Want to know the Real face of your Environment and the Earth as a whole, then Think like a Geologist

By Charlotte

Geologist sometimes called earth scientist are the true faces of the earth. They are just restlessly deep in their thoughts about the earth. They make the world looks clearer in image by postulation of new ideas unraveled from the earth. Ordinary men see the world and they too see the world but their vision of the world is quite different from non-geologist point of view. When geologist find themselves in the field, they become so envisioned with buzzing confusion of scattered rocks (outcrops), vegetation cover, water bodies, mineral deposits deep underground, fossil fuels, Climate of the environment as well as just going wild with their thoughts.

Want to think like a geologist? Then you have to embrace the method of multiple working hypotheses postulated by one of the most famous geologist Thomas Chamberlin of the 1890’s which states;

  • The method of the ruling theory; a theory that describes a thinker looking only for facts that suits the answer to his point of view.
  • The method of the working hypotheses; a method which foresees the envisioning answer to the hypothesis and get going looking for facts to go against the answer.
  • The method of multiple working hypotheses; a method that begins with impending answers and some expectations that no one or single answer may answer the whole thought or story.

The ideas behind Chamberlin’s working hypotheses are to avoid ourselves being over carried by our thoughts about beauty. It is to preserve us looking for the right answer than just looking at the beautiful answer. Beautiful answers represent the exact and same image of that same thought while right answers represent the idea hidden behind the thought and this is what geologists look for.

Geologists do think everything to know about the earth is possible. They do put their hands together, work as one in a team, read and discuss other people’s papers, bring up lots of different assumptions, and try figuring out the best answers to their assumptions or thoughts.

let’s get a look at how geologists do think about the earth.

Unconsolidated - Consolidated Materials.

We humans do see unconsolidated materials (sands, gravel, mud, silt and some clayey materials) scattered all over our land surfaces and their inter- consolidated types but still we don’t ask any question about it. This is just not the way geologists do think.  Ordinary men will say it is the way of nature but nature is ruled by time and the physics of the earth. Geologists will ask questions like what am I observing? Where is it coming from? how and when did all this happen? Let us work with an example. An ordinary man looks at an outcrop and calls it a sandstone outcrop with no vision about it, on the other hand a geologist do see that same outcrop as a sandstone outcrop but he rightfully envisions something about it by asking himself questions like; where is the sandstone outcrop coming from? Why all the layers? How and when did it get deposited? That is when the scramble for the answer comes.

To answer these questions, he will have to think very deep. For example; the questions on where is the sandstone outcrop coming from? Can be answered if he thinks that the earth has large mountain ranges where such materials could originate from and of course nowadays almost all geologists agree with the idea that sandstone is formed from the deposition and compaction of sand being eroded from large mountainous ranges.

For the next question on how and when did it get deposited?, geologist think that the sands come from sand dunes mostly in the  Jurassic era together with the straying of dinosaurs beneath the shifting sands. But this is evident only by the type pf structures present in the already formed sandstone rock.

Consolidated materials (Example Granitic Mountains)

Looking at a mountain, a geologist does see the same as an ordinary man but he will think of what it is, when it was formed, at what depth it was formed, and how it was formed.

With respect to the example, geologists think it was formed at depths in the crust but due to the large size of its crystals, they envision that it is formed at depth close to the surface of the earth, also they might envision the thousands of feet beneath the earth the rock may have been formed but as time went on, it is been eroded forming the current giant structure; - mountain.

Never the less, geologist envisions much more than tourists do.

The Earth’s History and Climate Change

Many geologists do think the present situation in the world today is the key to the past situations. This is absolutely right. Geologists do think in order to know the present and future climate change of an area,  information on the past climatic changes of the area must be known. This brings us to the law that “the present is the key to the pass” nowadays called the law of Uniformitarianism.

Geologists do think the past 50 years is recent and so they called it the recent past because to them it represents not up to one percent of the earth’s age as they consider the processes operating within the earth such as plate movements, landslides, volcanisms to have resulted to little or no major change to the earth. Geologists therefore think that to forecast the present day and future climate it will be useful to think of the climate of the past 50 years.

Earth Processes

Geologists do think about the processes occurring everyday around us such as earthquakes, landslides, floods, volcanisms. They think studying such processes will somehow help mankind in future. For example, geologist think studying an area which has once been flooded in the past will help to avoid building important structures such as houses, bridges in those areas so as to avoid their collapse in future. Geologists just go wild looking for all possible means to prevent his environment intruding processes.

Never-the-less, geologists think business like, lawfully for example in mineral exploration where they can only be permitted to carry out their work upon agreement with the land owners, they do think managerially and so the list continues.

Want to know the real face of your environment and the earth as a whole? There is nothing than you; the solution is you. Then learn to think like a geologist.


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