Sunday, June 17, 2018

Psalm1Tree, no Geologic Column??? William Smith

Psalm1Tree: "Fossils are jumbled, in no pattern whatsoever.

 Have you met William Smith?

William Smith's Map, completed 1815, decades in the making.


This post is my 2nd 'footnote' for an upcoming essay inspired by Psalm1Tree on YouTube, who possesses a fervent rejection of evolution and who preaches that the "Geologic Column" doesn't exist.  But who won't stick around to hear the answers to his challenges.  The first post was about James Hutton.
“There never was a Devonian period, just as there never was a Cambrian, Jurassic, Triassic etc. period.  That's because there never was a Geologic Column.  That is a 19th century construct that has no data whatsoever to support it."
No data?  Seriously?  Has Psalm ever looked?  I ask because it’s easy to track down when our understanding started in the late 1700s. That’s when a handful of curious observant individuals struggled to make sense of what they saw laid out across their country.  In my previous post I shared James Hutton's legacy.  Here I introduce another leading pioneer, William Smith a colorful mapper of coal mines, a canal, railway and road surveyor, a man who spent a life time dedicated to comprehending the landscape and creating the first modern geologic map that visually distilled hundreds (soon to be thousands) of land surveys into a form all could learn to read and comprehend at a glance.
From all I've read, William Smith was a might saltier than this nice gent. Still a good summation.

Scott Ritter lectures on 
Simon Winchester's  "William Smith and the map that changed the world"

William Smith (1769-1839) and his Geologic Map

Fossils have been long studied as great curiosities, collected with great pains, treasured with great care and at a great expense, and shown and admired with as much pleasure as a child's hobby-horse is shown and admired by himself and his playfellows, because it is pretty; and this has been done by thousands who have never paid the least regard to that wonderful order and regularity with which nature has disposed of these singular productions, and assigned to each class its peculiar stratum.
William Smith, notes written January 5, 1796

Britain's first geological map
By Lisa Hendry, June 26, 2015

Two hundred years ago, a man called William Smith did something extraordinary. He became the first person to map the geology of an entire nation.
Not only was this scientifically significant, but in the process he produced something rather beautiful.

Smith's colourful and sophisticated geological map was based on his astute observation that rock layers (strata) could be identified by the fossils they contain. He noticed that the layers always seemed to appear in the same order and realised it was possible to predict where specific types of rock could be found across the country.

Smith’s map and ideas paved the way for a better understanding of geological time and laid the founding principles for geological surveys worldwide. His concept of using fossils to identify rocks is still very important today. …

The Map That Changed the World
William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology

“… (the) story of William Smith, the orphaned son of an English country blacksmith, who became obsessed with creating the world’s first geological map and ultimately became the father of modern geology.

In 1793 William Smith, a canal digger, made a startling discovery that was to turn the fledgling science of the history of the earth — and a central plank of established Christian religion — on its head. 

He noticed that the rocks he was excavating were arranged in layers; more important, he could see quite clearly that the fossils found in one layer were very different from those found in another. And out of that realization came an epiphany: that by following the fossils, one could trace layers of rocks as they dipped and rose and fell — clear across England and, indeed, clear across the world. 

Determined to publish his profoundly important discovery by creating a map that would display the hidden underside of England, he spent twenty years traveling the length and breadth of the kingdom by stagecoach and on foot, studying rock outcrops and fossils, piecing together the image of this unseen universe.

In 1815 he published his epochal and remarkably beautiful hand-painted map, more than eight feet tall and six feet wide. …

Charting the underworld
Chris Lavers reviews The Map that Changed the World, a scientific biography of the father of English geology William Smith, by Simon Winchester.  July 6, 2001


The development and evolution of the William Smith 1815 geological map from a digital perspective
Peter Wigley, Lynx Geographic Information Systems Ltd, 
93-99 Upper Richmond Road, Putney, London SW15 2TG, UK

William Smith’s 1815 geological map of England and Wales

… the map differs from all other contemporaneous maps in that Smith applied the principles of stratigraphy to its construction. The maps are extremely rare and therefore not readily available for study and analysis; however, over the past decade a number of Smith geological maps have been digitally scanned and some incorporated into a Geographic Information System (GIS). …

William Smith (1769–1839) was an undoubted geological genius with an amazing eye for the countryside and an ability to think in three dimensions. He was also an expert surveyor, apprenticed in his youth to Edward Webb (1751–1828) at Stow-on- the-Wold, where he learned to measure and value land during the time of the Enclosure Acts (Torrens, 2001). This skill may have classified him as an artisan in the eyes of the gentlemen of the Geological Society of London and thus precluded his membership of the Society; however, it was to prove essential in the production of the great map. Through use of sextant, plane table, and other surveying instruments (the high-tech of the time), Smith was able to locate outcrops on his field maps. …

About Deep Time
Dan Wormald, February 2017

This paper is intended to inform colleagues about research on what people understand and misunderstand about Deep Time; explore some of the issues raised in the learning research literature, and highlight implications and recommendations for our practice in engaging museum audiences with learning about Deep Time.

The literature reviewed for this paper indicates that understanding the concept of Deep Time is central to many areas of science. Some researchers go further and state that a failure to understand the scope of Deep Time presents the student of science with critical barriers in progressing their studies across a broad spectrum of scientific research. …

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