The Origin Of Geological Terms: Feldspar

BRESSAN_Granito_Bressanone“What’s in a name?” asked William Shakespeare in his play Romeo and Juliet. It may also be of interest to explore the origin of some common terms used in geology in an upcoming series, like feldspar Read On


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Charles Darwin And The Search For Extraterrestrial Life

In August 1881, the journal Science (a short-lived predecessor of the modern journal) published an article based on letters exchanged between two amateur geologists – British Charles R. Darwin and the German Otto Hahn – discussing the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Just some years earlier, Darwin had published On The Origin of Species, arguing that complex life forms evolved very slowly over time from simple ones.
However, Darwin faced a major problem with his theory. At the time, based on erroneous calculations of the cooling rate of earth by physicist Lord Kelvin, the Earth was believed to be just some million years old.
Accordingly, the planet seemed too young to explain the modern complexity and diversity of life. However, if already complex microorganisms existed in space (the existence of which would predate the formation of Earth), and only later they evolved in terrestrial animals, could solve this apparent contradiction.
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How Mount Etna Helped Geologists Understand The Birth Of Volcanoes

Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe. The size, location (Italy is worth visiting for a lot of reason) and constant volcanic activity have made Mount Etna an important destination for early traveling geologists Read On..

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Caves Are Unique (And Spooky) Treasure Chests Of Prehistoric Life

Caves have always fascinated people. Tales of strange or extraordinary large bones found in them may have also inspired legends that referred to caves as gateways to an underground world of fear, perhaps still inhabited by monsters and demons…Read On

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Of Dragons and Geology

Johann Jakob Scheuchzer (1672-1733) was a Swiss physician, but also quite interested in travels and natural sciences. He published his observations on the culture and natural world of the Alps as “Itinera per Helvetiae alpinas regiones facta annis 1702-1711“.
In the introduction by the editor we read:
The name of Scheuchzer will be famous …[] The author was in the best conditions to make valid discoveries during his explorations. He worked with incredible determination.., [] no danger, no costs, no difficulty were too large for this great man.

Despite the work was intended to dispel of myths and superstitions so common in the Alps, Scheuchzer, like many other naturalists of his time, did not see a contradiction in publishing own and exact observation and rumors… Read On

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The Geology Of Star Trek: From Extraterrestrial Minerals To Alien Life-Forms

August 19, 1921: Happy Birthday to Eugene Wesley „Gene“ Roddenberry – creator of Star-Trek Universe, where you can find some fascinating geology, from extraterrestrial minerals to silicon life-forms !! Read on…

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Ancient Stories Provided An Early Warning About Potential Seattle Earthquakes

Oral tradition played – and still plays – an important role in many societies. The subjects of these stories range from fantastic fairy tales to myths, tales based on real persons, places or historic events. But interestingly enough, these stories may also represent attempts to record and transfer knowledge of past geological catastrophes as a warning from generation to generation. Read On…
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