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Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet, was a British lawyer and the foremost geologist of his day. He is best known as the author of Principles of Geology, which popularised James Hutton's concepts of uniformitarianism – the idea that the earth was shaped by slow-moving forces still in operation today. Lyell was a close and influential friend of Charles Darwin.


Charles Lyell - Thus he acknowledged that the surface if the globe has the appearance of having been subjected to great and violent sudden changes... The theory of consequently built on argumentum ex silentio, or argument by default, required further analogies. ibid p 316 This often reprinted passage is an unfortunate example, for,


Sir Charles Lyell, FRS, author of Principles of Geology. Born on this date 14 November 1797

Sir Charles Lyell - foremost geologist of his day and advocate for uniformitarianism and drifting ice

The frontispiece from Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology (second American edition, 1857), showing the origins of different rock types.


BBC - Your Paintings - Charles Darwin (1809–1882), with Sir Charles Lyell (1797–1875), and Joseph Dalton Hooker (1817–1911) by Victor Eustaphieff