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A+Very+Brief+History+of+Geology

A+Very+Brief+History+of+Geology - A Very Brief History of...

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A Very Brief History of Geology CE 70 Engineering Geology Fall, 2010 Prof. Steven Glaser Geology is the scientific study of the origin, history, and structure of the Earth. Throughout the ages geology provides essential theories and data that shape how society conceptualizes the Earth. Some of the first geological thoughts were about the origin of the Earth. With a lack of knowledge and technology, ancient philosophers created mythical stories Science moves forward when a society allows free questioning and freedom from religious dogmatism. 4th century BC Aristotle made critical observations of the slow rate of geological change. He observed the composition of the land and formulated a theory where the Earth changes at a slow rate and that these changes can not be observed during one person’s lifetime Theophrastus, “On Stones.” He describes many minerals and ores both from local mines such as those at Laurium near Athens, and further afield. He also quite naturally discusses types of marble and building materials like limestones, and attempts a primitive classification of the properties of minerals by their properties such as hardness. Abu al-Rayhan al-Biruni (973-1048 AD) – this is at the height of Arabic culture, in art, economics, math and other sciences. the culture allowed a relatively free flow of ideas from around the empire, e.g., decimal system and “0” from India. al-Rayhan was one of the earliest Muslim geologists, whose works included the earliest writings on the geology of India, hypothesizing that the Indian subcontinent was once a sea: "But if you see the soil of India with your own eyes and meditate on its nature…” Through careful observation of sediments in India, he notices that the sizo and angularity of sediments
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