By Georges Cuvier
Translated by Robert Kerr
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2009
Online Publication Date:August 2010
Original Publication Year:1815
Subjects: Evolutionary biology , History of science
Essay on the Theory of the Earth was the last work of the scientific writer Robert Kerr who translated it from the introductory essay of George Cuvier's four-volume Recherches sur les ossements fossiles de quadrupèdes. Before its first publication in 1813, the essay was partly expanded by the geologist and natural historian Robert Jameson who wrote a preface and included extensive notes on mineralogy. Using geological evidence as its principal source of enquiry, Cuvier's essay attempts to address the questions of the origins of the human race, the formation of the earth, and the correlation between incomplete fossil remains and existing species of animals. Extremely influential in its own time, the essay remains a source of considerable insight into the early development of geological research, examining issues of continued significance today.