Principles of Geology

  • Thread starter Archosaur
  • Start date
  • #1
331
1
I'm looking for Principle of Geology by Charles Lyell. Wikipedia says it was released in 3 volumes, but all I can find online is this:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/014043528X/?tag=pfamazon01-20

Is that just volume 1? Is it all 3 volumes? Has anyone bought this book before?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Borek
Mentor
28,757
3,207
Wiki gives links to all three volumes in electronic form. Have you checked them?
 
  • #3
331
1
Yea, I found it in three separate volumes for $114 total.
No idea what the $12 version is, but it sure ain't that...
 
  • #4
DrClapeyron
Interesting question: why do you want a copy of Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology, I think it was written over 100 years ago? Probably a bit outdated unless you want it as a mantle piece.
 
  • #6
331
1
Tiny-tim, you. Are. My. Hero!
Now... will they notice if I print this at work?.... :smile:

DrClapeyron, that's a totally legitimate question, haha. I just finished reading Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle and I thought it was so cool to be able to read his thoughts just as he was having all these revolutionary ideas. Darwin referred to Principles of Geology all the time throughout that book, and I remember hearing that it was the book that pretty much solidified geology as a science. So, I'm just looking for that same kind of thing. I want to read all those ideas that we think of as trivial in a context where they were anything but trivial.
 
  • #7
Borek
Mentor
28,757
3,207
Wiki gives links to all three volumes in electronic form. Have you checked them?

A google book-search shows free online copies

Tiny-tim, you. Are. My. Hero!
Now... will they notice if I print this at work?.... :smile:

Mental note to self: next time, post a direct link, not an information that has to be followed.
 
  • #8
331
1
Mental note to self: next time, post a direct link, not an information that has to be followed.

Woah, that was pretty dense of me! (where is that facepalm emoticon...) I guess I just looked right past your post after I started finding the other volumes on Amazon.

Sorry, Borek. You're my hero, too.

EDIT: Awww maaaaaan. I spent my 300th post backpedaling...
 
  • #9
483
263
Interesting question: why do you want a copy of Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology, I think it was written over 100 years ago? Probably a bit outdated unless you want it as a mantle piece.
1. Anyone interested in the history of science would see this as a landmark work.
2. Anyone interested in Darwin's development of evolutionary theory would see this as essential reading because of the impact it had on the young Darwin.
3. Anyone interested in a courageous and eloquent explication of geological processes written at a turning point in the relations between science, religion and society would require a copy.

By chance, I was reading some chapters from the work earlier this week and was struck, not for the first time with the vitality and conviction of the writing. In short, why would one not want a copy of this classic work?
 
  • #10
4,488
72
Maybe it's also good to have a Lyell version with texts in red about subjects that are obsolete, refuted or challenged?
 
  • #11
331
1
Maybe it's also good to have a Lyell version with texts in red about subjects that are obsolete, refuted or challenged?

That would be nifty. Do you know of such a thing?
 
  • #12
4,488
72
I don't think so, but I just wanted to observe the major problems of textboox.

Earth science and a lot of other branches are inherently susceptible to the affirming the consequent fallacy. So we observe a phenomenon; we know something that could explain that particular phenomon, so we assume that it did indeed cause it, ignoring the possibility that there may be other explanations. And sometimes we are just flat out wrong. However having those errors removed from the textbooks is a major problem, aggravated by many other fallacies as noted by Thomas Kuhn.

In school at age 11-12, I had a teacher who “knew” everything. And he was more than willing to tell it all too. And a sucked it all up greedily. But it was all real garbage, made up on the spot, and it took me many years to get rid of all the nonsense.

Trying to say that textbooks are outdated, missing the last research, however they may imprint falsified facts and theories, that will hinder much more than help in education. Therefore my caution reading ideas, hypotheses and theories, which may have been falsified later.

The best but probably hardest way to learn geology, IMO, is reading the latest research papers and following their references to understand the whole picture.
 
