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Charles Lyell

Data de nascimento: 14. Novembro 1797
Data de falecimento: 22. Fevereiro 1875

Sir Charles Lyell foi um advogado e geólogo britânico.

Popularizador do uniformitarianismo.

Citações Charles Lyell

„The excavations made in 1517, for repairing the city of Verona, brought to light a multitude of curious petrifactions, and furnished matter for speculation to different authors, and among the rest to Fracastoro, who declared his opinion, that fossil shells had all belonged to living animals, which had formerly lived and multiplied, where their exuviæ are now found.“

—  Charles Lyell, livro Principles of Geology

Chpt.3, p. 26
Principles of Geology (1832), Vol. 1
Contexto: The excavations made in 1517, for repairing the city of Verona, brought to light a multitude of curious petrifactions, and furnished matter for speculation to different authors, and among the rest to Fracastoro, who declared his opinion, that fossil shells had all belonged to living animals, which had formerly lived and multiplied, where their exuviæ are now found. He exposed the absurdity of having recourse to a certain 'plastic force,' which it was said had power to fashion stones into organic forms; and, with no less cogent arguments, demonstrated the futility of attributing the situation of the shells in question to the Mosaic deluge, a theory obstinately defended by some. That inundation, he observed, was too transient, it consisted principally of fluviatile waters; and if it had transported shells to great distances, must have strewed them over the surface, not buried them at vast depths in the interior of mountains. His clear exposition of the evidence would have terminated the discussion for ever, if the passions of mankind had not been enlisted in the dispute; and even though doubts should for a time have remained in some minds, they would speedily have been removed by the fresh information obtained almost immediately afterwards, respecting the structure of fossil remains, and of their living analogues.

„His clear exposition of the evidence would have terminated the discussion for ever, if the passions of mankind had not been enlisted in the dispute“

—  Charles Lyell, livro Principles of Geology

Chpt.3, p. 26
Principles of Geology (1832), Vol. 1
Contexto: The excavations made in 1517, for repairing the city of Verona, brought to light a multitude of curious petrifactions, and furnished matter for speculation to different authors, and among the rest to Fracastoro, who declared his opinion, that fossil shells had all belonged to living animals, which had formerly lived and multiplied, where their exuviæ are now found. He exposed the absurdity of having recourse to a certain 'plastic force,' which it was said had power to fashion stones into organic forms; and, with no less cogent arguments, demonstrated the futility of attributing the situation of the shells in question to the Mosaic deluge, a theory obstinately defended by some. That inundation, he observed, was too transient, it consisted principally of fluviatile waters; and if it had transported shells to great distances, must have strewed them over the surface, not buried them at vast depths in the interior of mountains. His clear exposition of the evidence would have terminated the discussion for ever, if the passions of mankind had not been enlisted in the dispute; and even though doubts should for a time have remained in some minds, they would speedily have been removed by the fresh information obtained almost immediately afterwards, respecting the structure of fossil remains, and of their living analogues.

„The elevating of the bottom of the sea, the sinking and submersion of the land, and most of the inequalities of the earth's surface, might, he said, be accounted for by the agency of these subterranean causes.“

—  Charles Lyell, livro Principles of Geology

Chpt.3, p. 39
Principles of Geology (1832), Vol. 1
Contexto: Hooke enumerated all the examples known to him of subterranean disturbance, from 'the sad catastrophe of Sodom and Gomorrah' down to the Chilean earthquake of 1646. The elevating of the bottom of the sea, the sinking and submersion of the land, and most of the inequalities of the earth's surface, might, he said, be accounted for by the agency of these subterranean causes. He mentions that the coast near Naples was raised during the eruption of Monte Nuovo; and that in 1591, land rose in the island of St. Michael, during an eruption; and although it would be more difficult, he says, to prove, he does not doubt but that there had been as many earthquakes in the parts of the earth under the ocean, as in the parts of the dry land; in confirmation of which he mentions the immeasurable depth of the sea near some volcanoes. To attest the extent of simultaneous subterranean movements, he refers to an earthquake in the West Indies, in 1690, where the space of earth raised, or 'struck upwards' by the shock, exceeded the length of the Alps and the Pyrenees.

