The Theory of the Earth

The Theory of the Earth

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This is a concise but comprehensive work on the science of geology. From the preface: "Geology, now deservedly one of the most, popular and attractive of the physical sciences, was, not many years ago, held in little estimation and even at present, there are not wanting some who do not hesitate to maintain, that it is a mere tissue of ill observed phenomena, and of hypotheses of boundless extravagance. The work of Cuvier now laid before the public, contains in itself not only a complete answer to these ignorant imputations, but also demonstrates the accuracy, extent, and importance of many of the facts and reasonings of this delightful branch of Natural History. Can it be maintained of a science, which requires for its successful prosecution an intimate acquaintance with Chemistry, Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, -with the details and views of Zoology. Botany, and Mineralogy, and which connects these different departments of knowledge in a most interesting and striking manner, -that it is of no value? Can it be maintained of Geology, which discloses to us the history of the first origin of organic beings, and traces their gradual development from the monade to man himself, -which enumerates and describes the changes that plants, animals, and minerals-the atmosphere, and the waters of the globe-have undergone from the earliest geological periods up to our own time, and which even instructs us in the earliest history of the human species, -that it offers no gratification to the philosopher? Can even those who estimate the value of science, not by intellectual desires, but by practical advantages, deny the importance of Geology, certainly one of the foundations of agriculture, and which enables us to search out materials for numberless important economical purposes? Geology took its rise m the Academy of Freyberg, with the illustrious Werner, to whom we owe its present interesting condition This being the case, we ought not, (as is at present too much the practice), amidst the numerous discoveries in the mineral kingdom which have been made since the system of investigation of that great interpreter of nature was made known, forget the master, and arrogate all to ourselves. In this Island, Geology first took firm root in the north: in Edinburgh the Wernerian geognostical views and method of investigation, combined with the theory of Hutton, the experiments and speculations of Hall, the illustrations of Playfair, and the labours of the Royal and Wernerian Natural History Societies, excited a spirit of inquiry which rapidly spread throughout the Empire; and now Great Britain presents to the scientific world a scene of geological acuteness, activity, and enterprise, not surpassed in any other country. On the Continent the writings of Cuvier, distinguished equally by purity and beauty of style and profound learning, have proved eminently useful in aiding the progress of Geology. In this country Cuvier was first made known as a geologist by the publication of the present essay, which, from its unexampled popularity, has made his name as familiar to us as that of the most distinguished of our own writers.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 46 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 2.79mm | 117.93g
  • Createspace
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1508528691
  • 9781508528692