The observations which he should have the honour to address to the meeting related to a class of phenomena amongst the most frequent in Geology, —amongst the most interesting in that important science, and upon which a great variety of important facts were collected. He had to speak to them on the subject of the petrifaction of fossil and organic remains. He believed that there was no person who had inquired into the science of Geology but would be ready to acknowledge that one reason for the slowness with which Geological truth made way, was the inherent difficulty connected with its explanation. Things clear as the light, when they saw them in nature, were often rendered extremely difficult when they came to be explained in a lecture. And this was not from any fault of the teacher; but from the manner in which he must pursue it, it is impossible to give correct general terms applicable to the knowledge of the subject. Words which were generally well understood were used in a technical sense by geologists; and among these he would instance that even the word “rock,” the meaning of which every one was familiar with, was by geologists used in a technical sense.
Having thus premised the observations he had to make, Professor Phillips went on to observe, that plants and animals were imbedded in the earth, and underwent in the course of ages a variety of changes, either mechanical or chemical. All analogous strata were of equal antiquity; ...
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