Here is a new edition of a widely acclaimed account of the most celebrated controversies in the history of geology--a book that covers many of the most important ideas that have emerged since the birth of the science. Among the great debates described here are those involving catastrophe theory, uniformitarianism, the discovery of the Ice Age, speculation concerning the age of the earth, and the advent of new ideas on plate tectonics and continental drift. In presenting these key topics, the author opens the fascinating history of geology to a wide audience. Frequently citing original sources, the author gives readers a sense of the colorful and at times immensely entertaining language of scientific discourse. This edition includes a new chapter on the emergence of stratigraphy in the nineteenth century, focusing on controversies surrounding the Cambrian-Silurian and Devonian. Another new chapter reviews the mass extinction theory, which is still hotly debated. Other chapters have been revised to reflect recent developments and changes in the field. Authoritative and highly readable, this unique work will interest all readers interested in the history of science and especially the origin of the prevailing ideas in geology today.
From reviews of the first edition: "Spirited, highly recommended." --New Scientist
"A book of value and interest to all shades of Earth scientists and it's a very good read." --Geological Magazine
"An impressively broad and lively demonstration of scholarship. . .a book of interest to geologists, other scientists, and the public." --Geology
"A learned and thorough discussion. . .full of lengthy but very relevant quotations [presenting] a very careful examination of contrasting views rather than the over-simplified versions we usually find in the literature." --Nature
"Cliches and standard interpretations are challenged and successfully discarded, and in their place a revisionism is boldly presented. The narrative is stimulating. . . .No self-respecting academic library should fail to purchase this book." --Choice
"At last, here is a history for geologists which doesn't caricature Werner as an obscurantist Germanic dogmatist, but appreciates his pioneering lithological classifications. . . .this assured and vigorous book is most welcome. We are lucky to have geologists like Professor Hallam who do not toy
with history merely as an after-dinner diversion." --Times Literary Supplement
"An admirable book; I found it absorbingly interesting." --Sir Peter Medawar
"A thoughtful and carefully crafted, adequately footnoted, scholarly work... I gained new insights from each chapter." --Science
(on the 2nd ed.) This collection of case studies. . . is a most welcome addition to this important field. . . It is likely to appeal particularly to geologists but it is, for the most part, generally accessible and intrinsically interesting as a survey of the major changes ingeological thought from
the 18th century to the present." --History of Earth Sciences Society
." . . as a source of seminar material for advanced students, as well as for their own use, instructors will continue to find Hallam's new edition a convenient reference summarizing the major controversies in the history of geology, expanded and strengthened by the addition of its two new chapters."
--Journal of Geological Education
Neptunists, vulcanists, and plutonists; Catastrophists and uniformitarians; The emergence of stratigraphy; The ice age; The age of the earth; Continental drift; Mass extinctions; General considerations; Index.
Series: Oxford Science Pubns
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 8th March 1990
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.01 x 14.94
Weight (kg): 0.42
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: Revised