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Unformatted text preview: Limitations to Our Knowledge We have been considering earthquakes, and you may think that their frequency and power provide the motivation for describing the Earth's geology as being active. Certainly, catastrophic earthquakes are featured all too often on the evening news, usually accompanied by reports of serious property damage and major loss of life. But there is a more important sense in which the Earth may be said to have an active geology, a sense which introduces us to the slow but inexorable changes wrought by Continental Drift (as it was originally dubbed; a better name for it is Plate Tectonics .) As I noted at the very start of the course, the discovery of Plate Tectonics -- and the proof that it happens! -- was one of the four great scientific discoveries of the 20th century, and represented a breakthough in the ways in which we understand and appreciate our planet. Before moving on to that discussion, however, I would like you to consider a few finishing thoughts appreciate our planet....
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- Spring '10