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Worlds Before AdamThe Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Reform$
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Martin J. S. Rudwick

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226731285

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226731308.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 03 August 2021

Challenges to lyell's geotheory (1832–35)

Challenges to lyell's geotheory (1832–35)

Chapter:
(p.393) Chapter 27 Challenges to lyell's geotheory (1832–35)
Source:
Worlds Before Adam
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226731308.003.0028

The full publication of Charles Lyell's Principles, while causing no scientific revolution, provoked intense argument among geologists. This chapter focuses on the reactions to Lyell's geotheory. In general, fellow geologists welcomed his enlarged repertoire of actual causes as capable of explaining more than had hitherto been supposed; but they rejected his claim that there had never been any events more sudden or violent than those witnessed in human history, and even more his claim that there had been no overall directionality in geohistory. Above all, they unpicked Lyell's unitary concept of “absolute uniformity” into its component meanings, some of them more plausible than others.

Keywords:   Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology, geohistory, geologists, absolute uniformity

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