neptunism

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Related to Neptunist: Neptunian theory

neptunism

the now obsolete theory that all rock surfaces were formed by the agency of water. Cf. plutonism. — neptunist, n.
See also: Geology
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Linnaeus's starting position is in agreement with Neptunist ideas, and he affirms that all the land was under the waters in the "infancy of the world.
Yet for political reasons Goethe adopted a Neptunist view of earth history.
However, most geologists remained under the spell of a German geologist, Abraham Gottlob Werner (1750-1817), who was a Neptunist (see 1752) and insisted that water was the source of all change in the Earth's surface.
the World, as we Know 't," which begins with an inspired opening line: "The neptunists and vulcanists were going at it hammer and tongs.
Vulcanists, Neptunists, and racists (such as Gobineau, Cuvier, and Renan, who created hierarchies of civilizations based on skin color) aroused Flaubert's skepticism, more baldly displayed in Bouvard et Pecuchet.