Tyndall and his study of glaciers raises the important scientific element in the early history of mountaineering. In its specifics this wasn’t very important to Stephen, although he must have been broadly informed on scientific subjects. It was crucial, however, in the way that it placed him in proximity to the larger scientific and religious controversy of the day, and the publication in 1859 of Darwin’s ”Origin of the Species”–if he wasn’t already in the midst of it. I believe that Tyndall, just behind Huxley, was one of the leading proponents of evolutionary theory, and his study of glaciers was an extension of Charles Lyell’s geological studies of the 1830’s, which had started the revision of biblical time in earnest and began the revolution.
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