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Whipple Library

Department of History and Philosophy of Science



Satellite evolution : the evident scope of tidal friction ; the meaning of Saturn’s rings, by James Nolan
Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, and Brisbane : George Robertson & Company, 1895.


In 1885, James Nolan published a pamphlet entitled ‘Darwin’s Theory of the Genesis of the Moon,’ attacking Darwin’s theory of the evolution of the moon and the effects of tidal friction. Darwin’s response appeared in Nature on February 18th 1886, where he suggested that Nolan had “misconceived the scope of my work.” Correspondence between the two continued to appear in Nature throughout 1886. In Satellite evolution, Nolan expanded his attack on Darwin’s theory, and encompassed recent discoveries of Saturn’s moons. It is not known when Darwin acquired this copy, but the annotations often mark objections to his own work.