Charles Lyell (1797-1875) was an influential 19th-century British geologist and President of the Geological Society of London. He was best known for his advancing of the principle of uniformitarianism into geology. Using this principle – best described as “the present holds the key to the past” – he attempted to explain the world’s ancient geological processes by connecting them to processes that were happening in Lyell’s time.
Additional citation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniformitarianism_%28science%29
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