readings related to geology in the 19th century, visit as well two websites devoted to different aspects of Lyell (and the geology of the Galapagos Islands): Charles Lyell (1797-1875), and Geology of the Galapagos Islands
Your analytical writing assignment this week is to describe briefly what Lyell's geological ideas were, and especially the role that he ascribed to uniformitarian forces at work in geological change. On what evidence did Lyell argue that geological phenomena were the result of forces acting slowly over vast periods of time? Analyze briefly the major catastrophist alternatives to uniformitarianism (Vulcanism and Neptunism), and evaluate the evidence on which these theories were based. Why were Lyell's ideas especially important for Darwin as he set sail on the Beagle to examine the flora and fauna of Latin America? How were Lyell's ideas especially significant for the development of Darwin's evolutionary theory? How did they apply in the case of the discoveries Darwin made on the Galapagos Islands?
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