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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index M > John Michell Quotes

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John Michell
(1724 - 21 Apr 1793)

British geologist and astronomer.

Science Quotes by John Michell (1 quote)

The strata of the earth are frequently very much bent, being raised in some places, and depressed in others, and this sometimes with a very quick ascent or descent; but as these ascents and descents, in a great measure, compensate one another, if we take a large extent of country together, we may look upon the whole set of strata, as lying nearly horizontally. What is very remarkable, however, in their situation, is, that from most, if not all, large tracts of high and mountainous countries, the strata lie in a situation more inclined to the horizon, than the country itself, the mountainous countries being generally, if not always, formed out of the lower strata of earth. This situation of the strata may be not unaptly represented in the following manner. Let a number of leaves of paper, of several different sorts or colours, be pasted upon one another; then bending them up together into a ridge in the middle, conceive them to be reduced again to a level surface, by a plane so passing through them, as to cut off all the part that had been raised; let the middle now be again raised a little, and this will be a good general representation of most, if not of all, large tracts of mountainous countries, together with the parts adjacent, throughout the whole world.
— John Michell
'Conjectures Concerning the Cause, and Observations upon the Phenomena of Earthquakes', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London (1760), 51, 584-5.
Science quotes on:  |  Being (1276)  |  Conceive (100)  |  Country (269)  |  Cut (116)  |  Descent (30)  |  Different (595)  |  Earth (1076)  |  Extent (142)  |  Form (976)  |  General (521)  |  Good (906)  |  Great (1610)  |  High (370)  |  Horizon (47)  |  Inclined (41)  |  Large (398)  |  Lie (370)  |  Little (717)  |  Look (584)  |  Lying (55)  |  Measure (241)  |  More (2558)  |  Most (1728)  |  Mountain (202)  |  Nearly (137)  |  Number (710)  |  Other (2233)  |  Paper (192)  |  Passing (76)  |  Past (355)  |  Represent (157)  |  Representation (55)  |  Ridge (9)  |  Set (400)  |  Situation (117)  |  Strata (37)  |  Surface (223)  |  Through (846)  |  Throughout (98)  |  Together (392)  |  Whole (756)  |  Whole World (29)  |  Will (2350)  |  World (1850)

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  • 21 Apr - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Michell's death.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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