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Bursting the Limits of Time The Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Revolution

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ISBN-10: 0226731138

ISBN-13: 9780226731131

Edition: 2005

Authors: Martin J. S. Rudwick

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During a revolution of discovery in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, geologists reconstructed the immensely long history of the earth—and the relatively recent arrival of human life.Bursting the Limits of Timeis a herculean effort by one of the world's foremost experts on the history of geology and paleontology to illuminate this scientific breakthrough that radically altered existing perceptions of a human's place in the universe as much as the theories of Copernicus and Darwin did. Rudwick examines here the ideas and practices of earth scientists throughout the Western world to show how the story of what we now call "deep time" was pieced together. He explores who was…    
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Book details

Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 4/15/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 732
Size: 7.00" wide x 9.75" long x 2.00" tall
Weight: 4.840

List of illustrations
A note on footnotes
Time and geohistory—
Historical parameters—
Historicizing the earth—
Text and illustrations—
Maps of knowledge
Understanding the earth
Naturalists, philosophers, and others
A savant on top of the world First ascents of Mont Blanc—
Science on the summit—
Return to civilization—
The Republic of Letters and its supporters Savants, professional and amateur—
The Republic of Letters—
A variety of supporters—
Places of natural knowledge Laboratories and museums—
Savants in the field—
The social life of savants—
Scientific publication—
Maps of natural knowledge
The literary and the philosophical—
Natural history and natural philosophy—
Philosophy and theology—
Sciences of the earth
Mineralogy as a science of specimens Minerals and other fossils—
Identification and classification—
Fossils of organic origin—
Fossil localities—Prize specimens—
Physical geography as a spatial science Huge solid facts—
The primacy of fieldwork—
Proxy pictures—
Maps as instruments—
Geognosy as a structural science -stops: -.5in 0in .5in"
The mining context—
Structures and sequences—
Primaries and Secondaries—
Sequences of Gebirge—
Fossils in geognosy—
Earth physics as a causal science
The "physics" of specimens—
The "physics" of physical geography—
The "physics" of geognostic structures—
The "physics" of rock formations—
The question of time The short timescale versus eternalism—
Volcanoes, valleys, and strata—
Estimates of the timescale—
Encounters with theologians—
The theory of the earth
Geotheory as a scientific genre
The meaning of "geology"—
The goals of geotheory—
Buffon's cooling globe
Buffon's first geotheory—
Nature's epochs—
The earth's timescale—
De Luc's worlds ancient and modern
The " Christian philosophe"—
De Luc's binary system—
Natural measures of time—
Hutton's eternal earth machine
A deistic geotheory—
Cyclic processes—
A theory confirmed by fieldwork—
Time and eternity—
The standard model of falling sea levels
The multiplicity of geotheories—
Neptunist geotheory—
Transposing history into the earth
The varieties of history
The diversification of history—
Chronology and biblical history—
Chorographers and antiquarians—
Herculaneum and Pompeii—
Fossils as nature's documents
Human history and its natural records—
The natural history of fossils—
Fossils and the earth's revolutions—
Volcanoes and nature's epochs
The making of a physical geographer—
The volcanoes of Auvergne—
Epochs of volcanic activity—
A lake on the site of Paris—