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Preview — Principles of Geology by Charles Lyell
Principles of Geology
Influencing Darwin, Tennyson and Dickens among others, Lyell's Principles was an ambitious attempt to forge links between observable causes - volcanoes, earthquakes, rivers, tides and storms - and the current state of the earth. This edition has an introduction by Jim Secord.
Paperback, Abridged, 438 pages
Published June 1st 1998 by Penguin Classics
(first published 1830)
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Read this book on a whim in college as I was studying geology as my major; it was and is considered the first great book of geology. It was already out of date from a scientific standpoint, however, it was valuable to understand and appreciate the growth in the science and our own views of the scientific process in general.
To begin, the Penguin introduction offers a good summary of the debates and controversies that defined Lyell's intervention into the field of geology. Lyell attempted to make the discipline a respectable for a gentleman to practice. He did so by continuing the empirical turn begun by Hutton and others. He built on the uniformitarian assumptions of Hutton, and attempted to understand the forces that had slowly transformed the earth. The book has a curious running debate with Lamarck that would on ...more
Charles Lyell, the father of modern Geology (although I disagree). Lyell was the student of James Hutton and through them the uniformitarianism vs catastrophism argument was born. Lyell is incredibally important to modern sciences and Sir Charles Darwin himself states in "The Origin of the Species" that if you have not read Lyell's book, to immediately put down Origin and read Principles first. Without Lyell's concept of Deep Time (or geologic time) evolution (and all of geology for that matter) ...more
Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, Kt, FRS was a British lawyer, geologist, and proponent of uniformitarianism. He was the foremost geologist of his day, and an influence on the young Charles Darwin.More about Charles Lyell...