“Into The Abyss of Time”
     The Development of Geology
Leonardo da Vinci
     Surveyor for Duke of Milan, 1482 - 1499
     Marine shells in mountain strata over
     300 miles i...
Conrad Gesner

    1565
Agostino Scilla, 1670
      “I have no idea how the sea could reach
      so far into the land; I do not know
      whethe...
Nils Stensen (“Steno”)
     Preliminary discourse to a dissertation on a solid body
     naturally contained within a soli...
Thomas Burnett 1680
William Whiston
      1698
William “Strata” Smith
         1815
James Hutton

1726 - 1797
Hutton’s Unconformity




Horizontal
Red Sandstone



Vertical
Grey shale
Hutton’s Unconformity
Red Sandstone   Grey Shale
Hutton’s Section

                    Igneous




                   Sedimentary
Theory of the Earth
       Theory of the Earth, or an Investigation of
       the Laws Observable in the Composition,
    ...
Mary Anning




Plesiosaurs (1811)
'Duria Antiquior - a more ancient Dorsetshire' by Henry Thomas de la Beche, 1830
Kirkdale Cave
    1821
William Buckland
     1784 - 1856


     Reliquiae Diluvianae, 1823
     Geology was not inherently
     irreligious and c...
"Notice on the Megalosaurus or Great Fossil Lizard of
                Stonesfield." (1824)
"Notice on the Megalosaurus or Great Fossil Lizard of
                Stonesfield." (1824)
Gideon & Mary Mantell
Richard Owen
Richard Owen
Richard Owen
Richard Owen
Richard Owen
Charles Lyell
   1797 - 1875



     Principles of Geology (1830-33)


     Elements of Geology (1838)


     Geological E...
“An attempt to explain the
former changes of the
Earth's surface by reference
to causes now in operation”
Normative Rules
      Basic laws of nature have not
      changed over time
      No causes other than those we
      can ...
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Into The Abyss of Time

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Into The Abyss of Time

  1. 1. “Into The Abyss of Time” The Development of Geology
  2. 2. Leonardo da Vinci Surveyor for Duke of Milan, 1482 - 1499 Marine shells in mountain strata over 300 miles inland. “[I]f the shells had been carried by the muddy deluge they would have been mixed up, and separated from each other amidst the mud, and not in regular steps and layers - as we see them now in our time.”
  3. 3. Conrad Gesner 1565
  4. 4. Agostino Scilla, 1670 “I have no idea how the sea could reach so far into the land; I do not know whether this happened during the universal Deluge or during other special floods. ... I do not know, neither do I know the way to find out. Nor do I care. What I do know is that the corals, the shells, the sharks' teeth, the dogfish teeth, the echinoids, etc., are real corals, real shells, real teeth; shells and bones that have indeed been petrified.”
  5. 5. Nils Stensen (“Steno”) Preliminary discourse to a dissertation on a solid body naturally contained within a solid (1669) Superimposition: Layers of rock are arranged in a time sequence, with the oldest on the bottom and the youngest on the top, unless later processes disturb this arrangement. Original Horizontality: most sediments, when originally formed, were laid down horizontally. Original Lateral Continuity: the sediment will not only be deposited in a flat layer, it will be a layer that extends for a considerable distance in all directions. In other words, the layer is laterally continuous.
  6. 6. Thomas Burnett 1680
  7. 7. William Whiston 1698
  8. 8. William “Strata” Smith 1815
  9. 9. James Hutton 1726 - 1797
  10. 10. Hutton’s Unconformity Horizontal Red Sandstone Vertical Grey shale
  11. 11. Hutton’s Unconformity Red Sandstone Grey Shale
  12. 12. Hutton’s Section Igneous Sedimentary
  13. 13. Theory of the Earth Theory of the Earth, or an Investigation of the Laws Observable in the Composition, Dissolution and Restoration of Land upon the Globe. (1785 / 88 / 95) The Earth had a long history and that this history could be interpreted in terms of processes currently observed. “The result, therefore, of this physical inquiry is, that we find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end.”
  14. 14. Mary Anning Plesiosaurs (1811)
  15. 15. 'Duria Antiquior - a more ancient Dorsetshire' by Henry Thomas de la Beche, 1830
  16. 16. Kirkdale Cave 1821
  17. 17. William Buckland 1784 - 1856 Reliquiae Diluvianae, 1823 Geology was not inherently irreligious and confirmed the occurrence of a global flood. Miraculous forces were not required - natural law was applied
  18. 18. "Notice on the Megalosaurus or Great Fossil Lizard of Stonesfield." (1824)
  19. 19. "Notice on the Megalosaurus or Great Fossil Lizard of Stonesfield." (1824)
  20. 20. Gideon & Mary Mantell
  21. 21. Richard Owen
  22. 22. Richard Owen
  23. 23. Richard Owen
  24. 24. Richard Owen
  25. 25. Richard Owen
  26. 26. Charles Lyell 1797 - 1875 Principles of Geology (1830-33) Elements of Geology (1838) Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man (1863)
  27. 27. “An attempt to explain the former changes of the Earth's surface by reference to causes now in operation”
  28. 28. Normative Rules Basic laws of nature have not changed over time No causes other than those we can see operating now can be employed in explanations (actualism) The intensity of these causes does not change over time (uniformitarianism)

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