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About The Book
The Old Red Sandstone
Hugh Miller was born in Cromarty, in the North of Scotland, October 10, 1802. From the time he was seventeen until he was thirty-four, he worked as a common stone-mason, although devoting his leisure hours to independent researches in natural history, for which he formed a taste early in life. He became interested in journalism, and was editor of the Edinburgh "Witness," when, in 1840, he published the contents of the volume issued a year later as "The Old Red Sandstone." The book deals with its author's most distinctive work, namely, finding fossils that tell much of the history of the Lower Old Red Sandstone, and fixing in the geological scale the place to which the larger beds of remains found in the system belong. Besides being a practical and original geologist, Miller had a fine imaginative power, which enabled him to reconstruct the past from its ruinous relics. The fact that he unfortunately set himself the task of combating the theory of evolution, which was fast gaining ground in his day, should not blind us to the high value of his geological experiences. The results of his observations provide some of the most cogent proofs of the theory he disputed. Late in life Miller's mind gave way, and he put an end to his own life on December 24, 1856.
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