly. This page contains the correspondence for May 2000.

I have been receiving quite a bit of peculiar mail because the mutant watch page has a link to my Are mutations harmful? page. I have gathered them together in their own page.

Index of contributors

Other Correspondence Pages

From: “rose smith”
Date: 9/10/2000
Subj: Third Edition of ” Foot-Prints Of The Creation” 1860

My husband and I have just recently came into ownership of the 3rd edition of Hugh Miller’s Book entitled ” Foot-Prints of the Creator Or. The Asterolepis Of Stromness” By Hugh Miller. From the Third London Edition, with a Memoir of the author By Louis Agassiz. Boston: Gould And Lincoln. We believe that we have made a find, having only paid $10.00 US monies. We would like to find out if there are other editions in circulation. And if this book holds any value. Let us thank you in advance for your time. Any information will be greatly appreciated.

Yours Truly,
Rose and Greg Smith

My apologies for not replying more quickly. My email gets stacked up and things fall through the cracks now and then.

Offhand I don’t imagine that it has any great value as a collectible. As far as I know Hugh Miller is not a writer who is collected. The book is of more interest to a researcher or a university, being notable as a representative figure in the development of evolutionary and geological thought.

Don’t take my word for it, though. You might check with a book dealer to have it appraised if there is one in your locality.

My apologies for not being of more assistance. If any of my readers has more information I will pass it on to you.

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From: lisamce
Date: 10/4/2000
Subj: Darwin

Hi, we are searching for information on Charles Darwin and wondered if you could tell us anything interesting about him. Please reply if you think you have any relevant information to help us with our studies! thankyou!

I suppose that depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for information about his life your local library will an Encyclopedia Brittanica which should have a decent biographical article. Several of Stephen J. Gould’s books have some interesting articles about Darwin the person.

His main works are all online and are also should be in your local library. Ernst Mayr’s _One Long Argument_ is a good description of Darwin’s reasoning that is simpler than Darwin’s works themselves.

The archive has a few articles on Darwin that might be useful. Darwin’s precursors is an in depth look at the people who came before him and influenced his thinking. The Lady Hope article refutes a circulated story about Darwin “recanting” on his death bed.

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From: Regina Heloisa Maciel
Date: 10/3/2000
Subj: Poster

I would like to buy a Charles Darwin poster. Do you know where I can find one?

Sorry, I don’t have a URL for Darwin posters. The Darwin fish sticker is sold by the Fire Enterprises at
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From: William
Date: 9/28/2000
Subj: Necronomicon

To whom it may concern:

I am currently on a “quest” if you will, to locate any and all information on the elusive book “Necronomicon”. I have read an essay on your page of your friend and his dissapearing act, and have come to believe that you do not believe in the book of necronomicon. I wish to know if this is your opinion or if you can lead me to other information sources on this matter.

Thank you for your help,

That is a short story rather than an essay. I don’t have any sources immediately at hand but my understanding of the situation is this. The Necronomicron is an invention of Lovecraft’s and appears only as a reference in his fiction. Since his death at least one “Necronomicron” has been written and published. There is not, as far as I know, a real grimoire entitled the Necronomicon. There is a Lovecraft bulletin board at that could probably answer your questions in detail.
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From: Joeseph Boxhorn ([email protected])
Date: 10/1/2000
The Necronomicon and the Milwaukee Zoo

I noticed in your correspondence that there are still people searching for the Necronomicon. You might find this tale amusing.

Back in the late 70s I was working as a student employee at Michigan State University’s library. At that time, the library was computerizing it’s catalog. Much of the labor of this was placed on the shoulders of the student help. To break the tedium, we would occasionally enter nonexistent books into the collection. Someone, I don’t know who, entered the Necronomicon. Within two days there were over a dozen interlibrary loan requests for the book.

Chortle. Somewhere there must be a website that lists and describes the non-existent books that are referenced in literature.
I can tell from your joke, The Lion and the Minnesota Tourist, that you haven’t spent much time in Milwaukee. As a life-long resident of southeastern Wisconsin, I can assure you that folks around here would never make a joke like that about a Minnesota tourist. Now an Illinois tourist, on the other hand…
But you are ever so much closer to Chicago… I may have to change that on the advice of an expert.
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This page was last updated October 4, 2000.
It was reformatted and relocated April 10, 2005

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