Archibald Geikie

(1835—1924) geologist and historian

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Director of the British Geological Survey from 1881 to 1901, Geikie made studies of glacial and fluvial erosion, and attempted to calculate the age of the Earth from rates of denudation. This led to conflict with Lord Kelvin (William Thomson, 1824–1907), then the most eminent of British physicists and a pioneer in the study of thermodynamics, who had calculated a much shorter age for the Earth, based on its rate of cooling from an originally hot state. Geikie was also one of the first historians of geology, stressing in his Founders of Geology (1897, 1905) the importance of the work of his fellow Scot, James Hutton.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation — Earth Sciences and Geography.

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