Principles of Geology

  • Thread starter Archosaur
  • Start date
  • #26
765
15
Most definitely, I think I can even identify a couple of those howlers. Actually that's what most of my posts here were about.

So now you have to get your ideas published in a peer reviewed journal, and then we can discuss them here. :wink:
 
  • #27
tiny-tim
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
25,832
251
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 …

geology moves really slowly :rolleyes:

new ideas spread at only a few inches a year, and old ideas only disappear through subduction! :biggrin:
 
  • #28
765
15
One of the howlers that Lyell made was that he thought that life on earth came and went in steady, smoothly transitioning waves. He actually thought that perhaps in a few million years time the fossils of long deceased species found in rocks might make a comeback.

That was obviously before Darwin came along and sorted out our understanding of evolution. Then it was clear that extinct species were gone for good.

Lyell's principles of geology makes a strong case for what is "uniformitarianism", which is the theory that the earth changes gradually in smooth processes such as we witness every day without hardly noticing they are occurring. The gradual erosion of the land by wind and water and the deposition of sediments in lakes and oceans. Lyell rejected the ideas of catastrophism, he had no conception of mass extinctions and saw no need to invoke catastrophic mechanisms to explain the history of the earth. His writings were persuasive and his arguments tightly woven (he was a trained lawyer). His influence was vast and shaped the face of geology (he was right about a lot of things), however his rejection of catastrophism held the British geologists in a straight jacket for over a century -- only recently (perhaps in the past 30 years or so) has it become acceptable to seriously discuss catastrophic events as explanations for geological evidence.
 
  • #29
181
3
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.

In case you didn't know, just about any book that's over 100 years old is out of copyright, which means you can probably find it for free in google books (on the google page, above the search box, click on "More" and then on "Books." They have millions of old books that you can download.

And you should consider getting a Kindle or even a cheap laptop, rather than printing everything. You can hold a million books on one hard drive.
 

Related Threads on Principles of Geology

  • Last Post
Replies
6
Views
7K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
0
Views
425
  • 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