In Suspect Terrain John McPhee





In Suspect Terrain  by  John McPhee

In Suspect Terrain by John McPhee
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Who would think that the subject of geology could be vitally interesting? At Dartmouth College during Ordovician times, it was a dreary parade of synclines, geosynclines, and anticlines. Now it seems that the plate tectonics people has swept all that away. What John McPhee does in his book In Suspect Terrain is accompany geologist Anita Harris across the eastern United States, mostly in the Appalachians, and follow her arguments about the incredibly complex processes that have formed and re-formed the area over time.Harris accepts the general notions of plate tectonics, but generally believes that many of its adherents practice a kind of top-down science, letting theories do all the heavy lifting, rather than going out with rock hammers and magnifiers to verify their theories.

While geologists argue, the rocks just sit there, Harriss late husband (also a geologist) remarked. And sometimes they seem to smile.McPhees enthusiasm on the subject is infectious. While not absorbing all the details (there are so many), I felt myself swept along by his enthusiasm and that of Harris.I dont read many books on the sciences, because I am repelled by their dryness.

This and the other books in the series by McPhee are an exception.

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