Essay on the theory of the earth cuvier

These branches, though they wind from every side through a vast labyrinth, come to join the main trunk, with courses of such uniform declivity, that they are rarely dammed up into lakes, or precipitated into cataracts.

Moses and his people came out of Egypt, which is universally allowed to have been the most anciently civilized kingdom on the borders of the Mediterranean. The position laid down here, that a nation may make great progress in one science, which has only one to attend to, seems not very conformable to what has occurred, or to what, from the nature of the human mind, might be expected to occur in the history of science.

The latter principle emphasizes the animal's physiological function in relation to its surrounding environment. The method of observation adopted is susceptible of the utmost accuracy, and affords a specimen of induction from facts highly honourable to human reason.

Such catastrophes occurred at different intervals, fracturing the rocks by the violence of the commotion. One of the first observations which were made after the distinction of rocky masses in reference to their component parts, was the invariable order of relative position which the different species maintain with respect to each other.

George Cuvier’s Essay on the Theory of the Earth

On the Sand Flood H. From these findings, Cuvier and Brongniart concluded that many environmental changes occurred in quick catastrophes, though Earth itself was often placid for extended periods of time in between sudden disturbances.

He later performed groundbreaking work in classifying animals in vertebrate and invertebrate groups by subdividing each category. He also articulated that species cannot move across these categories, a theory called transmutation.

But one of the most important and interesting of the observations for which we are indebted to the precision of the French naturalist is the distinction of two different formations amongst secondary strata.

Georges cuvier essay on the theory of the earth

Thus, if the viscera of an animal are so organized as only to be fitted for the digestion of recent flesh, it is also required that the jaws should be so constructed as to fit them for devouring their prey; the claws must be constructed for seizing and tearing it to pieces; the teeth for cutting and dividing the flesh; the entire system of limbs, or organs of motion, for pursuing and overtaking it; and the organs of sense for discovering it at a distance.

Proofs that the extinct Species of Quadrupeds are not Varieties of the present existing Species Prior to the fall of Napoleon he had been admitted to the council of state, and his position remained unaffected by the restoration of the Bourbons.

This, however, is not an interpretation that should rashly be given to mere literary or scientific speculations. After this sketch of the natural history of the globe for the ages that are past, CUVIER proceeds to examine the changes which are happening at present on the surface of the earth.

Of course, he refers them to the most recent; and if there were not a multitude of facts pointing to the other, we should think the latter conclusion extremely reasonable.

We are glad to find that in this respect we were mistaken. This is covered with clay and a coarse limestone, containing marine petrifactions. It is impossible, therefore, to deny that the waters of the sea have formerly, and for a long time, covered those masses of matter which now constitute our highest mountains; and farther, that these waters, for along time, did not support any living thing.

At the same time it must be allowed, that the early date of that Astronomy, and the usual date of the deluge, may be perfectly reconciled, on the supposition that the former is a fragment of antediluvian science, which had escaped the general destruction.

The work was received about the middle of last summer; and the translation made its appearance in the beginning of winter. To make matters worse, deposits often contained the fossilized remains of several species of animals mixed together.

The Dissertation begins with a sketch of the present condition of the earth's surface. We have selected one from among many instances where are afforded by an attentive examination of our own coasts. The same causes are a gain to act upon this new earth, the waters of the atmosphere are again to commence their course from the summits of the mountains, and the sea attacking its new barrier with undiminished force will again precipitate its spoils into the furnaces of the deep.

Above them indeed there are found formations containing abundance of shells and other productions of the sea, but these consist of alluvial materials, sand, marle, sand-stone, or clay, which rather indicate transportations that have taken place with some degree of violence than strata formed by quiet depositions; and where some regular rocky strata of inconsiderable extent and thickness appear above or below these alluvial formations they generally bear the marks of having been deposited from fresh water.

By extending the analogy further, we can have little difficulty in conceiving that the barrier thus raised by the action of the waves may have been easily destroyed again, even by an extraordinary exertion of the same power which raised it, or by some other of those violent revolutions whose effects are marked upon the face of the whole earth.

With a view of reducing the period of the great catastrophe, so often alluded to, to a date as recent as possible, CUVIER endeavours to take off the force of such facts as would carry back that catastrophe to a period somewhat more remote. Among living forms he published papers relating to the osteology of the Rhinoceros Indicus, the tapirHyrax capensis, the hippopotamusthe slothsthe manateeetc.

Such seems to us the fair estimate of the work that was necessary to be performed, before the surface of the land, as it was left by the waters of the sea, could attain the form which it has at the present moment.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. Home Geology, Paleontology & Theories of the Earth Front cover. Reference URL Share. To link to the entire object, paste this link in email, IM or document Essay on the theory of the earth.

[] Front cover. Previous: 1 of Next: View Description. Page Flip View: Download: small (x max) medium (x max) Large. Art XXI--Essay on the Theory of the Earth, translated from the French of M. Cuvier, perpetual Secretary of the French Institute, Professor and Administrator of the Museum of Natural History, &c.

&c. by Robert Kerr, F.

Essay on the theory of the earth. [1813]

R. S. and F. S. S. Edinburgh. Book digitized by Google from the library of the University of California and uploaded to the Internet Archive by user tpb. Essay on the Theory of the Earth. by Georges Cuvier, Robert Jameson, Samuel Latham Mitchill. Publication date 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. Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric Cuvier () was a French naturalist and zoologist, who was instrumental in establishing the fields of comparative anatomy and paleontology through his work in comparing living animals with cheri197.coms: 1.

Essay on the theory of the earth cuvier
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