Download Lord Kelvin and the Age of the Earth by Joe D. Burchfield PDF

By Joe D. Burchfield

Burchfield charts the big influence made by means of Lord Kelvin's software of thermodynamic legislation to the query of the earth's age and the heated debate his rules sparked between British Victorian physicists, astronomers, geologists, and biologists.

"Anyone attracted to geologic time, and that are supposed to comprise all geologists and a good smattering of biologists, physicists and chemists, may still make Burchfield's commendable and time-tested quantity a part of their own library"—Brent Darymple, Quartely assessment of Biology

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28-35, 44-98; Toulmin and Goodfield (1966), Time, pp. 64-95; Greene (1961), Death of Adam, pp. 25-63; Davies (1969),Earth in Decay, pp. 27-94. 13 Haber (1959a), Age of the World, pp. 115-136, 146-159; Toulmin and Goodfield (1966), Ti:me, pp. 129-135, 142-149; Meyer, H. (195l),Age ofthe World. 14 DeMaillet's neglected work is now available in an excellent translation by A. V. Carozzi. See DeMaillet's (1969), TeUiamed. 15 Lamarck (1964), Hydrogeology, p. 75. Also see Haber (1959a), Age of the World, pp.

Both M. J. S. Rudwick and R. Rappaport have pointed out the need for a more thorough study ofthe Neptunist position (Rudwick (1969),GlacialTheory, pp. 136-57 and Rappaport (1964),Problems and Sources, pp. 60-77). 21 Haber (1959a), Age of the World, p. 214. For further discussion see Haber, pp. 187-215 and Gillispie (1959), Genesis, pp. 40-72, 98-120. 22 Huxley 23 (1897b), Christian Tradition, p. viii. Scrope ( 1827), Geology of Central France; Lyell ( 1830-33 ), Principles of Geology. Lord Kelvin and the Age of the Earth 20 24 Rudwick (1969), Lyell on Etna, p.

Adopting the third alternative, Kelvin next faced the task of marshaling the limited data available to him. His proposed model provided an ideal case for Fourier's mathematics, but meaningful results required quantitative values for the earth's internal temperature, the thermal gradient at its surface, and the thermal conductivity of its constituent rocks. Of these, the second seemed to present the least difficulty. D. Forbes and others to show that the thermal gradient varied with locality, but a temperature increase of 1°F in 50 feet was generally accepted as a probable mean.

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