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

ISBN-10: 0226731138

ISBN-13: 9780226731131

Edition: 2005

Authors: Martin J. S. Rudwick

List price: $35.00
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Description:

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 responsible for the discovery of the earth's history, refutes the concept of a rift between science and religion in dating the earth, and details how the study of the history of the earth helped define a new branch of science called geology. Bursting the Limits of Timeis the first detailed account of this monumental phase in the history of science. “Bursting the Limits of Timeis a massive work and is quite simply a masterpiece of science history. . . . The book should be obligatory for every geology and history of science library, and is a highly recommended companion for every civilized geologist who can carry an extra 2.4 kg in his rucksack.”—Stephen Moorbath,Nature
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Book details

List price: $35.00
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
Language: English

List of illustrations
Acknowledgments
A note on footnotes
Introduction
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—
Conclusion
The Republic of Letters and its supporters Savants, professional and amateur—
The Republic of Letters—
A variety of supporters—
Conclusion
Places of natural knowledge Laboratories and museums—
Savants in the field—
The social life of savants—
Scientific publication—
Conclusion
Maps of natural knowledge
The literary and the philosophical—
Natural history and natural philosophy—
Philosophy and theology—
Conclusion
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—
Conclusion
Physical geography as a spatial science Huge solid facts—
The primacy of fieldwork—
Proxy pictures—
Maps as instruments—
Conclusion
Geognosy as a structural science -stops: -.5in 0in .5in"
The mining context—
Structures and sequences—
Primaries and Secondaries—
Sequences of Gebirge—
Fossils in geognosy—
Conclusion
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—
Conclusion
The question of time The short timescale versus eternalism—
Volcanoes, valleys, and strata—
Estimates of the timescale—
Encounters with theologians—
Conclusion
The theory of the earth
Geotheory as a scientific genre
The meaning of "geology"—
The goals of geotheory—
Conclusion
Buffon's cooling globe
Buffon's first geotheory—
Nature's epochs—
The earth's timescale—
Conclusion
De Luc's worlds ancient and modern
The " Christian philosophe"—
De Luc's binary system—
Natural measures of time—
Conclusion
Hutton's eternal earth machine
A deistic geotheory—
Cyclic processes—
A theory confirmed by fieldwork—
Time and eternity—
Conclusion
The standard model of falling sea levels
The multiplicity of geotheories—
Neptunist geotheory—
Conclusion
Transposing history into the earth
The varieties of history
The diversification of history—
Chronology and biblical history—
Chorographers and antiquarians—
Herculaneum and Pompeii—
Conclusion
Fossils as nature's documents
Human history and its natural records—
The natural history of fossils—
Fossils and the earth's revolutions—
Conclusion
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—
Conclusion
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