Sale reveals Darwin’s geology, reports The Herald, May 17, 2006 as an original edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, goes on sale for 45,000 pounds at an event in London during June.

The book has been scrawled on and defaced by one of his peers, the leading Scottish geologist Sir Roderick Impey Murchison. The book, the personal copy of Murchison, who established the Silurian system of geology, is covered throughout in his own pencilled criticisms, scornful denunciations, and insults.

Murchison’s view of Darwin is plain from his scornful remarks throughout the book. Where Darwin discusses geological time as being longer than previously thought, Murchison proclaims: “No! No!” In response to Darwin’s idea that “he who rejects these views on the nature of the geological record, will rightly reject my whole theory”, Murchison responds with a churlish “Good!”

Editorial Comment: Darwin is on record as stating “…I always feel as if my books came half out of (Charles) Lyell’s brain, and that I never acknowledge this sufficiently; … I have always thought that the great merit of the Principles (of Geology) was that it altered the whole tone of one’s mind, and therefore that, when seeing a thing never seen by Lyell, one yet saw it partially through his eyes – it would have been in some respects better if I had done this less: (Letter to L. Horner, August 29th 1844).

It follows that the uniformitarian framework so well expressed by Lyell is fundamental to accepting evolution, and is a far more foundational problem than evolution. Today’s geologists have largely rejected the extreme anti-catastrophic views of Lyell, but they retain the uniformitarian concept for all dating methods. Since Lyell merely restated in a much more convincing way, the embryonic uniformitarian views expressed by the Scotsman Hutton and the Frenchman De Buffon, based on the assumptions of Steno, the fight against evolution needs to concentrate on refuting and replacing the underlying assumptions in geology that gave rise to the millions of years that enables man to even think evolution has enough time.

Concentrating only on intelligent design arguments (Lyell’s and De Buffon’s original positions) that still allow for the acceptance of the millions of years, is the very issue that gave rise to the problem in the first place and it is still self-defeating.

Evidence News 31 May 2006

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