Pages from the geologic past of Marion County (1963)

Item Number: C09
Map Scale: 1:72,000
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Authors: Philip Harrison

ABOUT THE PAGES: The "pages" of rock strata that together form the geologic history book of Marion County are written in a foreign language of fossils, rock fragments, and mineral grains. We are able to translate the messages from these accumulations of extinct organisms and lifeless mineral matters through the knowledge gained from efforts of many generations of geologists. The meaning of the story of earth history that arises from the work of thousands of geologist translators lies in the connections man finds between his life and the world around him. Knowledge of the geologic history of his backyard, for example, permits a man to see himself in a new dimension - that of time. And he begins to appreciate the enormous amount of time involved in the unfolding or evolution of the world of nature that surrounds him. To imply that he can find meaning in the geologic history of his backyard may sound altogether too narrow for a man of the space age, who reads daily of efforts to piece together the history of the entire material universe. But a century ago, one of the greatest American geologists, J.D. Dana, said that the history of the universe "is like that which has been deciphered with regard to the earth; it only carries the action of physical forces, under a sustaining and directing hand, farther back in time." One understanding - that of earth history - leads into another - that of the history of the universe. Geologist Dana prefaced his famous "Manual of Geology" with the following remarks, which are as meaningful for this pamphlet of space-age times as they were for a textbook of the gaslight days:

If the author has sought to exalt a favorite science, it has been with the desire that man - in whom geological history had its consummation, the prophecies of the successive ages their fulfillment - might better comprehend his own nobility and the true purpose of his existence.; The author is especially grateful to Mrs. Rosemary Carr, of the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, for critically reading the manuscript and for her many helpful suggestions and criticisms.



Harrison, P. W. 1963,  Pages from the geologic past of Marion County: Indiana Geological Survey Circular 09, 23 p., 2 pl.

Notes: Illustrated


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Keywords: geology, general interest

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