Telliamed ou entretiens d'un philosophe indien...
Maillet, Benoit de
[Maillet, Benoît de (1656-1738)]. Telliamed ou entretiens d'un philosophe indien avec un missionnaire françois sur la diminution de la mer. . . . 2 vols. in 1, 8vo. , cxix [i.e., lxix] , 112, 121-208; , 231 pp. Vol. I without signature P (pp. 113-20) as always; text is complete nevertheless. Amsterdam: l'Honoré et fils, 1748. 196 x 117 mm. Mottled calf c. 1748, gilt spine, a little worn, front hinge tender. Lightly browned, but very good. Modern bookplate.
First Edition of this early and unusual evolutionary and geological treatise, written between 1692 and 1708, but considered so radical that even though manuscript copies began circulating in the 1720s, the work did not appear in print until 10 years after the author's death. Maillet believed that the earth had once been covered by a universal ocean, and he attributed all of the planet's geological features to the actions of this ocean, applying present-day marine mechanisms to a geologic past stetching back at least 2 billion years. Maillet was thus a forerunner of 19th-century uniformitarian geologists, and he also anticipated Lamarck in claiming that present-day terrestrial life forms had adapted themselves from ancient marine flora and fauna through a process of transformation. DSB. Haber, Age of the Earth, pp. 108-12. Norman 1422.
Book Id: 37728