„Hooke was aware that the fossil ammonites, nautili, and many other shells and fossil skeletons found in England, were of different species from any then known“

—  Charles Lyell, livro Principles of Geology

Chpt.3, p. 37
Principles of Geology (1832), Vol. 1
Contexto: Respecting the extinction of species, Hooke was aware that the fossil ammonites, nautili, and many other shells and fossil skeletons found in England, were of different species from any then known; but he doubted whether the species had become extinct, observing that the knowledge of naturalists of all the marine species, especially those inhabiting the deep sea, was very deficient. In some parts of his writings, however, he leans to the opinion that species had been lost; and in speculating on this subject, he even suggests that there might be some connection between the disappearance of certain kinds of animals and plants, and the changes wrought by earthquakes in former ages. Some species, he observes with great sagacity, are peculiar to certain places, and not to be found elsewhere. If, then, such a place had been swallowed up, it is not improbable but that those animate beings may have been destroyed with it; and this may be true both of aerial and aquatic animals: for those animated bodies, whether vegetables or animals, which were naturally nourished or refreshed by the air, would be destroyed by the water, &c.; Turtles, he adds, and such large ammonites as are found in Portland, seem to have been the productions of the seas of hotter countries, and it is necessary to suppose that England once lay under the sea within the torrid zone! To explain this and similar phenomena, he indulges in a variety of speculations concerning changes in the position of the axis of the earth's rotation, a shifting of the earth's center of gravity, 'analogous to the revolutions of the magnetic pole,' &c.; None of these conjectures, however, are proposed dogmatically, but rather in the hope of promoting fresh inquiries and experiments.

„This doctrine, it is true, had been laid down in terms almost equally explicit by Strabo, to explain the occurrence of fossil shells in the interior of continents, and to that geographer, and other writers of antiquity, Hooke frequently refers; but the revival and development of the system was an important step in the progress of modern science.“

—  Charles Lyell, livro Principles of Geology

Chpt.3, p. 38
Principles of Geology (1832), Vol. 1
Contexto: His [Hooke's] principal object was to account for the manner in which shells had been conveyed into the higher parts of 'the Alps, Apennines, and Pyrenean hills, and the interior of continents in general.' These and other appearances, he said, might have been brought about by earthquakes, 'which have turned plains into mountains, and mountains into plains, seas into land, and land into seas, made rivers where there were none before, and swallowed up others that formerly were, &c. &c.; and which, since the creation of the world, have wrought many great changes on the superficial parts of the earth, and have been the instruments of placing shells, bones, plants, fishes, and the like, in those places, where, with much astonishment, we find them.' This doctrine, it is true, had been laid down in terms almost equally explicit by Strabo, to explain the occurrence of fossil shells in the interior of continents, and to that geographer, and other writers of antiquity, Hooke frequently refers; but the revival and development of the system was an important step in the progress of modern science.

„So, it was argued, the Mediterranean had once opened a passage for itself by the Columns of Hercules into the Atlantic, and perhaps the abundance of sea-shells in Africa, near the Temple of Jupiter Ammon, might also be the deposit of some former inland sea, which had at length forced a passage and escaped.“

—  Charles Lyell, livro Principles of Geology

(1832) Vol.1 Chpt.2, p. 20
Principles of Geology (1832), Vol. 1
Contexto: Strabo,... enters largely, in the Second Book of his Geography, into the opinions of Eratosthenes and other Greeks on one of the most difficult problems in geology, viz., by what causes marine shells came to be plentifully buried in the earth at such great elevations and distances from the sea. He notices, amongst others, the explanation of Xanthus the Lyclian, who said that the seas had once been more extensive, and that they had afterwards been partially dried up, as in his own time many lakes, rivers, and wells in Asia had failed during a season of drought. Treating this conjecture with merited disregard, Strabo passes on to the hypothesis of Strato, the natural philosopher, who had observed that the quantity of mud brought down by rivers into the Euxine was so great, that its bed must be gradually raised, while the rivers still continued to pour in an undiminished quantity of water. He therefore conceived that, originally, when the Euxine was an inland sea, its level had by this means become so much elevated that it burst its barrier near Byzantium, and formed a communication with the Propontis, and this partial drainage had already, he supposed, converted the left side into marshy ground, and that, at last, the whole would be choked up with soil. So, it was argued, the Mediterranean had once opened a passage for itself by the Columns of Hercules into the Atlantic, and perhaps the abundance of sea-shells in Africa, near the Temple of Jupiter Ammon, might also be the deposit of some former inland sea, which had at length forced a passage and escaped.

