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History of Geology

History of Geology

What rocks tell and how we came to understand it

Darwin's Tree and Deep Time

" Geologising in a Volcanic country is most delightful,… []"Geologist Charles Darwin in a letter to his fatherDarwin is today remembered for his gradualistic view of earth's history, an essential prerequisite for his view of life, as he concludes in 1859 " from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved ." The famous voyage of the Beagle would prove decisive for Darwin to discover deep time and adopt this view.The first stop of the H.M.S...

February 24, 2013 — David Bressan

Mass Extinctions and Meteorite Impacts

The flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14 and especially the past and present Russian meteors are impressive reminders that the terrestrial biosphere can be affected also by extraterrestrial forces...

February 17, 2013 — David Bressan

Geologizing with Darwin

" Therefore on my return to Shropshire I examined sections and coloured a map of parts round Shrewsbury. "Darwin in his autobiography (1876)" A map is always a decisive criterion of they who aspire to the rank of geologists [E]very one who has not compiled a map, wants the necessary talent of combination ...

February 12, 2013 — David Bressan

Geomorphologic Groundhog Day

We don't know how much wood a woodchuck would chuck if he could chuck wood, but we know how much sediment he moves per year… Biogeomorphology , also referred as ecogeomorphology or sometimes as zoogeomorphology , is the study of the linkages between ecology and geomorphology, or in simple terms between life forms and landforms...

February 2, 2013 — David Bressan

Men among prediluvian Beasts

" No subject has lately excited more curiosity and general interest among geologists and the public than the question of the Antiquity of the Human Race...[] "Lyell 1863The debate over the age of the earth generated an even more intriguing question: how old is humankind?...

January 27, 2013 — David Bressan

Book Review: On the Strata of the Earth

The Russian scholar Mikhail Vasil´evich Lomonosov (1711-1765) was a typical polymath of his time, dedicated to poetry, art, literature, history, philosophy, meteorology, astronomy, chemistry and mineralogy.Born into a relatively wealthy fisherman and trader family from the village of Denisovka (North Russia) he got interested in natural science in early years accompanying his father on trading missions...

January 18, 2013 — David Bressan

January 11, 1771: The Birthday of Lake Alleghe

The lake of Alleghe in the valley of Cordévole is today exactly 242 years old. The moment of the birth of the lake is well known, at 7:02 in the morning of January 11, 1771 the river flowing through the valley became dammed by a landslide coming from the mountain Piz...

January 11, 2013 — David Bressan

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