Category Archives: Biology

A.R. Wallace on Geology, Great Glaciers and the Speed of Evolution

When Charles Darwin published “The Origin of Species” in November 1859 geologists were still discussing the age of the earth. Deep time was an essential prerequisite to explain the recent biodiversity by gradual and slow changes in the remote past.  … Continue reading

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In Search of Punt

May 9, 1871 after a one year long search, the German geologist Karl Mauch finally spotted  was he had hoped for:  the ruins of gigantic buildings of stone – the remains of a long lost city, at least for the … Continue reading

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De Loys’ Ape

Louis François Fernand Hector de Loys, (1892-1935) was a Swiss geologist and pioneer of oil field prospection in Europe, Africa and America. Unfortunately de Loys is today less known for his geological work than for a story involving a strange … Continue reading

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The Earth-like Mars

Mars – a distant, extraterrestrial world, but it shares some surprising similarities with Earth. The rotation period is almost the same with 24 hours, 39 minutes and 21,67 seconds (as measured by astronomer William Herschel in 1777-1783), the planet possess … Continue reading

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Saints and Demons

There is an unfortunate habit amongst those who subscribe to a Whig interpretation of the history of science, which sadly seems to include most working scientists and especially those of a gnu atheist persuasion, of dividing historical figures into two … Continue reading

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Inside a Herbarium (finding history amongst the science)

This week I had the pleasure of seeing inside the Herbarium at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. I have, very often and from earliest childhood, enjoyed walking in the gardens and hothouses, but this was the first time I … Continue reading

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Frauds, Fakes and Fossils

Almost every student of earth sciences knows the hoax perpetuated on poor Dr. Johann Bartholomäus Adam Beringer (1667-1738), often told in textbooks as warning of blind faith and argument from authority in science. However careful study of the still existing “lying … Continue reading

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