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“For me, geology was far superior to all other fields, and that is as it should be. In geology, too, there were books, numbers and other ballast for my memories. Like the rest, I wore out books and filled blank papers with notes. But by far the most important books for geology students were the quarries and clay pits, the cliffs and the creek beds, the road and the railroad cuts in woods and fields. Our words and letters were the imprints of plants and animals in stone, the minerals and crystals, and our vast, inexhaustible, incorruptible, and infallible library was nature itself.” – Hans Cloos from Conversations with the Earth

“The earth is large and old enough to teach us modesty.” – Hans Cloos from Conversations with the Earth

“It was during my enchanted days of travel that the idea came to me, which, through the years, has come into my thoughts again and again and always happily—the idea that geology is the music of the earth.”  – Hans Cloos from Conversations with the Earth

“For a billion years the patient earth amassed documents and inscribed them with signs and pictures which lay unnoticed and unused. Today, at last, they are waking up, because man has come to rouse them. Stones have begun to speak, because an ear is there to hear them. Layers become history and, released from the enchanted sleep of eternity, life’s motley, never-ending dance rises out of the black depths of the past into the light of the present.”  – Hans Cloos from Conversations with the Earth

“Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice.” – Will Durant

“We learn geology the morning after the earthquake” – Ralph Waldo Emerson from Considerations

“When the climbers in 1953 planted their flags on the highest mountain, they set them in snow over the skeletons of creatures that had lived in the warm clear ocean that India, moving north, blanked out. Possibly as much as twenty thousand feet below the seafloor, the skeletal remains had turned into rock. This one fact is a treatise in itself on the movements of the surface of the earth. If by some fiat I had to restrict all this writing to one sentence, this is the one I would choose: The summit of Mt. Everest is marine limestone.” – John McPhee from Annals of a Former World

“There can be nothing jollier than geologists on a field survey, especially when far from home.” Ed Abbey from One Life at a Time, Please

“Rocks are records of events that took place at the time they formed. They are books. They have a different vocabulary, a different alphabet, but you learn how to read them.” – John McPhee from In Suspect Terrain


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