Friday, January 19, 2007

I can't think of much today

its thoughts are consumed by what I'm doing this weekend. Which is nothing.

so rather than post a bunch of shit, I'll leave you with this picture:

In the past I've been pretty quiet about my affinity for geology. But its true, I really like geology.

One of the single most AWESOME aspects of geology is just how cool it looks. Think of any outdoor panorama, from the Grand Tetons to the Grand Canyon...its all rocks and geology. The above picture is no different, you don't have to be a super geologist to think "shit man, that looks pretty cool" and if you don't think its pretty cool then your probably a fascist.

The above picture is from a beach I was at up in Washington state. I'll spare you the long, dry gory details about what these rocks are, but suffice it to say that they are flippin' sweet. The lower tilted green rocks were scraped up onto the north american continent by a process known as subduction (its part of an ophiolite if you want to be really technical about it). the green rocks formed at the bottom of the ocean, waaay deep. and the sandy rocks on top of it are way younger, and formed by an old river draining into the ocean. Together, the rocks form a rock structure called an angular unconformity.

That doesn't really sound like much, but If there's a geological equivalent of the apple hitting Newton on the head, its the angular unconformity. A geologist named James Hutton was looking at an angular unconformity trying to figure out how all the rocks of the earth could have formed the way they did. According to people back in his time, the wasn't that old...older than a few thousand years - younger than a few million years. It was unimagined that the earth could be as old as the 4.5 billion years we think of today. So in traveling around the countryside, James hutton saw the angular unconformity at Siccar Point in Scotland and determined that the earth had to be wicked old (brutally old)...there was no other way to explain all of the different rocks and structures without a very old earth.

Something as simple and elegant as this outcrop of rocks carries significant meaning to earth's history. Think of it this way, there's about 60 million years of earth's history in that picture...from the formation of the ocean, to abduction of its sediments on to the continent, to the formation of a river, to the development of soil and beaches and trees and geologists taking pictures.

suck on that, creationist.

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