The Sixth Extinction - Chapters III - IV Summary & Analysis

Elizabeth Kolbert
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Summary

In 1832 William Whewell, an early presidents of the Geological Society of London, coined the phrase, “catastrophist” a category which he claimed most scientists fell under. There as an exception in Charles Lyell, a friend and associate of Curvier, who Whewell termed a “uniformitarian.” In his research, Lyell found no evidence of a cataclysmic event. He believed that everything had developed at a slow pace over time. He included the process of extinction in these gradual changes. He felt that all species had existed in all times and that a species that was thought to be extinct could reappear. He was at odds with catastrophists who belittled his theory.

Lyell published three volumes on his research including “Principles of Geology” which was read with great interest by Charles Darwin. At 22 Darwin embarked on a journey to South America and parts beyond that...

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This section contains 1,419 words
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