Some Salient Points in the Science of the Earth

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Hodder and Stoughton, 1893 - Geology - 499 pages
 

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Page 407 - Consequently, if the theory be true, it is indisputable that before the lowest Cambrian stratum was deposited long periods elapsed, as long as, or probably far longer than, the whole interval from the Cambrian age to the present day ; and that during these vast periods the world swarmed with living creatures.
Page 28 - A mass of living protoplasm is simply a molecular machine of great complexity, the total results of the working of which, or its vital phenomena, depend on the one hand upon its construction, and on the other, upon the energy supplied to it; and to speak of 'vitality' as anything but the name of a series of operations is as if one should talk of the horologity of a clock, "f Professor J.
Page 244 - ... here and there in his wanderings, would burn, and so help to warm his body and cook his food. Saxon, Dane, and Norman swarmed into the land. The English people grew into a powerful nation, and Nature still waited for a full return of the capital she had invested in the ancient club-mosses.
Page 190 - Palaeontology furnishes no direct evidence, perhaps never can furnish any, as to the actual transformation of one species into another, or as to the actual circumstances of creation of a species, but the drift of its testimony is to show that species come in per saltum, rather than by any slow and gradual process.
Page 244 - She has kept her beds of coal for millions of years without being able to find much use for them ; she has sent them down beneath the sea, and the sea-beasts could make nothing of them ; she has raised them up into dry land and laid the black veins bare, and still for ages and ages there was no living thing on the face of the earth that could see any sort of value in them ; and it was only the other day, so to speak, that she turned a new creature out of her workshop, who by degrees acquired sufficient...
Page 16 - ... as in a paste, grains and crystals of quartz and hornblende. We know very well from its texture and composition that it cannot be a product of mere heat, and being a bedded rock we infer that it was laid down layer by layer in the manner of aqueous deposits. On the other hand, its chemical composition is quite different from that of the muds, sands and gravels usually deposited from water. Their special characters are caused by the fact that they have resulted from the slow decay of rocks like...
Page 244 - But what becomes of the coal which is burnt in yielding this interest? Heat comes out of it, light comes out of it, and if we could gather together all that goes up the chimney, and all that remains in the grate of a thoroughly-burnt...
Page 17 - ... and aluminous. Such more modern rocks tell of dry land subjected to atmospheric decay and rain-wash. If they have any direct relation to the old gneisses, they are their grandchildren, not their parents. On the contrary, the oldest gneisses show no pebbles, or sand, or limestone — nothing to indicate that there was then any land undergoing atmospheric waste, or shores with sand and gravel. For all that we know to the contrary, these old gneisses may have been deposited in a shoreless sea, holding...
Page 65 - Thus we have here another apparent paradox, namely, that the elevations of the earth's crust occur in the places where the greatest burden of detritus has been laid down upon it, and where, consequently, the crust has been softened and depressed. We must beware, in this connection, of exaggerated notions of the extent of contraction and of crumpling required to form mountains. Bonney has well shown, in lectures delivered at the London Institution, that an amount of contraction almost inappreciable...
Page 189 - This argument applies with a thousandfold greater force to the origin of life, which involves even in its simplest forms so many more adjustments of force and so much more complex machinery. " Fourthly, these hypotheses are partial, inasmuch as they fail to account for the vastly varied and correlated interdependencies of natural things and forces, and for the unity of plan which pervades the whole. These can be explained only by taking into the account another element from without. Even when it...

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