Riddles in Stone: Controversies, Theories and Myths about Southern Africa's Geological Past

R 115.00  

Author: Hugh Eales
Publisher: Wits University Press (2007)
ISBN-10: 186814447X
ISBN-13: 9781868144471
Condition: Very Good
Binding: Softcover
Pages: 361
Dimensions: 24.5 x 17 x 2.2 cm

Weight: 0.7 kg

Riddles in Stone covers a variety of fascinating controversies and startling differences of opinion that accompanied the evolution of the study of Earth Sciences in southern Africa. Over the centuries, debates have raged amongst geologists, and between geologists and biologists, physicists and theologians, on controversies such as the age of the Earth and its lifespan; Continental Drift; the origin of ore deposits of gold, diamonds, copper and platinum; and Schwarz’s well-meaning but forgotten Kalahari Scheme.

Although scrupulously rooted in scientific literature, this  book maintains an accessible and entertaining tone and shows how consensus amongst a majority may be proof of nothing. Geologists, challenged to interpret events that took place billions of years ago, have drawn up theories and hypotheses which may appear either absurdly dated or, from other perspectives, as cutting edge. The introduction of fresh ideas (as in the Plate Tectonic model) or new techniques (as in the dating of rocks using radioactive decay) can realign the thrust of science, leading to the abandoning of traditional ideas and the embracing of new ones.

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