Inventing the Earth
This book chronicles how successive generations of natural philosophers, geologists and geomorphologists have come to invent different views of the Earth over the past 250 years. Today we take for granted certain given truths about the Earth: our planet is unimaginably old; the surface of the planet is in perpetual motion through the action of plate tectonics; and the structures on the surface of the Earth are being continuously modified by agencies such as wind, rain, rivers and glaciers.However, even 100 years ago, some of this received wisdom was not available. Using as its central viewpoint changing ideas about the significance of the action of rain and rivers on the Earth’s surface, Inventing the Earth shows how our contemporary ’truths’ have come to be accepted and, with no guarantee that our current view of the Earth is correct, exposes the frailty of even the most impeccably scientific visions of the Earth. Inventing the Earth is essential reading for undergraduates and postgraduates in physical geography, earth science and environmental studies.