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Principles of Geology or, The Modern Changes of the Earth and its Inhabitants Considered as Illustrative of Geology   By: (1797-1875)

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Transcribers note: There are a very large number of words in the text which occur joined, hyphenated and spaced with similar frequencies. No attempt has been made to assure consistency as this would mean revising the whole book. A Caret symbol is used for a German abbreviation.

PRINCIPLES

OF

GEOLOGY.

[Illustration: VIEW OF THE TEMPLE OF SERAPIS AT PUZZUOLI IN 1836.]

PRINCIPLES

OF

GEOLOGY;

OR,

THE MODERN CHANGES OF THE EARTH AND ITS INHABITANTS

CONSIDERED AS ILLUSTRATIVE OF GEOLOGY.

BY

SIR CHARLES LYELL, M.A. F.R.S.

VICE PRESIDENT OF THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON; AUTHOR OF "A MANUAL OF ELEMENTARY GEOLOGY," "TRAVELS IN NORTH AMERICA," "A SECOND VISIT TO THE UNITED STATES," ETC. ETC.

NEW AND ENTIRELY REVISED EDITION.

ILLUSTRATED WITH MAPS, PLATES, AND WOODCUTS.

NEW YORK: D. APPLETON & CO., 346 & 348 BROADWAY.

M.DCCC.LIV.

"Verè scire est per causas scire." BACON.

"The stony rocks are not primeval, but the daughters of Time." LINNÆUS, Syst. Nat. ed. 5, Stockholm , 1748, p. 219.

"Amid all the revolutions of the globe, the economy of nature has been uniform, and her laws are the only things that have resisted the general movement. The rivers and the rocks, the seas and the continents have been changed in all their parts; but the laws which direct those changes, and the rules to which they are subject, have remained invariably the same." PLAYFAIR, Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory , § 374.

"The inhabitants of the globe, like all the other parts of it, are subject to change. It is not only the individual that perishes, but whole species.

"A change in the animal kingdom seems to be a part of the order of Nature, and is visible in instances to which human power cannot have extended." PLAYFAIR, Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory , § 413.

PREFACE TO THE NINTH EDITION.

The Principles of Geology in the first five editions embraced not only a view of the modern changes of the earth and its inhabitants, as set forth in the present work, but also some account of those monuments of analogous changes of ancient date, both in the organic and inorganic world, which it is the business of the geologist to interpret. The subject last mentioned, or "geology proper," constituted originally a fourth book, now omitted, the same having been enlarged into a separate treatise, first published in 1838, in one volume 12mo., and called "The Elements of Geology," afterwards recast in two volumes 12mo. in 1842, and again re edited under the title of "Manual of Elementary Geology," in one volume 8vo. in 1851. The "Principles" and "Manual" thus divided, occupy, with one exception, to which I shall presently allude, very different ground. The "Principles" treat of such portions of the economy of existing nature, animate and inanimate, as are illustrative of Geology, so as to comprise an investigation of the permanent effects of causes now in action, which may serve as records to after ages of the present condition of the globe and its inhabitants. Such effects are the enduring monuments of the ever varying state of the physical geography of the globe, the lasting signs of its destruction and renovation, and the memorials of the equally fluctuating condition of the organic world. They may be regarded, in short, as a symbolical language, in which the earth's autobiography is written.

In the "Manual of Elementary Geology," on the other hand, I have treated briefly of the component materials of the earth's crust, their arrangement and relative position, and their organic contents, which, when deciphered by aid of the key supplied by the study of the modern changes above alluded to, reveal to us the annals of a grand succession of past events a series of revolutions which the solid exterior of the globe, and its living inhabitants, have experienced in times antecedent to the creation of man... Continue reading book >>




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