It is the aim of the Stratigraphical Geologist to record the events which have occurred during the existence of the earth in the order in which they have taken place. He tries to restore the physical geography of each period of the past, and in this way to write a connected history of the earth. His methods are in a general way similar to those of the ethnologist, the archæologist, and the historian, and he is confronted with difficulties resembling those which attend the researches of the students of human history. Foremost amongst these difficulties is that due to the imperfection of the geological record, but similar difficulty is felt by those who pursue the study of other uncertain sciences, and whilst this imperfection is very patent to the geologist, it is perhaps unduly exaggerated by those who have only a general knowledge of the principles and aims of geology. The history of the earth, like other histories, is a connected one, in which one period is linked on to the next. This was not always supposed to be the case; the catastrophic geologist of bygone times believed that after each great geological period a convulsion of nature left the earth's crust as a tabula rasa on which a new set of records was engraved, having no connexion with those which had been destroyed. Careful study of the records of the rocks has proved that the conclusions of the catastrophists were erroneous, and that the events of one period produce their impression upon the history of the next. Every event which occurs, however insignificant, introduces a new complication into the conditions of the earth, and accordingly those conditions are never quite the same. Although the changes were no doubt very slow, so that the same general conditions may be traced as existent during two successive periods, minor complications occurred in the inorganic and organic worlds, and we never get an exact recurrence of events. Vegetable deposits may now be in process of accumulation which in ages to come may be converted into coal, but the general conditions which were prevalent during that Carboniferous period when most of our workable coal was deposited do not now exist, and will never exist again. The changes which have taken place and which are taking place show an advance from the simple to the more complex, and the stratigraphical geologist is confronted with a problem to which the key is development, and it is his task to trace the development of the earth from the primitive state to the complex condition in which we find it at the present day.