Geology and Environment in Max Frisch’s Der Mensch erscheint im Holozän
With the emergence of geology as a scientific discipline around 1800, the conception of the earth’s history went through a period of profound change. In contrast to the biblical account of creation, dating Earth’s origin to 6000 years ago, the planet suddenly appeared as the outcome of inconceivably vast time periods that bore no evidence of any human presence or divine origin. Trying to determine the age of fossils, the French comparative anatomist Georges Cuvier saw a relationship between this conception of deep time and the Copernican revolution of astronomy. In addition to the loss of a meaningfully ordered space, with humanity placed at its very center, the succession of geological time periods did not purport any teleological purpose.