For a long time, geology was considered an art and not a science, the reason being that geology was mainly a descriptive activity. It lacked any meaningful quantitative approach and did not have a unifying theory that would tie together the various geologic processes. This changed in the mid-1960s with the acceptance of the theory of plate tectonics as well as various quantitative techniques.
Professor Edgar J. McCullough, a retired member of the University of Arizona Department of Geosciences, will present a series of four lectures on the Evolution of the Earth in the Great Room of the Arizona Senior Academy, at 3:30 p.m. on four successive Thursdays (Aug. 31, Sep.7, 14, and 21).
In the Aug. 31 session, McCullough will describe some of the concepts upon which the study of the Science of Geology is based. He will discuss geologic time and the use of radioactive decay in the dating of geologic events and propose that the development of the current earth’s surface is the result of constructive and destructive processes.
Subsequent talks will focus on “Plate Tectonics” (Sept. 7), “Destruction of the Earth’s Surface” (Sept. 14), and “Interpreting Earth History” (Sept. 14).
McCullough began teaching at the UA in the 1960s later became head of the UA Geosciences Department and dean of the College of Science.
Written by Charles Prewitt, Academy Village Volunteer