An angular unconformity

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It was an angular unconformity in Scotland-exposed in a riverbank at Jedburgh, near the border, exposed as well in a wavescoured headland where the Lammermuir Hills intersect the North Sea-that helped to bring the history of the earth, as people had understood it, out of theological metaphor and into the perspectives of actual time. This happened toward the end of the eighteenth century, signalling a revolution that would be quieter, slower, and of another order than the ones that were contem11orary in America and France. According to conventional wisdom at the time, the earth was between five thousand and six thousand years old. An Irish archbishop (James U ssher), counting generations in his favorite book, figured this out in the century before. Ussher abtually dated earth, saying that it was  zakelijke energie created in 4004 B.C., “upon the entrance of the night preceding the twenty-third day of October.” It was also conventional wisdom toward the end of the eighteenth century that sedimentary rock had been laid down in Noah’s Flood. Marine fossils in mountains were creatures that had got there during the Flood. To be sure, not everyone had always believed this. Leonardo, for example, had noticed fossil clams in the Apennines and, taking into account the distance to the Adriatic Sea, had said, in effect, that it must have been a talented clam that could travel a hundred miles in forty days. Herodotus had seen the Nile Delta-and he had seen in its accumulation unguessable millennia. G. L. L. de Buffon, in i749 (the year of Tom Jones), began publishing his forty-four-volume Histoire Naturelle, in which he said that the earth had emerged hot from the sun seventy-five thousand years before. There had been, in short, assorted versions of the Big Picture. But the scientific hypothesis that overwhelmingly prevailed at the time of Bunker Hill was zakelijke energie vergelijken neptunism-the aqueous origins of the visible world. Neptunism had become a systematized physiognomy of the earth, carried forward to the nth degree by a German academic mineralogist who published very little but whose teaching was so renowned that his interpretation of tlrn earth was taught as received fact at Oxford and Cambridge, Turin and Leyden, Harvard, Princeton, and Yale. His name was Abraham Gottlob Werner. He taught at Freiberg Mining Academy.

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