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September 14.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Earth Sciences

September 14, 2009 What is science? o Process (research) – get feedback o Body of knowledge (facts) – “results” are communicated-- >pamphlets, textbooks etc  If accepted by community it is added to the general body of knowledge Prehistoric geology o Ancients were aware of geologic phenomena  Volcanoes, earthquakes, mountains, erosion, sedimentation, locations of valuable minerals and metals ** but NO written record... th Geology until the 17 century o Evidence-based speculation about fossils, ex: rd  Eratosthenes (3 century BC) suggested water level in Mediterranean Sea had been higher (Strait of Gibraltar closed) and mountains under water st  Strabo (1 century BC) stated that earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and associated tilting of land surfaces would be enough to achieve the emergence of once submerged regions Early Greece o Ancient science: metaphysics o Speculate on a grand scale about the origin and destiny of the world and its inhabitants, ie implications of geology to large picture o Anthropocentric o 1. Considering human beings as the most significant entity of the universe o 2. Interpreting or regarding the world in terms of human values and experiences - Aristotle o Some correct geologic ideas:  “a place does not always remain land or sea throughout time”  “periods of time which are so immense compared with the length of our life that these change are not observed” o Some of his geologic ideas were wacky  Ex earthquakes and volcanoes • “ether” (some form of mysterious wind)
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