Lyell, Charles -

(1797-1875): Scottish naturalist, geologist and geographer. He suggested that similarity of fossil assemblages in the stratigraphic sequence suggested a relationship of rocks of similar age over a distance. He also promoted James Huttonís theory uniformitarianism, which states that processes observable at present can explain what happened in the past, and he openly opposed Cuvierís theory of catastrophism. He believed in "glacial drift," the distribution of glacial-age deposits by debris-carrying ice floes. From 1830 to 1833 he wrote the first textbook in geology, Principles of Geology.