By Barbara Kennedy

This e-book chronicles how successive generations of normal philosophers, geologists and geomorphologists have come to invent the view of the Earth during the last 250 years.

  • Chronicles how successive generations of average philosophers, geologists and geomorphologists have come to invent diversified perspectives of the Earth during the last 250 years.
  • Uses as its valuable point of view altering rules in regards to the importance of the motion of rain and rivers at the Earth’s floor.
  • Shows how our modern “truths” have grow to be authorised and exposes the frailty of even the main impeccably clinical visions of the Earth.

Chapter 1 Inventing clinical causes (pages 3–10):
Chapter 2 Inventing the Age (and starting place) of the Earth (pages 11–22):
Chapter three Inventing ‘Modern Earth Science’: Charles Lyell and ‘the ideas of Geology’ (pages 23–40):
Chapter four Inventing the Ice Age: The function of Louis Agassiz (pages 41–54):
Chapter five Inventing A Balanced View of ‘forces Now in Operation’: Charles Darwin's Travels in area and Time (pages 55–71):
Chapter 6 Inventing A Fluvial panorama: Powell, Gilbert and the Western Explorations (pages 72–86):
Chapter 7 Inventing the Geographical Cycle and the substitute Genius of W.M. Davis (pages 87–97):
Chapter eight Reinventing A Newtonian Universe: the Reductionist Revolution, 1945?77 (pages 98–111):
Chapter nine Reinventing the Earth, 1977? : Homo Sapiens, heritage and Microorganisms (pages 112–126):

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Kennedy INVENTING THE ICE AGE 41 Chapter 4 Inventing the Ice Age: the Rôle of Louis Agassiz ‘Every river appears to consist of a main trunk, fed from a variety of branches, each running in a valley proportioned to its size, and all of them together forming a system of valleys communicating with one another, and having such a nice adjustment of their declivities, that none of them joins the principal valley, either on too high or too low a level; a circumstance which would be infinitely improbable if each of these valleys were not the work of the stream that flows in it’ (John Playfair, 1802, p.

He was, in many senses, overcautious: the North American term ‘pussyfooter’ comes to (my) mind, especially in his dealings with land ice, the work of rain and rivers (and evolution). Whether this was the manifestation of the legal mind; a wish to maintain decorous views which would fail to shock Victorian society; or merely an unduly timorous character, I am unable to judge. It is also the case that The Principles went through 11 editions during his lifetime and it has so far been more than any scholar can face to develop a true variorum edition.

195–6). Just to further confuse the issue, he adds: ‘In thus accomplishing a certain end, we are not to limit nature with the uniformity of an equable progression, although it be necessary in our computations to proceed upon equalities’ (p. 197). By this last, I think, he just means that we have to try to work out average rates, although reality will exhibit fluctuations from those averages. I stated earlier (p. 17) that Hutton’s 1795 treatise did little to clarify the thrust of his thinking. His friend and apologist, John Playfair (1747–1819), Professor of Natural Philosophy at Edinburgh, attempted a wholesale rescue operation with his Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory of the Earth (1802).

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