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Mather, Kirtley Fletcher (13 February 1888–07 May 1978), scientist and liberal activist, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of William Green Mather, a railroad ticket agent, and Julia Sabrina King. Neither parent attended college, but they encouraged Kirtley’s interest in science and appreciated his chance, in high school, to take a course in earth science that required frequent field trips. Raised a liberal Baptist, Mather saw no conflict between biblical revelation and the concept of human evolution....

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Charles D. Walcott. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-100094).

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Walcott, Charles Doolittle (31 March 1850–09 February 1927), paleontologist, geologist, and administrator, was born in New York Mills, New York, the son of Charles Doolittle Walcott and Mary Lane. As a young schoolboy, Walcott became interested in collecting the local fossils near Utica, New York, and in his early teens he spent several summers at the resort area of Trenton Falls, New York, renowned for its fossils. After graduating from Utica Academy in 1868, he clerked in a hardware store for a year. In 1871, dissatisfied with the business world, Walcott moved to the farm of William Rust in the Trenton Falls area. Walcott assisted with the farm chores, and he and Rust collected fossils for sale; in 1873 the collection was sold to ...