The internal formation of the earth, and the deep though marvellous traces of design in its disordered mass, have been almost the last in the succession of scientific objects, which have engaged the speculations of mankind. The dazzling brightness of the canopy which overspreads this globe, and the endless varieties of animal and vegetable life which cover its surface, presented attractions with which it was long before the interior examination of its substance could stand in any competition. The treasures of the mine, indeed, were too much connected with selfish and ambitious desires to remain long in obscurity, but the laborious operations of their extraction afforded little leisure or encouragement to philosophic research.
To which are now added, Observations on the Geology of North America ; illustrated by the Description of various Organic Remains, found in that part of the world.
THE attention of naturalists was early directed to the investigation of the fossil organic remains so generally and abundantly distributed throughout the strata of which the crust of the earth is composed.
It is not, as some writers now imagine, entirely a modern study ; for even so early as the time of Leibnitz, we find that philosopher drawing and describing fossil bones. After this period it continued to interest individuals, and engage the particular attention of societies and academies.
Graydon, in the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, show that it was not entirely neglected in Ireland.
But the geognostical relations of the rocks in which these organic remains are contained were but ill understood, until Werner pointed out the mode of investigating them. Vli by the writings and conversations of his pupils, and have contributed materially to the advancement of this branch of natural history in Germany, France, and also in Great Britain.
Petrifactions are no longer viewed as objects of mere curiosity, as things isolated and unrelated to the rocks of which the crust of the earth is composed ; on the contrary, they are now considered as one of the most important features in the strata of all regions of the earth.
By the regularity and determinate nature of their distribution, they afford characters which assist us in discriminating not only single beds, but also whole formations of rocks ; and in this respect they are highly interesting to the geognostical inquirer.
To the geologist this beautiful branch of natural history opens up numerous and uncommonly curious views of nature in the mineral kingdom: The zoologist views with wonder and amazement those hosts of fossil animals, sometimes so similar to the present living species, at other times so far removed from them in form and structure.
He compares the fossil orders, genera, and species with those now inhabiting the earth's surface, or living in its waters, and discovers that there is a whole system of animals in a fossil state different from the present. Even the physiologist, in the various forms, connexions, and relations of the parts of those animals, obtains new facts for his descriptions and reasonings.
Such, then, being the nature of this branch of natural history, it is not surprising that, when once understood, it should have many and zealous cultivators, and occupy the talents of men of learning and sagacity. IX our time, Cuvier, the celebrated Professor of Natural History in Paris, has eminently distinguished himself by his numerous discoveries, accurate descriptions, and rational views in this subject.
His work on Fossil Organic Remains, of which we have given an account in the following Illustrations, will always remain a monument worthy of its author. The Essay on the Theory of the Earth, now translated, is the introductory part of the great work of Cuvier.
The subject of the deluge forms a principal object of this elegant discourse. After describing the principal results at which the theory of the earth, in his opinion, has arrived, he next mentions the various relations which connect the history of the fossil bones of land animals with these results; explains the principles on which is founded the art of ascertaining these bones, or, in other words, of discovering a genus, and of distinguishing a species, by a single fragment of bone ; and gives a rapid sketch of the results to which 2.
Some naturalists, as La Mark, having maintained that the present existing races of quadrupeds are mere modifications or varieties of those ancient races which we now find in a fossil state, modifications which may have been produced by change of climate, and other local circumstances, and since brought to the present great difference by the operation of similar causes during a long succession of ages, Cuvier shows that the difference between the fossil species and those which now exist, is bounded by certain limits ; that these limits are a great deal more extensive than those which now distinguish the varieties of the same species ; and, consequently, that the extinct species of quadrupeds are not varieties of the present existing species.
This very interesting discussion naturally leads our author to state the proofs of the recent population of the world; of the comparatively. Xi modern origin of its present surface ; of the deluge, and the subsequent renewal of human society.
In order to render this Essay more complete and satisfactory, I have illustrated the whole with an extensive series of observations, and have arranged them in such a manner that they will be readily accessible, not only to the naturalist, but also to the general reader.
But we cannot allow the present opportunity to pass, without briefly describing that remarkable fossil animal already noticed in a very cursory manner in pageas we are now enabled to present the English reader with a representation of it from a drawing of Sommerring, in the Denkschriften.Essays on the Theory of the Earth - Kindle edition by Georges Cuvier.
Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Essays on the Theory of the timberdesignmag.coms: 1. Essay on the theory of the earth by Cuvier, Georges, baron, ; Jameson, Robert, ; Mitchill, Samuel L.
(Samuel Latham), Publication date Essay on the Theory of the Earth Georges baron Cuvier, Robert Jameson Full view - Essay on the Theory of the Earth Georges Cuvier (Barón, (), Robert Jameson Full view - Scriptural Geology, or Geological Phenomena, Consistent Only With the Literal Interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures, Upon the Subjects of the Creation and Deluge In Answer to an "Essay on the Theory of the Earth," by M.
Cuvier, Perpetual Secretary of the French Institute, &C. &C. Oct 17, · Plates from Cuvier’s Essay on the Theory of the Earth Leave a reply I’m currently reading through Georges Cuvier’s Essay on the Theory of the Earth and I love these plates from Robert Jameson, who also wrote the prefaces to the third and fourth English editions of the text.
Guided by the principle of correlation, that all the parts of an animal must cohere, and by analogy, with living species, Cuvier boldly reconstructed extinct creatures from the incomplete skeletons he unearthed. This process is described in his Essay on the Theory of the Earth.
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