History of the Pro-Evolution Magazine “Evolution: A Journal of Nature,” 1927-1938

Evolution - A Journal of Nature - sample covers

This page provides information about this otherwise lost magazine in the 1920s and 1930s devoted to promoting the teaching of evolution in US public schools. It was titled, Evolution: A Journal of Nature (EJN). It was produced by pro-evolutionists following the Scopes Trial in 1925 to give teachers material for responding to creationist pressures.

Contents

In the first issue, the Editor, Ludwig Erwin Ketterfeld described the purpose:

“This magazine will help bridge that gap by furnishing a forum in which science itself can speak in popular language without fear of the restraints with which fundamentalists are seeking to shackle them.” (p. 8)

In the first issue, the Editor, Ludwig Erwin Ketterfeld described the purpose:”This magazine will help bridge that gap by furnishing a forum in which science itself can speak in popular language without fear of the restraints with which fundamentalists are seeking to shackle them.” (p. 8)

  • EJN contents sorted by author (link)
  • EJN contents sorted by issue (link)
  • EJN contents as Endnote X1 file (zip)

Political Cartoons from the Journal

Each issue contained at least one political cartoon, commenting on recent events, such as the anti-evolution activity in Arkansas following the Tennessee anti-evolution trial. Nate Collier is the most frequent cartoonist used. A biography of Nate Collier appears in EJN1(2): 12.

Editor’s Policy

In the first issue, the Editor, Ludwig Erwin Ketterfeld described the magazine’s editorial policy:

Evolution will be non-political, so that all upholders of academic freedom can support and use it no matter how they differ on other issues. It will be non-religious, never making any effort to reconcile science with religion. Nor will it make atheism its mission. It will carry the positive message of facts from every field of natural science and leave it to the reader to make his own mental readjustment.” (p. 8)

Subscriber information

Evolution - A Journal of Nature - Professor Joe Cain - 09 April 1929 List of Subscribers
This data about subscribers was published April 1929, after 12 issues of Evolution: A Journal of Nature.

EJN publication history

  • Cain 2003 Publication History of Evolution – A Journal of Nature
    Cain, Joe. 2003. “Publication history for Evolution: a Journal of Nature“, Archives of Natural History30: 168-171. Briefly describes the origins and publication history of this magazine. Includes the addendum:
    Cain, Joe. 2003. “Publication history for Evolution: a journal of nature: a correction”, Archives of natural history,30: 298. Corrects Table 1 in the previous publication, providing complete information on the publication history of the magazine.

Archives of natural history is produced by the Society for the History of Natural History. These pdfs are made available with the permission of the Society.

Further information

  • link: A fine 2008 biographical piece places Ketterfeld’s birthplace in Strasbourg and gives useful detail on his life. Thanks to Karen Hoffmann for pointing this out.

Related Material

  • Cain, Joe. 2001. Scopes Trial and Fundamentalism in the United States. InEncyclopedia of Life Sciences produced by Macmillan Publishers Ltd, Nature Publishing Group. Via www.els.net
  • PBS 2002. Monkey Trial. For music, video materials related to the 1925 Tennessee Anti-evolution trial. Video is highly recommended. Via Web.

Evolution: a journal of nature

download whole issues, 1927-1938, as pdfs.

date vol no download
1927, Dec 1 1 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 1, issue 1 (14Mb)
1928, Jan 2 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 1, issue 2 (13Mb)
1928, Feb 3 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 1, issue 3 (13Mb)
1928, Mar 4 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 1, issue 4 (12Mb)
1928, April 5 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 1, issue 5 (12Mb)
1928, Jul 6 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 1, issue 6 (13Mb)
1928, Aug 7 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 1, issue 7 (13Mb)
1928, Sep 8 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 1, issue 8 (14Mb)
1928, Oct 9 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 1, issue 9 (12Mb)
1928, Nov 10 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 1, issue 10 (13Mb)
1929, Jan 2 1 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 2, issue 1 (13Mb)
1929, Mar 2 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 2, issue 2 (13Mb)
1929, Apr 3 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 2, issue 3 (12Mb)
1929, Jul 4 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 2, issue 4 (13Mb)
1929, Aug 5 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 2, issue 5 (11Mb)
1930, Jun 3 1 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 3, issue 1 (16Mb)
1931, Feb 2 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 3, issue 2 (16Mb)
1931, Jun 3 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 3, issue 3 (16Mb)
1932, May 4 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 3, issue 4 (12Mb)
1937, Jun 4 1 ejn4_01-professor-joe-cain (13Mb)
1938, Jan 2 Evolution – A Journal of Nature, volume 4, issue 2 (13Mb)
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