Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lenten Wilderness and Earth Science

The thing I love about teaching earth science to a gaggle of middle schoolers is that I get to (a) drop momentarily out of the mimetically-driven hall of mirrors of fallen human funny business for a brief time, and (b) consider the breath-taking facts of such things as plate tectonics and geologic time scale.

Take for instance Heather Catchpole's article, Islands of Fire, in which she visits New Zealand's hot spots and which I will let you read for yourself.
As I've said before, you couldn’t make this stuff up.

What stuff? Oh, like the fact the outer core of our planet is a billion trillion tons of molten iron spinning at 1,000 mph, thus creating the electromagnetic field that comes out one pole, around the planet, and reenters it at the other pole, protecting us from the same solar radiation that scoured Mars when its EM field collapsed? (Don't worry. Ours won't collapse for many millions of years. We are, however, overdue for a reversal of our EM field; meaning, our Boy Scout compasses will all, then, point south.) Go write something like that and try to find a literary agent who will find it "credible".

Read Catchpole's article (above). It may explain why Our Lord went to the wilderness (besides being tempted by Satan), far from the maddening crowd.

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