Charles Lyell, British geologist

Charles Lyell, British geologist

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Credit: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Charles Lyell (1797-1875), British geologist. Lyell was appointed secretary of the Geological Society in 1823. Between 1830-33 he published his three-volume masterpiece 'Principles of Geology'. In it, he provided proof to support the principle of Uniformitarianism stated by James Hutton. This principle stated that rocks and geological formations are the result of ordinary slow processes such as erosion and not a past catastrophe. A friend of Darwin, Lyell wrote 'The Antiquity of Man' (1863), but himself denied that evolution could be applied to humans. Painting, oil on canvas, circa 1835.

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