Parent Notes for Unit Unit 40: Early Geology and Rocks
Below are notes on the main points of each assignment.
- History Web Lecture: We are reading about Nicolaus Steno, the first scientist to formulate rules for geological processes like sedimentation, and a way to "interpret" the different layers. Steno was follwed by a number of 18th century French philosophers who tried to determine the age of the earth based on scientific principles, while at the same time recognizing conflicts with literal interpretations of Scripture and the need to account for fossil discoveries as well. Cuvier in particular tried to explain current fossil evidence in terms of a series of catastrophes, such as the Biblical flood.
Two main theories arose to account for geological processes: water forces (leading to sedimentation and erosion) and heat forces (leading to volcanism). Modern geology draws on both forces as the explanation of different phenomena.
Please discuss with your student the study questions at the end of the web lecture.
- Science Web Lecture: We concentrate on the forces that create rocks and geological formations, looking at those that result from water forces (sedimentation, erosion leading to sedimentary rocks) and heat forces (vulcanism: igneous rocks), recognizing that over time, rocks can undergo further geological processes (heat, pressure) and change into metamorphic rock forms.
We also look at forces in terms of whether they build up geological forms (mountains, islands) or tear them down (erosion by weather -- wind and water).
- Homework: The mastery exercise questions identify key players in the formation of early geological concepts and theories, and key concepts students should understand as a result of the reading and discussion. Make sure that the student reads and attempts to answer the exercise before chat, so that he can identify questions that need to be discussed in chat.
- Discussion: Our Chat discussion will concentrate on the common features of geological formation, and their proposed explanation as the result of forces that both build up and tear down structures.
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