1684 Thomas Burnet Sacred Theory geology

1684 Thomas Burnet Sacred Theory geology

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Frontispiece from Thomas Burnet's "The Sacred Theory of the Earth" 1684. The most popular geological work of the 17th century. Christ stands aside the full cycle of creation with the epithet "I am the Alpha and Omega" above his head in Greek. The cycle of creation and destruction of the earth run clockwise. The second phase shows the "perfect" featureless earth of the creation, the third shows the waters unleashed from below the crust, the 'great deep' of scripture, to bring the flood (note the small ark afloat bounded by angels). The fourth phase is our current planet - to Burnet broken and shattered. The fifth phase shows the conflagration of fire which was to come and a return to perfection.

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Keywords: 17th century, bible, burnet, flood, geologist, geology, sacred theory, science, thomas

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