Geological Observations on South America

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Author: Charles Darwin
Published: 1846
Language: English
Wordcount: 134,901 / 407 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 27.3
LoC Category: QE
Downloads: 1,274
mnybks.net#: 2039
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genre: Science

Although in some respects more technical in their subjects and style than Darwin's "Journal," the books here reprinted will never lose their value and interest for the originality of the observations they contain. Many parts of them are admirably adapted for giving an insight into problems regarding the structure and changes of the earth's surface, and in fact they form a charming introduction to physical geology and physiography in their application to special domains.

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f the Pampas, Darwin submitted many of his specimens both to Dr. Carpenter in this country, and to Professor Ehrenberg in Berlin. Many very important notes on the microscopic organisms contained in the formation will be found scattered through the chapter.

Darwin's study of the older tertiary formations, with their abundant shells, and their relics of vegetable life buried under great sheets of basalt, led him to consider carefully the question of climate during these earlier periods. In opposition to prevalent views on this subject, Darwin points out that his observations are opposed to the conclusion that a higher temperature prevailed universally over the globe during early geological periods. He argues that "the causes which gave to the older tertiary productions of the quite temperate zones of Europe a tropical character, WERE OF A LOCAL CHARACTER AND DID NOT AFFECT THE WHOLE GLOBE." In this, as in many similar instances, we see the beneficial influence of extensive travel in freeing Darwin's mind

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