The Interior of the Earth: Varied Approaches How do we know anything about the interior of the Earth: its composition, its structure, the sources of heat and energy within it? There are several answers, and I believe that your understanding will be aided by a discussion which parallels the analogy just explored. • External Signs: One simplistic approach would be to rely on superficial evidence to deduce the global properties of the Earth. For instance, we know that the outer parts of the Earth are rich in silicate rocks. Do we dare assume that this is true throughout? (If the first lick of ice cream is chocolate, does that mean that the whole scoop is chocolate?) For the Earth, this is clearly untenable. For one thing, the overall density of the Earth is significantly greater than that of the surface rocks. This might simply be because the central materials are more densely compressed, but it could also
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