„The new race or species may not be absolutely superior in the sum of its powers and endowment to the parent stock, and may even be more simple in structure and of a lower grade of intelligence, as well as of organisation, provided, on the whole, it happens to have some slight advantage over its rivals. Progression, therefore, is not a necessary accompaniment of variation and natural selection“

—  Charles Lyell

Fonte: The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man (1863), Ch.21, p. 411-412
Contexto: The competition of races and species, observes Mr. Darwin, is always most severe between those which are most closely allied and which fill nearly the same place in the economy of nature. Hence, when the conditions of existence are modified, the original stock runs great risk of being superseded by some one of its modified offshoots. The new race or species may not be absolutely superior in the sum of its powers and endowment to the parent stock, and may even be more simple in structure and of a lower grade of intelligence, as well as of organisation, provided, on the whole, it happens to have some slight advantage over its rivals. Progression, therefore, is not a necessary accompaniment of variation and natural selection, though, when a higher organisation happens to be coincident with superior fitness to new conditions, the new species will have greater power and a greater chance of permanently maintaining and extending its ground.

„But exactly in proportion as the completeness of the record and our knowledge of it are overrated, in that same degree are many progressionists unconscious of the goal towards which they are drifting.“

—  Charles Lyell

Fonte: The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man (1863), Ch.20, p. 406
Contexto: No one can believe in transmutation who is not profoundly convinced that all we know in paleontology is as nothing compared to what we have yet to learn, and they who regard the record as so fragmentary, and our acquaintance with the fragments which are extant as so rudimentary, are apt to be astounded at the confidence placed by the progressionists in data which must be defective in the extreme. But exactly in proportion as the completeness of the record and our knowledge of it are overrated, in that same degree are many progressionists unconscious of the goal towards which they are drifting. Their faith in the fullness of the annals leads them to regard all breaks in the series of organic existence, or in the sequence of the fossiliferous rocks, as proofs of original chasms and leaps in the course of nature, signs of the intermittent action of the creational force, or of catastrophes which devastated the habitable surface; and they are therefore fearless of discovering any continuity of plan (except that which must have existed in the Divine mind) which would imply a material connection between the outgoing organisms and the incoming ones.

„Thus community in embryonic structure reveals community of descent, however much the structure of the adult may have been modified.“

—  Charles Lyell

Fonte: The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man (1863), Ch.21, p. 415
Contexto: We may understand why the species of the same genus, or genera of the same family, resemble each other more nearly in their embryonic than in their more fully developed state, or how it is that in the eyes of most naturalists the structure of the embryo is even more important in classification than that of the adult, 'for the embryo is the animal in its less modified state, and in so far it reveals the structure of its progenitor. In two groups of animals, however much they may at present differ from each other in structure and habits, if they pass through the same or similar embryonic stages, we may feel assured that they have both descended from the same or nearly similar parents, and are therefore in that degree closely related. Thus community in embryonic structure reveals community of descent, however much the structure of the adult may have been modified.

„Variation and natural selection would also afford a key to a multitude of geological facts otherwise wholly unaccounted for“

—  Charles Lyell

Fonte: The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man (1863), Ch.21, p. 414
Contexto: Variation and natural selection would also afford a key to a multitude of geological facts otherwise wholly unaccounted for, as, for example, why there is generally an intimate connection between the living animals and plants of each great division of the globe and the extinct fauna and flora of the post-tertiary or tertiary formations of the same region...

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„Turtles, he adds, and such large ammonites as are found in Portland, seem to have been the productions of the seas of hotter countries, and it is necessary to suppose that England once lay under the sea within the torrid zone! To explain this and similar phenomena, he indulges in a variety of speculations concerning changes in the position of the axis of the earth's rotation, a shifting of the earth's center of gravity, 'analogous to the revolutions of the magnetic pole,' &c.; None of these conjectures, however, are proposed dogmatically, but rather in the hope of promoting fresh inquiries and experiments.“

