Darwin-L Message Log 6:86 (February 1994)

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.

<6:86>From DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu  Sat Feb 19 22:20:17 1994

Date: Sat, 19 Feb 1994 23:23:08 -0400 (EDT)
From: DARWIN@iris.uncg.edu
Subject: February 19 -- Today in the Historical Sciences
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro


1792: RODERICK IMPEY MURCHISON is born at Tarradale, Scotland.  Following
a period of military service as a young man, Murchison will lead a life of
leisure until 1824 when he will become interested in geology.  His inherited
wealth will allow him to devote himself entirely to science during subsequent
years, and he will pioneer the use of fossils in the correlation of strata.
Travelling extensively through much of Europe, and serving several times as
president of the Geological Society of London, Murchison will concentrate
his investigations on some of the oldest strata then known, in the hope of
geologically locating the origin of life.  His great monograph _The Silurian
System_ (London, 1839) will set a standard for geological research, but it
will eventually lead him into a bitter dispute with Adam Sedgwick over the
location of the boundary between the Silurian and Sedgwick's older Cambrian
System.  Increasingly inflexible in his views, Murchison will aggressively
reject both Agassiz's glacial theory and Darwin's theory of descent, and late
in life will become a patron of geography, participating in the founding of
the Royal Geographical Society and contributing financially to Livingstone's
African expeditions.  He will be made a baronet in 1866, and will die in
London in 1871.

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