Theory of the Earth (1788)
THIS globe of the earth is a habitable world; and on its fitness for this purpose, our sense of wisdom in its formation must depend. To judge of this point, we must keep in view, not only the end, but the means also by which that end is obtained. These are, the form of the whole, the materials of which it is composed, and the several powers which concur, counter-act, or balance one another, in procuring the general result.
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An Investigation of the Natural Operations employed in consolidating the Strata of the Globe
Investigation of the Natural Operations employed in the Production of Land above the Surface of the Sea
System of Decay and Renovation observed in the Earth
2dly agate aqueous solution argillaceous attrition basaltes bituminous bottom burning mountain calcareous earth calcareous spar calcination cause cavity coast composed compression conclude concretion consequently considered consolidated strata consolidation of strata constitution contained continent of land different substances dissolved elevated enquire eruption evident examine feld-spar fire or heat flinty fluid fluidity former land fracture Giants Causeway globe granite gravel hard bodies heat and fusion indurated inflammable isle of Wight lava limestone manganèse manner marble matter means of heat melted menstruum mineral operation mineral regions mineral veins natural appearances natural history natural operations necessarily observed ocean origin particular perfectly PEYROUSE POLYBIUS porphyry power of heat present earth present land principles production proper pyrites quartz rock salt sand separated septa Sicily siliceous bodies solid body solid land sparry species specimens stone stratum structure subterraneous fire sulphur suppose supposition surface things toadstone vegetable volcanos whinstone zeolite
Page 16 - ... which is to happen hereafter. Therefore, upon the supposition that the operations of nature are equable and steady, we find, in natural appearances, means for concluding a certain portion of time to have necessarily elapsed, in the production of those events of which we see the effects.
Page 14 - A solid body of land could not have answered the purpose of a habitable world ; for a soil is nothing but the materials collected from the destruction of the solid land. Therefore, the surface of this land, inhabited by man, and covered with plants and animals, is made by nature to decay, in dissolving from that hard and compact state in which it is found below the soil...
Page 16 - THE globe of this earth is evidently made for man. He alone, of all the beings which have life upon this body, enjoys the whole and every part ; he alone is capable of knowing the nature of this world, which he thus poflefles in virtue of his proper right ; and he alone can make the knowledge of this fyftem a fource of pleafure and the means of happinefs.
Page 11 - ... the presence and efficacy of design and intelligence in the power that conducts the work. IN taking this view of things, where ends and means are made the object of attention, we may hope to find a principle upon which the comparative importance of parts in the system of nature may be estimated, and also a rule for selecting the object of our enquiries. Under this direction, science may find a fit subject of investigation in every particular, whether of form, quality, or active power, that presents...