William Buckland Facts

William Buckland Facts
William Buckland DD FRS (March 12, 1784 to August 14, 1856) was an English theologian, geologist and palaeontologist. He wrote the first full account of a fossil dinosaur, which he named Megalosaurus. He awarded the Copley Medal for his work proving that Kirkdale Cave had been a prehistoric hyena den, and demonstrating that scientific analysis could reconstruct events from the distant past.
Interesting William Buckland Facts:
William Buckland was born at Axminster, England, where his father was the Rector of Templeton and Trusham.
He and his father took walks and collected fossil shells near the local quarries.
Buckland attended Winchester College where he won a scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Oxford.
He entered Oxford in 1801 to study for the priesthood but also took classes in chemistry and mineralogy.
In 1804 he earned his BA and his MA in 1808.
He was ordained an Anglican priest in 1809 but continued to study geology in England, Scotland and Wales.
In 1813 he succeeded John Kidd as lecturer in mineralogy.
He built collections for the Ashmolean Museum.
He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1818.
In 1820 he published Connexion of Geology with Religion explained, which sought to reconcile the Biblical account of creation and the Flood with observable facts in geology.
He believed that the word "beginning" in the Bible meant an undefined amount of time.
During his study of Kirkdale Cave and its collection fossilized excrement, which he named coprolites, he determined that hyenas had inhabited the cave since ancient times.
His paper on Kirkdale Cave earned him the Copley Medal in 1922.
At the presentation the society's president, Humphrey Davy, stated that "a distinct epoch...has been established in the history of the revolutions of our globe."
On January 18, 1823, Buckland discovered a skeleton in Paviland Cave.
Although the skeleton was found in the same strata as mammoth bones, he didn't know how long humans had existed and presumed it was an historic burial.
Carbon dating has since revealed the skeleton to be that of a male approximately 33,000 years old.
In 1836 Buckland wrote one of the Bridgewater Treatises in which he admitted that geology could not confirm the Biblical account of the "Universal Deluge."
He believed that the evidence of past submergence was due to glaciation and not a universal flood.
His treatise was entitled Geology and Mineralogy considered with reference to Natural Theology.
Buckland used Mary Anning's collection of coprolites from the digestive tracts of dinosaurs to construct a description of the Liassic food chain.
In 1840 he and Swiss geologist Louis Agassiz toured Scotland and found evidence of previous glaciation.
In 1840 Buckland became president of the Geological Society and he prepared the case for the establishment of the Geological Survey of Great Britain.


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