At the turn of the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, Earth sciences were in a period of heated debates, with an arduous acquisition of basic principles for geology. Among the unresolved debates, was the wellknown between Neptunists and Plutonists, and there was still disagreement between the supporters of a catastrophic flood and a long permanence of the sea in areas currently occupied by emerged lands. In such a climate of uncertainty appears the ‘Theory of the Earth’ of Ermenegildo Pini, an Italian Barnabite cleric. Pini was a many-faceted figure, including naturalist-scientist and technician, with interests ranging from architecture and engineering to natural sciences sensu lato. As a Diluvialist and a Neptunist, Pini strongly rejected the igneous theory – with Earth completely molten in origin – preferring instead one involving a fluidity in water and formation of ‘primary mountains’ due of centrifugal acceleration induced by Earth’s rotation. Alternatively, the so-called ‘transitional’ and ‘secondary’ mountains were entirely attributed to the rapid, catastrophic and universal flood literally interpreted from the Holy Scriptures. Despite his strongly theistic approach to the evolution of our planet, some of the intuitions and methodological approaches of Pini are extremely interesting and worthy of review and renewed discussion.

The theory of the Earth of the Barnabite cleric Ermenegildo Pini. A mostly unknown Italian catastrophist / Romano, Marco. - In: HISTORICAL BIOLOGY. - ISSN 0891-2963. - STAMPA. - 29:4(2017), pp. 519-538. [10.1080/08912963.2016.1208192]

The theory of the Earth of the Barnabite cleric Ermenegildo Pini. A mostly unknown Italian catastrophist

Romano, Marco
2017

Abstract

At the turn of the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, Earth sciences were in a period of heated debates, with an arduous acquisition of basic principles for geology. Among the unresolved debates, was the wellknown between Neptunists and Plutonists, and there was still disagreement between the supporters of a catastrophic flood and a long permanence of the sea in areas currently occupied by emerged lands. In such a climate of uncertainty appears the ‘Theory of the Earth’ of Ermenegildo Pini, an Italian Barnabite cleric. Pini was a many-faceted figure, including naturalist-scientist and technician, with interests ranging from architecture and engineering to natural sciences sensu lato. As a Diluvialist and a Neptunist, Pini strongly rejected the igneous theory – with Earth completely molten in origin – preferring instead one involving a fluidity in water and formation of ‘primary mountains’ due of centrifugal acceleration induced by Earth’s rotation. Alternatively, the so-called ‘transitional’ and ‘secondary’ mountains were entirely attributed to the rapid, catastrophic and universal flood literally interpreted from the Holy Scriptures. Despite his strongly theistic approach to the evolution of our planet, some of the intuitions and methodological approaches of Pini are extremely interesting and worthy of review and renewed discussion.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1045555
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