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Field Trip Quotes (2 quotes)

I did enjoy the [CCNY geology] field trips. We went upstate and clambered over formations of synclines and anticlines. We had to diagram them, and figure out their mirror images. If you had an anticline here, you should be able to predict a complementing syncline bulging out somewhere else. Very satisfying when I got it right. Geology allowed me to display my brilliance to my non-college friends. “You know, the Hudson really isn’t a river.” “What are you talking about? … Everybody knows the Hudson River’s a river.” I would explain that the Hudson was a “drowned” river, up to about Poughkeepsie. The Ice Age had depressed the riverbed to a depth that allowed the Atlantic Ocean to flood inland. Consequently, the lower Hudson was really a saltwater estuary.
In My American Journey (1996), 30-31. [Powell graduated with a B.S. degree in Geology.]
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Nature could not err, but knew exactly and infallibly. Our function was to ask her questions, to listen patiently to the answers, and to understand them correctly.
And to this end we went out into the field, time and time again. Often at brief intervals we returned to the same outcrop where our Pythia, nature, opened her mouth from time to time to utter her equivocal oracles. Time and again we studied the same stratification, or the same interpenetration of rocks, and yet each time advanced one step further, because of what we had learned on the last visit, because the previous impression had had time to settle, or because this time our eyes were a little keener and now observed what hitherto had escaped them.
In Hans Cloos, Ernst Cloos (ed.) and Curt Dietz (ed.), Conversation With the Earth (1953, 1959), 28, as translated by E.B. Garside from the original German edition, Gespräch mit der Erde (1947).
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Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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