lecture 2

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15 Dec 2010

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Lecture 2- The origin of minerals and rocks
*Questions on last class: What are 2 aspects of doing science? + What was the “cosmic
hypothesis and why did geophysicists give it up?
Middle Ages
oMinerals and rocks were assigned magical powers. Ex: onyx (tree tears),
stag tears, bezoar, draconites, bufonites
oThe first universities were founded during this time by scholars, not
church or state. (intellectual independence)
1088 Bologna; Paris, Padua, Oxford (~1096) and Cambridge,
Heidelberg 1385
oPrinting (Gutenberg, 1450)– huge step for science allowed for ideas to be
Books circulated amond literate masses
before: rare handwritten copies
wood (later copper) engravings allowed for beautiful pictures
omuseums- collections of plants, animals and minerals (3 kingdoms of
nature now open to the public
important to development of science b/c ppl could observe and
oLeonardo Da Vinci [1452-1519]
Self-taught artist, inventor, naturalist
Left many notebooks , over 5000 sheets
Thoughts on geology are dispersed in notebooks
He was especially interested in engineering, in river hydraulics
(canals, drying of marshes)
Argues that valleys are created by rivers and mountains are
destroyed by rain and rivers
Excellent observer: noted that sediments form ordered pile near
seashore (e.g. rock layers at bottoms and mountains in the
background of painting “St. Anne with virgin and child”)
But his thoughts were not of benefit to others, “isolated in space
and time”
oGeorguis Agricola [1494- 1555] “De Re Metallica”
Born Georg Bauer in Saxony
Attended university in Leipzig, Bologna, and Padua
Practiced medicine in Joachimsthal (a mining centre, he worked
very courageously during the 1552-53 plague)
Duke of Saxony was his patron
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