Journal of the Graduate Research Center


The body of writings on the philosophy and history of geology has grown in a remarkable way since the end of the Second World War. There is no obvious explanation for this quickening of interest in what are surely the most academic aspects of a science best known for its practical applications. Influences arising both from within and from outside the geological profession have probably been responsible. It is a matter of record that many departments of geology, upon resuming full-time operations after the war, decided not to go on moving in the old curricular ruts. The new courses, even those in the classical geological disciplines, became more analytical, relying less and less upon the memorization of factual material. This trend has called for a rethinking of the basic principles of geology. There has even been some pecking and scraping around that mossy Victorian cornerstone of historical geology, the principle of the uniformity of nature-and some of us have been astonished to find that the shape of the moss is not the shape of the stone.

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