Last edited:
  • #13
331
1
The best but probably hardest way to learn geology, IMO, is reading the latest research papers and following their references to understand the whole picture.

I agree that reading Lyell is not the best way to learn about geology, but learning about geology isn't the reason I want to read it. Ophiolite hit the nail on the head when he said:

1. Anyone interested in the history of science would see this as a landmark work.
2. Anyone interested in Darwin's development of evolutionary theory would see this as essential reading because of the impact it had on the young Darwin.
3. Anyone interested in a courageous and eloquent explication of geological processes written at a turning point in the relations between science, religion and society would require a copy.

By chance, I was reading some chapters from the work earlier this week and was struck, not for the first time with the vitality and conviction of the writing. In short, why would one not want a copy of this classic work?
 
  • #14
Evo
Mentor
23,488
3,013
I enjoy reading obsolete texts about science for the entertainment. They're absolutely comical in how wrong they are at times.
 
  • #15
4,488
72
I wpuld enjoy comparing the geologic textbooks in a hundred years from now and check the differences. I can think of a few.
 
  • #16
769
15
I wpuld enjoy comparing the geologic textbooks in a hundred years from now and check the differences. I can think of a few.

Yeah because you can see in to the future :rolleyes:
 
  • #17
DrClapeyron
I would buy a modern book outlining the history of geology if I wanted to read about such a thing. A book written by an historian or seasoned geologist will broaden the scope of geology, the scientist associated with famous insights and save you time when you read. And it could contain some good anecdotal insight. Unless you're an historian, I wouldn't read the book.
 
  • #18
4,488
72
I would tend to agree, learning how a scientific branch slowly proceeds by trial and error, stepping forward sometimes but often backwards, to purge sideway steps when it finally got clear that they were leading nowhere.

Studying such a process, would make it more acceptable to understand Josh Billings

It's not ignorance does so much damage; it's knowing so darned much that ain't so.
(...)
The trouble with people is not that they don't know, but that they know so much that ain't so.
 
  • #19
331
1
I think I'm knowledgeable enough in geology and careful enough in my thinking that I wouldn't be so seriously disadvantaged by reading it. Of course, it would be fantastic if there were a version with some sort of commentary by a modern geologist, but either way, I don't think I'm willing to pass up knowing the history.
 
  • #21
331
1
In case anyone was curious, the Penguin Classics version of "Principles of Geology" is all three volumes. The reason it's less than 1/10 the price of buying the three volumes separately is that it is an OCR copy, meaning it's not a facsimile, but it still has all the images and the maps are all to scale.
 
  • #23
5,441
9
For those who might be interested and have access, the BBC has a new series (BBC2 Thurs evenings) entitled 'Men of Rock'. It describes the history of Geology through Scots eyes.

The first one was broadcast on 13 Jan 2011 and may be seen on the internet on 'listen again' and was principally about James Hutton.
 
  • #24
411
35
Andre wrote: "The best but probably hardest way to learn geology, IMO, is reading the latest research papers and following their references to understand the whole picture."

My hat is off to you! I used to teach college geology and I find the bulk of today's research papers virtually unreadable. A good researcher is not necessarily a good writer. I doubt very much whether a beginner to the science could make much sense of the average scholarly journal publication. To begin with, a beginner wouldn't even possess that discipline's terminology.

On Billiards thought of the differences a century makes in textbooks. I would be willing to bet that a geology textbook published in 2011 would be seen in 2111 as containing a large number of absolute howlers. All an ambitious young scientist need do to make his reputation is to find one of them first!
 
  • #25
4,488
72
I would be willing to bet that a geology textbook published in 2011 would be seen in 2111 as containing a large number of absolute howlers. All an ambitious young scientist need do to make his reputation is to find one of them first!

Most definitely, I think I can even identify a couple of those howlers. Actually that's what most of my posts here were about.
 

Related Threads on Principles of Geology

  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
7K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
0
Views
438
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
7K
  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
8K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
24K
Replies
2
Views
5K
D
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
9K
Replies
6
Views
3K
Top