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Great Geological Controversies

By: A Hallam

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Jan 1990 | #14207 | ISBN: 0198582196
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NHBS Price: £53.99 $71/€60 approx
Hardback | Dec 1989 | #14206 | ISBN: 0198582188
Out of Print Details

About this book

This is the second edition of the author's account of celebrated controversies in geology that embrace many of the most important ideas that have emerged since the birth of the subject. Two new chapters have been added. One reviews the emergence of stratigraphy in the nineteenth century, focusing on two major controversies concerning the Cambrian-Silurian and the Devonian. The second new chapter deals with the mass extinctions controversy, which has not yet been resolved. The existing chapters have been revised in the light of recent publications. The book will be of interest to professional geologists, geology students, and amateur geologists as well as to geographers and historians of science.

From reviews of the first edition: "Spirited, highly recommended." --New Scientist
"A book of value and interest to all shades of Earth scientists and it's a very good read." --Geological Magazine
"An impressively broad and lively demonstration of scholarship. . .a book of interest to geologists, other scientists, and the public." --Geology
"A learned and thorough discussion. . .full of lengthy but very relevant quotations [presenting] a very careful examination of contrasting views rather than the over-simplified versions we usually find in the literature." --Nature
"Cliches and standard interpretations are challenged and successfully discarded, and in their place a revisionism is boldly presented. The narrative is stimulating. . . .No self-respecting academic library should fail to purchase this book." --Choice
"At last, here is a history for geologists which doesn't caricature Werner as an obscurantist Germanic dogmatist, but appreciates his pioneering lithologica


Neptunists, vulcanists, and plutonists; Catastrophists and uniformitarians; The emergence of stratigraphy; The ice age; The age of the earth; Continental drift; Mass extinctions; General considerations; Index.

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