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Charles Lyell
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Scientist
    (November 14, 1797-February 22, 1875)
    Born in Kinnordy, Scotland, United Kingdom
    Geologist
    Popularized uniformitarianism, which states that the natural laws of the universe are always at work
    Renamed Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary eras into Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic, respectively
    Divided Tertiary (Cenozoic) era into Pliocene, Miocene, and Eocene periods
    Wrote 'Principles of Geology' (1830-1833), 'Elements of Geology' (1838), 'Travels in North America' (1845), 'A Second Visit to the United States' (1849), and 'Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man' (1863)
    Knighted (1848)
    Made a Baronet (1864)
    Namesake of the Lyell Medal, which awards individuals for their contributions in geology
    Died in London
    He was largely overshadowed by Charles Darwin.
    He wasn't a diligent student at school.
    His wife was twelve years his junior.
    His belief that geological change was slow and gradual rather than caused by inexplicable disasters like Noah's Flood generated much controversy as well as being popular.
    'Principles of Geology' sold so well that he had to make new editions for it.
    His popularization of uniformitarianism exerted a tremendous influence on Charles Darwin, whom he was close friends with.
    His promotion of uniformitarianism helped improve extractive industries like coal and oil by noting the economic benefits geological surveys provide.
    He supported the Union cause during the American Civil War while many well-off Victorians supported the South.
    He was one of the first people to donate books for the founding of the Chicago Public Library.
    Three mountains, two glaciers, a crater on the Moon, a crater on Mars, and a peninsula in Greenland are all named after him.

Credit: Big Lenny


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