JF Ptak Science Books Post 1614
Continuing a longish thread on Blank, Empty and Missing Things is this very short notice on a beautiful illustration from (Rev.) William Buckland (1784-1756, Reader of Geology at Oxford) in his Geology and mineralogy : considered with reference to natural theology
I think it is a remarkable thing, a beautiful piece of explorative artwork when taken out of context.
The description of this engraving from volume I, page 466:
Buckland is well remembered for his analysis of the fossil remains found in Yorkshire's Kirkdale Cave, which he identified as hyena (and its prey) remains from earlier prehistoric times rather than having been swept from the tropics to England by the waters of the Great Flood. Of course, Buckland himself held that opinions years earlier, along with many other geologists...as some actually hold today, somehow, in creationist fits of intentional delusion.1
1. In 1822 Buckland wrote:
"It must already appear probable, from the facts above described, particularly from the comminuted state and apparently gnawed condition of the bones, that the cave in Kirkdale was, during a long succession of years, inhabited as a den of hyaenas, and that they dragged into its recesses the other animal bodies whose remains are found mixed indiscriminately with their own: this conjecture is rendered almost certain by the discovery I made, of many small balls of the solid calcareous excrement of an animal that had fed on bones... It was at first sight recognized by the keeper of the Menagerie at Exter Change, as resembling, in both form and appearance, the faeces of the spotted or cape hyaena, which he stated to be greedy of bones beyond all other beasts in his care..." Rudwick, Martin Scenes from Deep Time (1992) pp. 38-42
And the title page of Buckland's work: