Controversy in Victorian Geology: The Cambrian-Silurian by James A. Secord

By James A. Secord

This booklet 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 examine and considerate interpretation. It additionally relates the dispute either to the overall social heritage of British geology and to the unique own reviews of Sedgswick and Murchison. Secord writes transparent, rigorous prose and gives lots of invaluable illustrations. One can't ask for extra" - William Montgomery, technology "Secord provides a dazzlingly targeted account of this clinical trench struggle and its social outcomes. One finally ends up with a marvellous feeling for the main taxonomic companies 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 aiding a divinely-stratified construction) to a beleaguered elite motive on subduing the reduce orders. We additionally get an excellent perception into the bitty slay those taxonomic organisations advanced. . . . What comes throughout is how? our supposedly 'inert' taxonomic constructs nonetheless mirror their contingent background" - Adrian Desmond, London evaluate of Books "James Secord presents a desirable background 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 means of integrating the social and technical points of the clash, the writer opens up a number new ways to the heritage of common technology within the Victorian period. the result's a brilliant tale of the human results of clinical partisanship and a major contribution to the examine of the particular perform of technology" - eu magazine of Engineering schooling" [Secord's] ebook needs to turn into crucial interpreting for any critical pupil of the background of the earth-sciences however it additionally

Show description

Read or Download Controversy in Victorian Geology: The Cambrian-Silurian Dispute PDF

Similar history & philosophy books

The collected papers of Albert Einstein

This index quantity presents easy accessibility to the main authoritative compilation of files and data touching on Einstein's paintings and correspondence for the 1st half his lifestyles. It bargains readers a Cumulative Index to the 1st ten volumes of the gathered papers, the 1st entire bibliography of Einstein's medical and nonscientific writings until eventually 1921, and a succinct biographical time line.

How Greek Science Passed to the Arabs

The background of technological know-how is one in every of wisdom being handed from neighborhood to group over millions of years, and this is often the vintage account of the main influential of those routine -- how Hellenistic technological know-how handed to the Arabs the place it took on a brand new lifestyles and resulted in the improvement of Arab astronomy and medication, which flourished within the courts of the Muslim global and later handed directly to medieval Europe.

The Circulation of European Knowledge: Niklas Luhmann in the Hispanic Americas

This publication reviews the movement of social wisdom through targeting the reception of Niklas Luhmann's platforms thought in Hispanic the United States. It indicates that theories want energetic involvement from students within the receiving box so as to trip.

Introducing the Enlightenment: A Graphic Guide

Introducing the Enlightenment is the basic consultant to the giants of the Enlightenment—Adam Smith, Samuel Johnson, Immanuel Kant, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. This booklet presents a transparent and available creation to the top thinkers of the age, the lads and girls who believed that rational endeavour may well display the secrets and techniques of the universe.

Extra resources for Controversy in Victorian Geology: The Cambrian-Silurian Dispute

Example text

In more detailed mapping, virtually all the individual rock formations were followed out at full length, and the details of every outcrop in the region recorded. But such a procedure was relatively rare in the exploratory investigations char­ acteristically pursued by the gentlemen geologists. These stratigraphical relations of the rock beds with one another, often called their "physics," provided the foundation for establish­ ing the geological succession in a particular area. This area could then become a type, to serve as a standard for spreading strati­ graphical order to other regions.

Like Lyell, Darwin, Fitton, Murchison, and Greenough, most pos­ sessed independent incomes of varying size and security. A few, notably Buckland from Oxford and Sedgwick from Cambridge, 13 Geologist 1842,1: 162; Ramsay, Diary, entry for 10 Mar. 1847, ICL(R): KGA Ram­ say 1/8 f. 28r. The dominance of a small group of individuals in determining the con­ sensus on any particular issue in the Geological Society is illuminated by Harry Collins's concept of a "core-set": see Rudwick 1982a, 1985, and Collins 1981b.

13 With a few outstanding excep­ tions, most notably Adrian Desmond's work on vertebrate palaeon­ tology, Mary P. 14 What follows are the guiding principles that direct the present account. To begin with, I believe that past science can best be approached from the standpoint of general social history, as the product of par­ ticular people working in particular places in particular circum­ stances. 15 It can also be applied to questions dis­ cussed both inside and outside the boundaries of a scientific com­ munity (despite common assumptions to the contrary, sociological explanations in history need not always invoke issues of politics or class).

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.23 of 5 – based on 43 votes