Darwin-L Message Log 4:91 (December 1993)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.

<4:91>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Fri Dec 24 00:08:47 1993

Date: Fri, 24 Dec 1993 01:12:32 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: December 24 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro


1856: HUGH MILLER dies at Portobello, Scotland, a suicide.  One of the great
geological writers of the early nineteenth century, Miller's graceful prose
earned fame for his many books, including _Scenes and Legends from the North
of Scotland_ (1835), _The Old Red Sandstone_ (1841), and also _Foot-Prints of
the Creator; Or, the Asterolepis of Stromness_ (1847): "We learn from human
history that nations are as certainly mortal as men.  They enjoy a greatly
longer term of existence, but they die at last; Rollin's History of Ancient
Nations is a history of the dead.  And we are taught by geological history, in
like manner, that _species_ are as mortal as individuals and nations, and that
even genera and families become extinct.  There is no _man_ upon the earth at
the present moment whose age greatly exceeds an hundred years; -- there is no
_nation_ now upon earth (if we perhaps except the long-lived Chinese) that
also flourished three thousand years ago; -- there is no _species_ now living
upon earth that dates beyond the times of the Tertiary deposits.  All bear the
stamp of death, -- individuals, -- nations, -- species; and we may scarce less
safely predicate, looking upon the past, that it is appointed for nations and
species to die, than that it is 'appointed for _man_ once to die.'"

in the Seine river in Paris, a suicide.  Following a short military career for
which he received a life-time pension, d'Archiac turned to geology and became
one of the leading stratigraphers in Europe.  In addition to many research
papers on paleontology and stratigraphic correlation, d'Archiac published a
nine-volume _Histoire des Progres de la Geologie_ from 1847 to 1860, and
served several times as president of the Societe Geologique de France.

Today in the Historical Sciences is a feature of Darwin-L, an international
discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.  For
information send the message INFO DARWIN-L to listserv@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu.

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