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Old 07-17-2010, 03:13 PM   #1
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Kirwan, Richard: Geological Essays. v1.1. 29 Aug 2010

Another epub in the history of the geological sciences.

Richard Kirwan (1733-1812) was a prominent British scientist, and a leader of the British school of Neptunists. Their theory of the earth, Neptunism, was based on the influential teaching of Gottlob Werner (1749-1817) at the Freiburg, Germany, Mining Academy. Neptunists believed that the oldest rocks were precipitated from a primordial ocean, and these rocks, including granites and basalts were universal formations because the ocean covered the entire world. Thus, all granites worldwide were essentially the same age, as were all basalts, each representing a different phase of precipitation from the universal primeval ocean. Although today these ideas seem bizarre, at the time 'Geological Essays' was written in 1799 they were accepted by the vast majority of European and American scientists, Although largely incorrect in their ideas, the Neptunists were responsible for setting in motion a wide-spread effort by many observers to either support or disprove Werner's hypotheses by detailed studies of the occurrences and characteristics of rocks and minerals. Eventually these studies led to great advancements in the geological sciences.

The book was Kirwan's effort to explain and justify his geological model; it was written also to refute a new theory of the earth published by James Hutton in 1788. Hutton's ideas, often referred to as the Plutonist Theory, correctly assigned granites and similar rocks as originating from molten material once deeply buried within the earth.


For version 1.1, I added internal href hotlinks for the original book TOC and for the footnotes. The footnote references are now congregated at the end of the epub rather than being located immediately after the paragraph where cited. Also checked validation, and corrected a few miscellaneous errors.
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Last edited by bobcdy; 08-29-2010 at 02:49 PM. Reason: Added internal hotlinks for TOC and footnotes
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:52 PM   #2
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Uploaded version 1.1 that has internal hotlinks for TOC and footnotes, and with minor corrections.
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