Synopses & Reviews
In 1830-33, Charles Lyell laid the foundations of evolutionary biology with Principles of Geology, a pioneering three-volume book that Charles Darwin took with him on the Beagle. Lyell championed the ideas of geologist James Hutton, who formulated one of the fundamental principles of modern geology - uniformitarianism. This proposed that natural processes always operate according to the same laws, allowing us to understand how features of the Earth's surface were produced by physical, chemical, and biological processes over long periods of time. Volume 1 consists of 26 chapters, a comprehensive index and woodcut illustrations of various mechanisms of geological change. Lyell begins with a definition of geology and then reviews ancient theories of the successive destruction and renovation of the world. He mentions James Hutton's ideas in chapter four, and goes on to discuss the effects of climate change, running water, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes on the Earth's crust.
Charles Lyell profoundly influenced Charles Darwin with this pioneering book on the natural processes reflected in the geological record.
In 1830 the Scottish geologist Charles Lyell published a groundbreaking book that championed uniformitarianism, the belief that the changing features of the Earth's surface were produced by the consistent operation of physical, chemical, and biological processes over time. Lyell laid the foundations of evolutionary biology and profoundly influenced Charles Darwin.
Table of Contents
1. Geology defined; 2. Oriental cosmogony; 3. Arabian writers of the tenth century; 4. Werner's application of geology to the art of mining; 5. Review of the causes which have retarded the progress of geology; 6. Proofs that the climate of the northern hemisphere was formerly hotter; 7. On the causes of vicissitudes in climate; 8. Geological proofs that the geographical features of the northern hemisphere were such as would give rise to an extremely hot climate; 9. Theory of the progressive development of organic life considered; 10. Division of the subject into changes of the organic and inorganic world; 11. Action of running water, continued; 12. Difference between the transporting power of springs and rivers; 13. Reproductive effects of running water; 14. Oceanic deltas; 15. Destroying and transporting effects of tides and currents; 16. Action of tides and currents, continued; 17. Reproductive effects of tides and currents; 18. Division of igneous agents into the volcano and the earthquake; 19. History of the volcanic eruptions in the district of Naples; 20. Dimensions and structure of the cone of Vesuvius; 21. External physiognomy of Etna; 22. Volcanic Archipelagos; 23. Earthquakes and their effects; 24. Earthquake in Calabria, February 5th, 1783; 25. Earthquakes of the eighteenth century, continued; 26. Magnitude of the subterranean changes produced by earthquakes at great depths below the surface.