Looking for a sophisticated way to call someone’s grasp of geology rudimentary or primitive? Want to tell them they’re backward without coming right out and saying so? Charles Darwin has you covered:
His Geology also is rather eocene…
You can adapt this phrase to any creationist of any background or gender, as well as use it on people who think they know a lot about geology but actually don’t. If they get what you’re saying, it’s just possible they’ll be able to extract their head from whatever orifice they’ve got it stuffed in and reconsider their understanding.
Something tells me I would have enjoyed spending time with Darwin.
Here is the phrase in context, in a letter to Joseph Hooker:
…I have been very deeply interested by Wollaston’s book (‘The Variation of Species,’ 1856.), though I differ GREATLY from many of his doctrines. Did you ever read anything so rich, considering how very far he goes, as his denunciations against those who go further: “Most mischievous,” “absurd,” “unsound.” Theology is at the bottom of some of this. I told him he was like Calvin burning a heretic. It is a very valuable and clever book in my opinion. He has evidently read very little out of his own line. I urged him to read the New Zealand essay. His Geology also is rather eocene, as I told him. In fact I wrote most frankly; he says he is sure that ultra-honesty is my characteristic: I do not know whether he meant it as a sneer; I hope not. Talking of eocene geology, I got so wrath about the Atlantic continent, more especially from a note from Woodward (who has published a capital book on shells), who does not seem to doubt that every island in the Pacific and Atlantic are the remains of continents, submerged within period of existing species, that I fairly exploded, and wrote to Lyell to protest, and summed up all the continents created of late years by Forbes (the head sinner!) YOURSELF, Wollaston, and Woodward, and a pretty nice little extension of land they make altogether! I am fairly rabid on the question and therefore, if not wrong already, am pretty sure to become so…
I have enjoyed your note much. Adios, C. DARWIN.
P.S. [June] 18th. Lyell has written me a CAPITAL letter on your side, which ought to upset me entirely, but I cannot say it does quite.
Though I must try and cease being rabid and try to feel humble, and allow you all to make continents, as easily as a cook does pancakes.
See? He even closes his letter with Spanish! Someone call the Doctor and get the TARDIS over here so we can go visit this man.
(h/t Glenn Branch)