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Book Chapter

Place of Tectonic Concepts in Geological Thinking1

By
Orlo E. Childs
Orlo E. Childs
Menlo Park, California
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Published:
January 01, 1963

Abstract

A few years ago a young trainee was transferred to my office from the Gulf Coast. He had gone to a good friend of mine with the question, “How will I know Mr. Childs when I see him?” This friend of mine answered very simply, “Just watch for somebody who fills a doorway as he comes through. Look closely and you will see that this man is covered with buttons. If you touch any one of them, you are apt to get a lecture lasting anywhere from five minutes to an hour.” To be sure that this trainee was well equipped, my friend instructed him that he should find the button labeled, “Geology is an art, not a science.” Well, the young trainee came to my office well prepared, and he was so successful in finding the right button that this subject has been very much on my mind for a long time.

My conviction is that geology is truly a science, while art is the skill with which this science is applied. The real problem seems to be whether or not, as geologists, we fulfill our function as scientists. The word “science” is derived directly from the Latin word for knowledge. Science is knowledge, amassed, severely tested, and co-ordinated into an understanding of Nature’s laws. This definition of science includes a strong emphasis on the method of deriving knowledge, and it is this method which is common to all sciences. The scientific method can be divided into four clear-cut steps.

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Contents

AAPG Memoir

Backbone of the Americas: Tectonic History from Pole to Pole

Orlo E. Childs
Orlo E. Childs
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B. Warren Beebe
B. Warren Beebe
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
2
ISBN electronic:
9781629812359
Publication date:
January 01, 1963

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