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A geologist from my area

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A geologist from my area

Postby Coffee » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:20 pm

"...his fascinating memoir, 'A Geologist's Journey." source: www.facebook.com
Author: Brian McKnight. Self-published. This book looks pretty interesting, to me. Brian is a retired geology professor who taught at UW Oshkosh, here in Wisconsin.
Here's a quote from the Oshkosh geology dept. site (uwosh.edu/geology/faculty-and-staff/faculty-emeriti):
"Brian has written many stories about growing up in the Kickapoo Valley for his home town newspaper. He has completed the first draft of a book about that region covering farm and small village life from the end of the depression through WWII and into the 1950's."
Eventually I will get hold of a copy of Brian's book. It is spiral-bound, with a photo of Brian on the cover, when he was a younger man. I am just guessing, this book could be as good as "The Land Remembers." I remember Brian as being really excellent at conversation and explaining geology. Coffee, just checking in.
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Re: A geologist from my area

Postby wallsal55 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:12 am

I think I have seen him featured on PBS or Paula Sands Live as they tend to go as far as Galena for stories. It's fascinating when one individual knows so much about an area over time--many changes and no changes. :D I guess my dad is on a small scale--same township for 90 years....
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Re: A geologist from my area

Postby Lightening Bug » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:54 am

Sounds interesting. I think that we get better information from geologists and anthropologists. They tend to examine the whole picture in their discussions and descriptions of subjects.

Take care. :D
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Re: A geologist from my area

Postby Coffee » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:54 am

I took a five credit Geology (101) course at Madison. Professor Laudon was my lecturer. There was a fascinating lab, one hour per week, in a small building on University Ave. A BA required 12 credits of science courses, so I took Chemistry 101 (dull, difficult, almost intolerable, and my grade showed it, unfortunately, but grades aren't everything) and Meteorology 101, which was interesting. I could sit here and type about geology questions all day, but I won't. A couple questions are: why is lead found in SW Wisconsin? Why is this one slough along the river here, large and round (like a meteor hit there and made a crater) and all the other sloughs are long and narrow like old river channels?
I have seen a few videos on "youtube" where folks try to challenge established or conventional Geology. That gets kind of challenging when you only have a limited education in geology like myself. I still latch on to uniformitarianism. Look a little further, and you might see that what is going on today explains the past.
The big riddle is the philosophy question, suppose everything was created only an instant ago, that is, all the fossils, buttes, canyons, mountain ranges, oceans, were created instantly? That's a tough one. Thank you, Lightening Bug and Sal for the replies, and good day now 8-)
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Re: A geologist from my area

Postby Lightening Bug » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:50 pm

Now I only took one course in Anthropology. But there was one word that didn't come up - uniformitarianism, May I conjecture that it refers to everything being created at the same instant? Everything?

But, but, but that would mean all the plants, animals, and life forms would have come to life at the same time - yes, no?

But it appears that the formation of the earth, and the formation of some plants and animals - occurred at a different time. So how could there be uniformitarianism?

We don't even have united thoughts, let alone having been created at the same time! Well you have given me food for thought. I'm going to check out what they are suggesting.

Take care and be well. :D
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Re: A geologist from my area

Postby Coffee » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:29 pm

LB, I'm no expert or geologist, you know. I think uniformitarianism is an underpinning of geology (the science of geology). If we look at a landscape, we can reason out how the landscape was formed, over a long time most likely, by taking a look at processes we can see with our own eyes, like erosion, when we have floods, things like that. Or, we know hard rocks don't erode as easily as softer rocks, so we can reason, a hill might be there because of hard rocks found at its top (like Rib Mountain up at Wausau, WI).
I would label the idea that everything popped into existence in one second as creationism, I guess. Don't want to start a religious argument here, understand.
I looked up the definition of uniformitarian about ten minutes ago, typed it in and my laptop disappeared it. Frustrating. I have only seen that term used in geology.
I started Anthropology 101 my first year (Summer school) and had to drop it. Went from 12 credits to 9 and that worked better. That left Speech, Poli Sci 101 and English 101 if I remember correctly. 1965.
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Re: A geologist from my area

Postby Lightening Bug » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:50 pm

Well Coffee I have done a short search and this is one discussion I have found. You have opened a totally new way of thinking. Thank you. For me, who is always curious, It is delightful.

Tell me what you think of this quote, And, of course, other Kler's weigh in too.

[url]Many geologists consider James Hutton (1726–1797) to be the father of historical geology. Hutton observed such processes as wave action, erosion by running water, and sediment transport and concluded that given enough time these processes could account for the geologic features in his native Scotland. He thought that “the past history of our globe must be explained by what can be seen to be happening now.” This assumption that present-day processes have operated throughout geologic time was the basis for the principle of uniformitarianism.

Before Hutton, no one had effectively demonstrated that geologic processes occurred over long periods of time. Hutton persuasively argued that seemingly weak, slow-acting processes could, over long spans of time, produce effects that were just as great as those resulting from sudden catastrophic events. And, unlike his predecessors, Hutton cited verifiable observations to support his ideas.

Although Hutton developed a comprehensive theory of uniformitarian geology, Charles Lyell (1797–1875) became its principal advocate. Lyell was successful in interpreting and publicizing uniformitarianism for society at large. Hutton’s idea of uniformitarianism (and his cumbersome and difficult literary style) had simply failed to capture the imagination of his generation, so geologists often credit Lyell with advancing the basic principles of modern geology. Lyell’s Principles of Geology is a landmark text in the history of science and as important to modern world views as the works of Charles Darwin. In 1990 the University of Chicago Press republished his works. In the first of three volumes, Charles Lyell sets forth the uniformitarian argument: processes now visibly acting in the natural world are essentially the same as those that have acted throughout the history of the Earth, and are sufficient to account for all geologic phenomena.[/url]

Take care and be well. :D
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Re: A geologist from my area

Postby Coffee » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:34 pm

Lightening Bug: thank you for the long quote and reminding me of Hutton and Lyell. That is spot on. It reminds me of my old geology textbook, which was thick, heavy, full of photos, and which I didn't keep. I don't even remember the author's name, but it was a standard, common textbook in those days. You simply can't keep everything.
There are so many geological high points (and low points) in N. America. I've always been amazed at Devil's Tower, in Wyoming. There you have a volcanic neck or plug that was slowly revealed by erosion, due to the nearby White River, if I remember right.
Out on I-80, in Wyoming, there's a place where there's an unconformity, right in a road cut. It's in the Rock Springs- Green River area. At least, I think it's an unconformity. Yes, textbook geology, right out the car window. But keep yer eyes on the road 8-)
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