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1681 Thomas Burnett colour portrait

1681 Thomas Burnett colour portrait

C011/0861

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Credit

PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Thomas Burnet (1635-1715) copperplate frontis with later colouring from his "Telluris Theoria Sacra" or "Sacred Theory of the Earth". His book was one of the most influential early treatises on geology, but was an entirely speculative exercise. He suggested that the earth is a hollow sphere with much water held below the crust. This water was unleashed in Noah's flood by preordained natural processes. Burnet's belief was that God created the Earth in such a way that its processes would play out according to physical laws without the need for constant divine intervention. A sort of universal clockwork from creation to destruction. Burnet's willingness to subject Biblical description to scientific scrutiny lead to him having to resign his post at court.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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