The Earth On Show

Autor: Ralph O'Connor
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226616703
File Size: 62,14 MB
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At the turn of the nineteenth century, geology—and its claims that the earth had a long and colorful prehuman history—was widely dismissedasdangerous nonsense. But just fifty years later, it was the most celebrated of Victorian sciences. Ralph O’Connor tracks the astonishing growth of geology’s prestige in Britain, exploring how a new geohistory far more alluring than the standard six days of Creation was assembled and sold to the wider Bible-reading public. Shrewd science-writers, O’Connor shows, marketed spectacular visions of past worlds, piquing the public imagination with glimpses of man-eating mammoths, talking dinosaurs, and sea-dragons spawned by Satan himself. These authors—including men of science, women, clergymen, biblical literalists, hack writers, blackmailers, and prophets—borrowed freely from the Bible, modern poetry, and the urban entertainment industry, creating new forms of literature in order to transport their readers into a vanished and alien past. In exploring the use of poetry and spectacle in the promotion of popular science, O’Connor proves that geology’s success owed much to the literary techniques of its authors. An innovative blend of the history of science, literary criticism, book history, and visual culture, The Earth on Show rethinks the relationship between science and literature in the nineteenth century.

Science And Eccentricity

Autor: Victoria Carroll
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317314476
File Size: 33,12 MB
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The concept of eccentricity was central to how people in the 19th century understood their world. This book explores how, from the turn of the century, discourses of eccentricity were established to make sense of individuals who did not seem to fit within an increasingly organized social and economic order.

Uncommon Contexts

Autor: Ben Marsden
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317320352
File Size: 29,40 MB
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Britain in the long nineteenth century developed an increasing interest in science of all kinds. The essays in this collection uncover this symbiotic relationship between literature and science.

Earth S Deep History

Autor: Martin J. S. Rudwick
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022620409X
File Size: 73,79 MB
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Earth has been witness to mammoths and dinosaurs, global ice ages, continents colliding or splitting apart, and comets and asteroids crashing catastrophically to the surface, as well as the birth of humans who are curious to understand it. But how was all this discovered? How was the evidence for it collected and interpreted? And what kinds of people have sought to reconstruct this past that no human witnessed or recorded? In this sweeping and accessible book, Martin J. S. Rudwick, the premier historian of the Earth sciences, tells the gripping human story of the gradual realization that the Earth’s history has not only been unimaginably long but also astonishingly eventful. Rudwick begins in the seventeenth century with Archbishop James Ussher, who famously dated the creation of the cosmos to 4004 BC. His narrative later turns to the crucial period of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when inquisitive intellectuals, who came to call themselves “geologists,” began to interpret rocks and fossils, mountains and volcanoes, as natural archives of Earth’s history. He then shows how this geological evidence was used—and is still being used—to reconstruct a history of the Earth that is as varied and unpredictable as human history itself. Along the way, Rudwick rejects the popular view of this story as a conflict between science and religion and shows how the modern scientific account of the Earth’s deep history retains strong roots in Judaeo-Christian ideas. Extensively illustrated, Earth’s Deep History is an engaging and impressive capstone to Rudwick’s distinguished career. Though the story of the Earth is inconceivable in length, Rudwick moves with grace from the earliest imaginings of our planet’s deep past to today’s scientific discoveries, proving that this is a tale at once timeless and timely.

Worlds Before Adam

Autor: Martin J. S. Rudwick
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226731308
File Size: 41,83 MB
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In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, scientists reconstructed the immensely long history of the earth—and the relatively recent arrival of human life. The geologists of the period, many of whom were devout believers, agreed about this vast timescale. But despite this apparent harmony between geology and Genesis, these scientists still debated a great many questions: Had the earth cooled from its origin as a fiery ball in space, or had it always been the same kind of place as it is now? Was prehuman life marked by mass extinctions, or had fauna and flora changed slowly over time? The first detailed account of the reconstruction of prehuman geohistory, Martin J. S. Rudwick’s Worlds Before Adam picks up where his celebrated Bursting the Limits of Time leaves off. Here, Rudwick takes readers from the post-Napoleonic Restoration in Europe to the early years of Britain’s Victorian age, chronicling the staggering discoveries geologists made during the period: the unearthing of the first dinosaur fossils, the glacial theory of the last ice age, and the meaning of igneous rocks, among others. Ultimately, Rudwick reveals geology to be the first of the sciences to investigate the historical dimension of nature, a model that Charles Darwin used in developing his evolutionary theory. Featuring an international cast of colorful characters, with Georges Cuvier and Charles Lyell playing major roles and Darwin appearing as a young geologist, Worlds Before Adam is a worthy successor to Rudwick’s magisterial first volume. Completing the highly readable narrative of one of the most momentous changes in human understanding of our place in the natural world, Worlds Before Adam is a capstone to the career of one of the world’s leading historians of science.

