Category Archives: Geology

100 Years of Drift: Part 3

In today’s blog post, we continue our story of the development of the theory of continental drift – an idea which just celebrated its 100th birthday. Before Alfred Wegener’s 1915 book on contintents in motion, a few others had the … Continue reading

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100 Years of Drift: Part 2

It’s been 100 years since Alfred Wegener proposed his idea of continental drift. Today’s blog continues the story we began yesterday – the tale of Wegener’s life and the development of his grand idea of mobile continents. This time, we’ll … Continue reading

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Drilling into Hell . . . enjoy your visit!

Yesterday, I wrote at length about the many disastrous expensive attempts scientists and engineers made in their quest to collect material from the mantle. So far, they’ve all ended far short of their target. Drilling through crust material (granite on … Continue reading

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Drilling into Hell . . . almost there

Chasing gold, humans have dug tunnels almost four kilometres into the Earth. Oil men have drilled down ten kilometres, but with occasionally disastrous results. Money is a strong motivator, but scientific curiosity is even stronger when measured in meters of … Continue reading

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Drilling into Hell

They’re going to drill into the Earth’s mantle. This has been an unachieved goal of Earth scientists for decades. This time they really mean it. No stopping before they get the job done. Over the next three days, I’ll look … Continue reading

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All the Grains of Sand

Until today, I hadn’t written much in this blog about sand.  I don’t know why I’ve neglected the grainy little bits of rock, but it’s about time that sand had it’s day.  I’m doing sand because I just finished a … Continue reading

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Water on Mars

Not since Schiaparelli published his drawings of Martian “canals” has the popular press been so excited about water on Mars. Giovanni Schiaparelli, an Italian astronomer, science historian, and senator, had a good clear view of Mars through his scope back … Continue reading

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The Four-Legged Snake and the Bible

Martin Luther said that snakes were once four-legged cuddly creatures of the field. It’s in the Works of Luther, should you wish to read his theory. This summer’s news that a fossil was identified as a “four-legged snake” has a … Continue reading

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Break-up of the Animals

I just saw this in The Onion. When I lived in Wisconsin some years ago, we considered The Onion to be the state’s finest newspaper. Since then, they got into the digital age and I suppose they dropped the pulp … Continue reading

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Geosyncline Celebration

Today, September 12, commemorates the 1811 birth of James Hall, Jr., an American geologist (and one of the world’s first paleontologists). Hall was brilliant. But dangerous. And, as often happens in science, his most stunning idea was eventually proven wrong. … Continue reading

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