The unwavering baritone and bearing of John P. Woods belie the biographical record: i.e., Woods' basic education not only antedates exploration geophysics as a profession but almost as a concept! He began college in 1920, almost concurrently with the first serious seismic experiments of J.P. Karcher. Perhaps that is why, during his long career, Woods constantly reexamined the basic principles of seismology; they weren't established as basic principles when he was in college and therefore, unlike succeeding generations of students, they weren't etched into his mind as unalterable scientific laws.

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