Death of British Geologist Sir Charles Lyell

Death of British Geologist Sir Charles Lyell

Sir Charles Lyell
Source: Wikipedia

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Geologist Sir Charles Lyell dies. A British geologist who popularized the concept of uniformitarianism in geology, Charles Lyell was a close friend of Charles Darwin and influenced Darwin's scientific development.

Prior to Charles Lyell, most scientists and most people generally were at least implicitly catastrophists - which is to say, they believed that changes in the geological features were caused by rapid forces, namely catastrophes. This conformed to accounts of the history of the Earth in the Bible, meaning the Bible and science were still treated as harmonious.

Uniformitarians like Lyell, however, argued that geological changes occurred over long periods of time and due to very slow-moving forces - too slow for humans to personally observe. Catastrophes do occur and do create geological changes, but most of what we observe was not created by catastrophes.

Uniformitarianism comes to be strongly supported by those who also support evolution because the evolutionary process is also something which requires long time periods to occur.

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