Lecture Notes 7

Lecture Notes 7 - Lecture 7 Victorian Sensation Vestiges of...

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Lecture 7 Victorian Sensation: estiges of the Natural History of Creatio “I do from my soul abhor the[se] sentiments...” The Reverend Adam Sedgwick V n Image courtesy of karindalziel on Flickr. CC-BY. 1
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Taking stock: the situation in 1840 I An increasingly clear sense of the reality of “deep time” I An increasingly coherent picture of the successive eras of earth history, as represented in the geological column I A wide range of options for reconciling Genesis and geology within broadly “catastrophist” or “uniformitarian” frameworks I An increasing reluctance to invoke the Scriptures to explain geological phenomena I And an increasingly uneasy silence about what Darwin referred to as “that mystery of mysteries”, the origin of new species on the earth…. 2
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“Conservative” Opposition (“Mosaists”) I “Mosaists”, “Scriptural Geologists rejected evidence of an old earth subject to multiple transformations, in favor of strict adherence to the Scriptures Mainstream Natural History I Mainstream naturalists, both “catastrophists” and “uniformitarians”, accepted an old earth subject to multiple transformations, but stopped short of attempting a naturalistic account of the appearance of new forms of life over the course of geological time “Radical” Opposition (“Evolutionists”) I Evolutionists or transformists advocated a fully “naturalistic” account of the history of life, subject to a variety of hypothetical “laws of development” BUT: there was dissent from right and left 3
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A useful term “Naturalism” or =±#)%.4)@#.!452!,)3-> : the belief that all natural phenomena are explicable in terms of natural law; and that, consequently, there is no place for so-called “supernatural” explanations in science 4
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The “Mosaists” ± There was a reaction against mainstream natural history by some conservatives within the Christian community ± The “Scriptural Geologists” held out against historical geology in favor of a strict adherence to the Biblical “6 days of creation” 5
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Scriptural geology ± Rodd, Thomas (Philobiblos), 1820, A Defence of the Veracity of Moses ± Penn, Granville , 1822, A Comparative Estimate of the Mineral and Mosaical Geologies ± Bugg, George, 1826, Scriptural Geology ± Ure, Andrew , 1829, A New System of Geology ± Brown, James Mellor , 1833, ²%A%#4)/.3/.³%/,/'9 ± Nolan, Frederick, 1833. Analogy of Revelation and Science Established ± Fairholme, George, 1833, General View of the Geology of Scripture , and 1837, The Mosaic Deluge ± Cole, Henry , 1834, Popular Geology Subversive of Divine Revelation ± Gisborne, Thomas , 1836, Considerations on the Modern Theory of Geology ± Young, George , 1838, Scriptural Geology ± Rhind, William, 1838, Age of the Earth, Considered Geologically and Historically ± Cockburn, William , 1839, The Bible Defended Against the British Association , and, 1838, A Letter to Professor Buckland Concerning the Origin of the World 6
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Scriptural geology: assessment ± A heterogeneous group of writers reacting against the whole thrust of historical geology ±
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