By James A. Secord
This ebook goals at severe targets and achieves all of theirs. It professionals ides x essentially new interpretation of the Cambrian-Silurian dispute in keeping with exacting learn and considerate interpretation. It additionally relates the dispute either to the overall social heritage of British geology and to the exact own studies of Sedgswick and Murchison. Secord writes transparent, rigorous prose and gives lots of priceless illustrations. One can't ask for extra" - William Montgomery, technology "Secord offers a dazzlingly special account of this clinical trench conflict and its social outcomes. One finally ends up with a marvellous feeling for the most important taxonomic organizations in Darwin's more youthful day: mapping, ordering, conquering 'taming the "chaos" of the strata. All of those after all had social and imperial ramifications; and Secord mentions geology's ethical allure (in helping a divinely-stratified production) to a beleaguered elite reason on subduing the decrease orders. We additionally get an excellent perception into the bitty slay those taxonomic organisations improved. . . . What comes throughout is how? our supposedly 'inert' taxonomic constructs nonetheless replicate their contingent background" - Adrian Desmond, London overview of Books "James Secord presents a desirable historical past of 1 of the main celebrated altercations in 19th-century science-the controversy over the right kind boundary among the Cambrian and Silurian divisions within the oldest fossil-bearing rocks. by way of integrating the social and technical points of the clash, the writer opens up various new methods to the heritage of usual technological know-how within the Victorian period. the result's a vibrant tale of the human results of medical partisanship and a major contribution to the examine of the particular perform of technology" - eu magazine of Engineering schooling" [Secord's] publication needs to develop into crucial interpreting for any severe pupil of the background of the earth-sciences however it additionally
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Additional info for Controversy in Victorian Geology: The Cambrian-Silurian Dispute
Ms 7652IF103. For Murchisonien, D'Orbigny 1849-1852,1:27 and a mention in E. Forbes 1854b. 20 Geertz 1973. For historical applications, see Stone 1979 (and the reply in Hobsbawm 1980). CHAPTER ONE Controversy and Classification GEOLOGY enjoyed a remarkable popular success in Victorian Eng land. Crowds thronged to the geological section at the annual meet ings of the British Association for the Advancement of Science; Hugh Miller's works sold like fashionable novels; geological im agery graced poems, plays, and common speech.
Bands of limestone, 23 Woodward 1908:167-168. Important studies of the great theoretical controversies include Gillispie 1959, Rudwick 1976a, Bowler 1976 and 1984, W. F. Cannon 1960a, Hallam 1983, Rupke 1983, Ruse 1979, and L. G. Wilson 1972. 25 See "stratigraphy" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Challinor 1978 gives histori cal information on many geological terms. 24 ControversyandClassification — 25 sandstone, and conglomerate gained meaning from their place in this worldwide sequence of strata, from their positioning in a clas sification.
Thus delivery before the small community of geologists at Somerset House, not publication, was usually the most important moment in the history of a paper. Darwin summed up the situation to a friend while finishing his book on the geology of South Amer ica: As for your pretending that you will read anything so dull as my pure geological descriptions, lay not such a flattering unction on my soul for it is incredible. I have long discovered that geologists never read each other's works, and that the only object in writing a book is a proof of earnestness, and that you do not form your opinions without undergoing labour of some kind.
Controversy in Victorian Geology: The Cambrian-Silurian Dispute by James A. Secord