—  Charles Lyell, livro Principles of Geology

Chpt.3, p. 37
Principles of Geology (1832), Vol. 1
Contexto: Respecting the extinction of species, Hooke was aware that the fossil ammonites, nautili, and many other shells and fossil skeletons found in England, were of different species from any then known; but he doubted whether the species had become extinct, observing that the knowledge of naturalists of all the marine species, especially those inhabiting the deep sea, was very deficient. In some parts of his writings, however, he leans to the opinion that species had been lost; and in speculating on this subject, he even suggests that there might be some connection between the disappearance of certain kinds of animals and plants, and the changes wrought by earthquakes in former ages. Some species, he observes with great sagacity, are peculiar to certain places, and not to be found elsewhere. If, then, such a place had been swallowed up, it is not improbable but that those animate beings may have been destroyed with it; and this may be true both of aerial and aquatic animals: for those animated bodies, whether vegetables or animals, which were naturally nourished or refreshed by the air, would be destroyed by the water, &c.; Turtles, he adds, and such large ammonites as are found in Portland, seem to have been the productions of the seas of hotter countries, and it is necessary to suppose that England once lay under the sea within the torrid zone! To explain this and similar phenomena, he indulges in a variety of speculations concerning changes in the position of the axis of the earth's rotation, a shifting of the earth's center of gravity, 'analogous to the revolutions of the magnetic pole,' &c.; None of these conjectures, however, are proposed dogmatically, but rather in the hope of promoting fresh inquiries and experiments.

„The anonymous author of 'The Vestiges of Creation' published in 1844 a treatise, written in a clear and attractive style, which made the English public familiar with the leading views of Lamarck on transmutation and progression but brought no new facts or original line of argument to support those views, or to combat the principal objections which the scientific world entertained against them. No decided step in this direction was made until the publication in 1858 of two papers, one by Mr. Darwin and another by Mr. Wallace“

—  Charles Lyell

Fonte: The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man (1863), Ch.21, p. 407-409
Contexto: The anonymous author of 'The Vestiges of Creation' published in 1844 a treatise, written in a clear and attractive style, which made the English public familiar with the leading views of Lamarck on transmutation and progression but brought no new facts or original line of argument to support those views, or to combat the principal objections which the scientific world entertained against them. No decided step in this direction was made until the publication in 1858 of two papers, one by Mr. Darwin and another by Mr. Wallace, followed in 1859 by Mr Darwin's celebrated work on 'The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection; or, the Preservation of favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.'... both writers begin by applying to the animal and vegetable worlds the Malthusian doctrine of population, or its tendency to increase in a geometrical ratio, while food can only be made to augment even locally in an arithmetical one. There being, therefore, no room or means of subsistence for a large proportion of the plants and animals which are born into the world, a great number must annually perish.

„I endeavoured to sketch out (and it was, I believe, the first systematic attempt to accomplish such a task) the laws which govern the extinction of species, with a view of showing that the slow, but ceaseless variations, now in progress in physical geography, together with the migration of plants and animals into new regions, must, in the course of ages“

—  Charles Lyell

Fonte: The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man (1863), Ch.20, p. 393
Contexto: I endeavoured to sketch out (and it was, I believe, the first systematic attempt to accomplish such a task) the laws which govern the extinction of species, with a view of showing that the slow, but ceaseless variations, now in progress in physical geography, together with the migration of plants and animals into new regions, must, in the course of ages, give rise to the occasional loss of some of them, and eventually cause an entire fauna and flora to die out; also, that we must infer, from geological data, that the places thus left vacant from time to time, are filled up without delay by new forms, adapted to new conditions, sometimes by immigration from adjoining provinces, sometimes by new creations. Among the many causes of extinction enumerated by me, were the power of hostile species, diminution of food, mutations in climate, the conversion of land into sea, and of sea into land, &c.

„Lamarck's attempt to explain the origin of species“

—  Charles Lyell

Fonte: The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man (1863), Ch.20, p. 391-392
Contexto: I pointed out in 1832, as the two great flaws in Lamarck's attempt to explain the origin of species, first that he had failed to adduce a single instance of the initiation of a new organ in any species of animal or plant; and secondly, that variation, whether taking place in the course of nature or assisted artificially by the breeder and horticulturist, had never yet gone so far as to produce two races sufficiently remote from each other in physiological constitution as to be sterile when intermarried, or, if fertile, only capable of producing sterile hybrids, &c.

„To many, this doctrine of Natural Selection, or 'the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life,' seems so simple, when once clearly stated, and so consonant with known facts and received principles, that they have difficulty in conceiving how it can constitute a great step in the progress of science.“

—  Charles Lyell

Fonte: The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man (1863), Ch.21, p. 417
Contexto: To many, this doctrine of Natural Selection, or 'the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life,' seems so simple, when once clearly stated, and so consonant with known facts and received principles, that they have difficulty in conceiving how it can constitute a great step in the progress of science. Such is often the case with important discoveries, but in order to assure ourselves that the doctrine was by no means obvious, we have only to refer back to the writings of skilful naturalists who attempted in the earlier part of the nineteenth century, to theorise on this subject, before the invention of this new method of explaining how certain forms are supplanted by new ones, and in what manner these last are selected out of innumerable varieties, and rendered permanent.

