Perilous Planet Earth: Catastrophes and Catastrophism Through the Ages

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Cambridge University Press, 12.06.2003 - 522 Seiten
Perilous Planet Earth places our present concern about the threat to Earth from asteroids and comets within an historical context, looking at the evidence for past events within the geological and historical records. The book looks at the way in which prevailing views about modes of global change have changed dramatically over the years. It also considers the way in which catastrophic events are now seen to have influenced the course of evolution in the distant past, as well as the rise and fall of civilizations in more recent times. Professor Palmer argues that the better we understand our past, the greater the likelihood that we will be able to take appropriate action to preserve our civilization for the future.
 

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Inhalt

Hutton fact and fiction about the origins of modern gradualism
15
Cuvier and Lamarck choosing between extinction and evolution
22
Natural theology and Noahs Flood the highwater mark of catastrophism
35
Catastrophism uniformitarianism and idealist philosophy
41
Lyell triumphant gradualism dominates geology
54
Darwin and evolution
59
After the Origin the triumph of evolutionary gradualism
71
Phyletic gradualism
93
From 1980 to the present day catastrophism strikes back
166
Into the new millennium evolution today
179
Chaos in the Solar System
187
Catastrophes on Earth
196
The death of the dinosaurs iridium and the KT extinctions
214
The continuing KT debate
227
Mass extinctions and the course of evolution
243
Cyclic processes and mass extinctions
273

Gradualist perceptions of human evolution
104
Heretical catastrophists
113
Atlantis rational and irrational theories of a lost civilisation
124
Evolutionary mass extinctions and neocatastrophism
132
Punctuated equilibrium a new evolutionary perspective
148
Human evolution gradual or punctuational?
160
The uncertain origins of humankind
286
Ice Ages in the Pleistocene Epoch
301
Modern views of Atlantis
315
Natural catastrophes and the rise and fall of civilisations
335
Conclusions
362
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