Norwick, Stephen A.

Dr. Stephen A. Norwick is Professor of Geology in the Department of Environmental Studies and Planning at Sonoma State University. He received his Ph.D. in Geology from University of Montana. His scientific research includes studies of fault glass called “pseudotachylyte” made by frictional heating, and the weathering of rock to produce soil by the growth of weathering pits, called “tafoni.” His study “Metaphors of Nature in James Hutton’s Theory of the Earth with Proofs and Illustrations appeared in the journal Earth Sciences History, and his study of “Nietzschean Themes in the Work of Edward Abbey” was a chapter in Peter Quiqley’s collection Coyote in the Maze. Dr. Norwick is the author of the textbook Teach Yourself Computer Modeling.

History of Metaphors of Nature
2006 0-7734-5592-2
Modern European languages have a large number of metaphors which represent the whole of nature. Many of these, such as Mother Nature, the celestial harmony, the great chain of being, and the book of nature, are used in natural science and in literature. Most of these words can be traced back into prehistory where they arose mythologically from the same small set of images. Metaphors have a powerful influence on the framing of scientific hypothesis making, and so these words have guided the history of natural science, for good or ill, for several millennia. Newtonian mechanics, for example was motivated by the idea of celestial harmony, whereas Darwin used the images of the great chain of being and Mother Nature, and James Hutton created modern geology and ecology by mixing the images of nature as the macrocosm, and as a machine.

The images elicited by these phrases have also been important in the development of the positive feeling for nature, which existed in the Hellenic and Hellenistic society, which was lost in the Middle Ages, and which has been developing again since the Renaissance, and especially since Earth Day, 1970. Each chapter in this book is a parallel longitudinal history of a word or phrase which represents the whole of nature, and which has influenced natural science and general literature, and especially North American Nature writing. Ironically, as natural science developed, and enabled our technological society to destroy natural areas more and more rapidly, science strengthened the fundamental images of nature, and was used by nature writers to encourage a revaluing of the natural world.

History of Metaphors of Nature
2006 0-7734-5593-0
Modern European languages have a large number of metaphors which represent the whole of nature. Many of these, such as Mother Nature, the celestial harmony, the great chain of being, and the book of nature, are used in natural science and in literature. Most of these words can be traced back into prehistory where they arose mythologically from the same small set of images. Metaphors have a powerful influence on the framing of scientific hypothesis making, and so these words have guided the history of natural science, for good or ill, for several millennia. Newtonian mechanics, for example was motivated by the idea of celestial harmony, whereas Darwin used the images of the great chain of being and Mother Nature, and James Hutton created modern geology and ecology by mixing the images of nature as the macrocosm, and as a machine.

The images elicited by these phrases have also been important in the development of the positive feeling for nature, which existed in the Hellenic and Hellenistic society, which was lost in the Middle Ages, and which has been developing again since the Renaissance, and especially since Earth Day, 1970. Each chapter in this book is a parallel longitudinal history of a word or phrase which represents the whole of nature, and which has influenced natural science and general literature, and especially North American Nature writing. Ironically, as natural science developed, and enabled our technological society to destroy natural areas more and more rapidly, science strengthened the fundamental images of nature, and was used by nature writers to encourage a revaluing of the natural world.