Biography of Charles Lyell (1797-1875)

British geologist, born in Kinnordy on 14 November 1797 and died in London on February 22, 1875. For some time he devoted himself to exercise his profession as a lawyer in London, but he abandoned it completely to devote himself to the study of geology. In the desire to expand their knowledge, she made voyages of exploration by France, Germany, Italy and Spain, during which investigated Highlands, volcanic craters, was introduced in Caverns, and other types of field work. The recognition by his contemporaries earned him the be appointed member of the Geological Society of London in 1823 and, three years later, the Royal Society. He held the Presidency of the first society in 1835; He was then member of the Paris Academy of Sciences; It belonged to the British Association and, finally, he was awarded the title of sir.

This British geologist laid the Foundation of the principle of uniformitarianism, that the geological formations are the result of a long process of thousands of years which has been acting on a daily basis.

Their main ideas are collected in his great work, Principles of Geology (geology), published in London in 1830, which was soon translated into other European languages. This work was the subject of numerous counter-claims by the scientific world, motivated by the innovative approaches that it risked, based on the study of phenomena passed from the present time. The book ended up becoming a classic for the study of geology; Interestingly, the work was a remarkable advance in the acceptance of Darwinian theories, theories that the own Lyell was never to accept. In the work, Lyell applied his theories to the explanation of the formation of constructions geological as the coast of Sweden, the Niagara Falls, the craters of volcanoes, etc. He stated his theories in the study of small fossils found in the studied deposits, and the migratory habits of birds, according to the darwinists guidelines and, finally, established the tripartite classification of Pliocene, Eocene and Miocene periods which, today, are commonly accepted.

He collaborated with newspapers such as Reports of British Association or Quaterly Journal, mostly to make known his works, but he also published numerous works, such as Travels in North America, with geological observations and Geological evidences of the antiquity of man, even though he said very earlier that origins currently we assume for the human raceIt did not imply a considerable advance for evolutionary theories.