Protogaea

Autor: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226112977
File Size: 26,54 MB
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Protogaea, an ambitious account of terrestrial history, was central to the development of the earth sciences in the eighteenth century and provides key philosophical insights into the unity of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s thought and writings. In the book, Leibniz offers observations about the formation of the earth, the actions of fire and water, the genesis of rocks and minerals, the origins of salts and springs, the formation of fossils, and their identification as the remains of living organisms. Protogaea also includes a series of engraved plates depicting the remains of animals—in particular the famous reconstruction of a “fossil unicorn”—together with a cross section of the cave in which some fossil objects were discovered. Though the works of Leibniz have been widely translated, Protogaea has languished in its original Latin for centuries. Now Claudine Cohen and Andre Wakefield offer the first English translation of this central text in natural philosophy and natural history. Written between 1691 and 1693, and first published after Leibniz’s death in 1749, Protogaea reemerges in this bilingual edition with an introduction that carefully situates the work within its historical context.

Evolution Of Fossil Ecosystems Second Edition

Autor: Paul Selden
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 1840766239
File Size: 48,27 MB
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Evolution of Fossil Ecosystems describes all of the main Fossil Lagerstätten (sites of exceptional fossil preservation) from around the world in a chronological order. It covers the history of research, stratigraphy and taphonomy, main faunal and floral elements, and the palaeoecology of each site and gives a comparison with coeval sites around the world. It includes all of the well-known fossil sites, such as the Burgess Shale, the Solnhofen Limestone, Mazon Creek, Rancho La Brea etc., and includes an appendix giving information on how to visit the sites and where to see the fossils in museum displays. Available now in its second edition, Lagerstätten included for the first time include Chengjiang, the Herefordshire Nodules and the Jehol Group. A welcome addition to the list of important localities of Cenozoic age is the White River Group, which preserves the finest examples of mammals around the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, including many now-extinct groups. The book is beautifully illustrated throughout with over 450 colour photographs and diagrams, and it is extensively referenced. Evolution of Fossil Ecosystems is essential reading to a wide range of students and professionals in palaeontology and related sciences, and to amateur enthusiasts.

Georges Cuvier Fossil Bones And Geological Catastrophes

Autor: Martin J. S. Rudwick
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226731087
File Size: 55,40 MB
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French zoologist Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) helped form and bring credibility to geology and paleontology. Here Martin J. S. Rudwick provides the first modern translation of Cuvier's essential writings on fossils and catastrophes and links these translated texts together with his own insightful narrative and interpretive commentary. "Martin Rudwick has done English-speaking science a considerable service by translating and commenting on Cuvier's work. . . . He guides us through Cuvier's most important writings, especially those which demonstrate his new technique of comparative anatomy."—Douglas Palmer, New Scientist

Fossil Ecosystems Of North America

Autor: Paul Selden
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 1840765070
File Size: 24,18 MB
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Most major recent advances in understanding the history of life on Earth have been through the study of exceptionally well preserved biotas (Fossil-Lagerstätten). These are windows on the history of life on Earth and can provide a fairly complete picture of the evolution of ecosystems through time. This book follows the success of Evolution of Fossil Ecosystems by the same authors which covered Fossil-Lagerstätten around the world. The success of the first book prompted this new book which draws on four localities from the original book and adds another ten, all located in North America. Following an introduction to Fossil-Lagerstätten, each chapter deals with a single fossil locality. Each chapter contains a brief introduction placing the Lagerstätte in an evolutionary context; there then follows a history of study of the locality; the background sedimentology, stratigraphy and palaeoenvironment; a description of the biota; discussion of the palaeoecology, and a comparison with other Lagerstätten of a similar age and/or environment. At the end of the book is an Appendix listing museums in which to see exhibitions of fossils from each locality and suggestions for visiting the sites.

Repositioning Victorian Sciences

Autor: David Clifford
Publisher: Anthem Press
ISBN: 9781843317517
File Size: 42,25 MB
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The essays in this collection explore the influence of nineteenth-century culture on the rise of these sciences, investigating the emergence of marginal sciences such as scriptural geology and spiritualism. Repositioning Victorian Sciences is a valuable addition to our understanding of nineteenth-century science in its original context, and will also be of great interest to those studying the era as a whole.