„Humboldt relates the interesting fact, that after the annihilation of a large part of the inhabitants of Cumana, by an earthquake in 1766,“

—  Charles Lyell, livro Principles of Geology

Chpt.2, p. 9
Principles of Geology (1832), Vol. 1
Contexto: Humboldt relates the interesting fact, that after the annihilation of a large part of the inhabitants of Cumana, by an earthquake in 1766, a season of extraordinary fertility ensued, in consequence of the great rains which accompanied the subterranean convulsions 'The Indians,' he says, 'celebrated, after the ideas of an antique superstition, by festivals and dancing, the destruction of the world and the approaching epoch of its regeneration.

„Fishes next took the lead, then Reptiles“

—  Charles Lyell

Fonte: The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man (1863), Ch.20, p. 395-396
Contexto: The doctrine of progression... was thus given twelve years ago by Professor Sedgwick, in the preface to his Discourse on the Studies of the University of Cambridge. 'There are traces,' he says, 'among the old deposits of the earth of an organic progression among the successive forms of life. They are to be seen in the absence of mammalia in the older, and their very rare appearance in the newer secondary groups; in the diffusion of warm blooded quadrupeds (frequently of unknown genera) in the older tertiary system, and in their great abundance (and frequently of known genera) in the upper portions of the same series; and lastly, in the recent appearance of Man on the surface of the earth.' 'This historical development,' continues the same author, 'of the forms and functions of organic life during successive epochs, seems to mark a gradual evolution of creative power, manifested by a gradual ascent towards a higher type of being.' 'But the elevation of the fauna of successive periods was not made by transmutation, but by creative additions; and it is by watching these additions that we get some insight into Nature's true historical progress, and learn that there was a time when Cephalopoda were the highest types of animal life, the primates of this world; that Fishes next took the lead, then Reptiles; and that during the secondary period they were anatomically raised far above any forms of the reptile class now living in the world. Mammals were added next, until Nature became what she now is, by the addition of Man.... the generalisation, as laid down by the Woodwardian Professor, still holds good in all essential particulars.

„We learn particularly from the Timaeus of Plato, that the Egyptians believed the world to be subject to occasional conflagrations and deluges, whereby the gods arrested the career of human wickedness, and purified the earth from guilt. After each regeneration, mankind were in a state of virtue and happiness, from which they gradually degenerated again into vice and immorality.“

—  Charles Lyell, livro Principles of Geology

Chpt.2, p. 11
Principles of Geology (1832), Vol. 1
Contexto: We learn particularly from the Timaeus of Plato, that the Egyptians believed the world to be subject to occasional conflagrations and deluges, whereby the gods arrested the career of human wickedness, and purified the earth from guilt. After each regeneration, mankind were in a state of virtue and happiness, from which they gradually degenerated again into vice and immorality. From this Egyptian doctrine, the poets derived the fable of the decline from the golden to the iron age.

„It was long ere the distinct nature and legitimate objects of geology were fully recognized, and it was at first confounded with many other branches of inquiry“

—  Charles Lyell, livro Principles of Geology

Chpt.1, p. 4
Principles of Geology (1832), Vol. 1
Contexto: It was long ere the distinct nature and legitimate objects of geology were fully recognized, and it was at first confounded with many other branches of inquiry, just as the limits of history, poetry, and mythology were ill-defined in the infancy of civilization. Werner appears to have regarded geology as little other than a subordinate department of mineralogy and Desmarest included it under the head of Physical Geography.... The first who endeavored to draw a clear line of demarcation between these distinct departments, was Hutton, who declared that geology was in no ways concerned with 'questions as to the origin of things.

„It will be necessary to dwell on futile reasoning and visionary hypothesis because the most extravagant systems were often invented or controverted by men of acknowledged talent.“

—  Charles Lyell, livro Principles of Geology

Chpt.3, p. 34
Principles of Geology (1832), Vol. 1
Contexto: It may be well to forewarn our readers that in tracing the history of geology from the close of the seventeenth to the end of the eighteenth century they must expect to be occupied with accounts of the retardation as well as of the advance of the science.... It will be necessary to dwell on futile reasoning and visionary hypothesis because the most extravagant systems were often invented or controverted by men of acknowledged talent.

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