Selected essays from Powell's work ranging from a gripping account of his epic descent of the Colorado River, to his views on the evolution of civilization, and his seminal writings on Western settlement and resource management.
Introduces all cyclists, from the novice to the experienced tourist, to some of the many possible rides in these locations around Australia's capital city.
A Voyage of Discovery to the Southern Hemisphere, Performed By Order of the Emperor Napoleon, During the Years 1801, 1802, 1803 and 1804 (Facsimile ed).
by Stephen Jay Gould
Most people today think of mountains as pretty if not beautiful, but Thomas Burnet argued that they were ugly — remnants of the humanity-punishing biblical flood. People didn't always listen to Burnet as they should have, so he emphasized his point with global maps showing asymmetrical mountain ranges. Before the Deluge, he was sure, the Earth had been a perfect, aesthetically pleasing orb.
Many of the eggs contained fossilized dinosaur embryos.
"What the World Owes to South Africa" in
"Design and Dissent: Religion, Authority, and the Scientific Spirit of Robert Broom" by Jesse Richmond in
Many of us have, at some point, known somebody like Robert Broom: a person who is whip-smart, energetic, slightly whacky, and carrying a chip on the shoulder. Born to working-class Scots in the 19th century, Broom ventured to Australia and later South Africa. He clashed with authority figures, breached protocol and championed people he perceived as fellow underdogs. When fellow underdog Raymond Dart came under fire for his characterization of the Taung Child () as an ancient human ancestor, an interpretation that turns out to be correct, Broom bristled at the "insiders" in the United States and Britain who dismissed the fossil. His reverse snobbery is on full display in this map. It depicts two massive continents understood by geologists to precede our planet's current landmass configurations: Gondwana in the south and Laurentia in the North. Detecting the earlier continental configurations was no small accomplishment in the years preceding plate tectonic theory. Presumably different land and sea levels could explain the different land configurations to Broom's contemporaries. Though Broom gives Gondwana its proper label and a subtitle of, "The Land of Progress," he simply labels Laurentia, "The Stagnant Northern Continent." Jesse Richmond explains that Broom's nationalist interpretation designated South Africa as the home of human ancestors (other African countries now vie for that title, thanks to newer fossil finds) but didn't stop there. Broom also credited South Africa as the nursery of birds, mammals, flowers, fruits and grains.
Cuvier studied fossils and founded the science of paleontology.
Geology and paleontology have a lot in common: they complement each other, they concern themselves with vast expanses of time, and they're both relatively new disciplines. Geology not only helps us study the history of life on Earth, it enables us to comprehend events beyond our control, such as earthquakes and volcanoes. Oddly enough, continental drift, the mechanism causing earthquakes and volcanoes, was not widely understood until the 1960s, even though Alfred Wegener described the process in 1912, and Abraham Ortelius suggested the possibility in the 16th century.
The Story of Rats: Their Impact on Us, and Our Impact on Them.
by Busbey, Coenraads, Willis and Roots
Ever seen an ancient Chinese seismometer? That's what this is. Each tremor causes a ball to drop from the griffin's mouth into the frog's. Not exactly the accuracy of the USGS, but not a bad idea, either. Frequent, deadly earthquakes caused the Chinese to try detecting seismic activity starting in the second century AD.
Get this from a library! Essay on the theory of the earth. [Georges Cuvier, baron; Robert Jameson; Samuel L Mitchill]The original specimens of these 94-million-year-old dinosaurs were destroyed in the Bayerische Staatssammlung museum when the allies bombed Munich in 1944 (towards the end of WWII).
Review of Cuvier's Essay on the Theory of the Earth16th
by Yvette Gayrard-Valy
Europeans frequently portrayed fossilized creatures as instruments of the devil, along with goats, potions and witches. Fossils were said to have been "begotten by Satan to vie with God," a charge some biblical literalists still level today.
[Victorian Web Home —> Mathematics —> Religion —> Science Texts on this site —> Georges Cuvier] ..1860
by Martin J.S. Rudwick
Evidently influenced by the work of Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins, this panorama depicts what Duncan referred to as "singular productions of former times." The illustration shows Duncan's presumed history of life on Earth from primeval monsters (bottom) to contemporary, familiar animals (top). Visually, the picture makes no attempt to show any gap between the Age of Reptiles and the time of big mammals. Rudwick notes that "the lizardlike iguanodon pokes its snout out of the Secondary into the Tertiary!" But in this picture, the Pleistocene Ice Age provides a life-free break between the past and present, echoing arguments of Louis Agassiz that it was a life-erasing catastrophe. Duncan wrote of "that singular crisis in the history of our planet where a destructive glacial influence in supposed to have invaded the Earth and to have put a sudden end to life, both in the vegetable and in the animal kingdom — a crisis which occupies a somewhat conspicuous place in our pre-Adamite theory." She didn't originate this "pre-Adamite" theory. In 1655, Calvinist lawyer Isaac La Peyrère published , claiming not only that men existed before biblical Adam, but also that the Chaldeans could trace their civilization back 470,000 years. In the mid-17th century, his claims were met with a mixture of anger and wry amusement by religious authorities. Duncan's book resuscitated La Peyrère's argument about ancient peoples, but by the time she penned her book, ancient tools such as flint axes had turned up suspiciously close to the bones of extinct mammals. But, hard as they may have been to survive, the punishing conditions of the Pleistocene didn't destroy all life on Earth. Chaldean civilization hardly persisted uninterrupted for over 400,000 years, but ancestors of modern humans managed to eke out an existence over an even longer timespan.
of an Essay on the Theory of the Earth, ..1485
Barthélemy de Glanville
by Alain Schnapp
This prolific hillside gives rise both to vases and animals, all of them emerging from gaps in the ground. An enduring belief in Europe that persisted into the Renaissance held that the Earth had creative powers of its own and could make living organisms, or at least objects that looked like them. Fossils — which sometimes looked recognizable but turned up in the wrong place, such as a shark tooth or seashell in the side of a mountain — often contributed to the confusion.