The blind men and the elephant

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The blind men and the elephant are kept close at hand mainly to slow down what some graduate students refer to as “arm waving” -the delivery, with pumping elbows, of hypotheses so breathtakingly original that the science seems for the moment more imaginative than descriptive. Where it is solid, it is imaginative enough. Geologists are famous for picking up two or three bones and sketching an entire and previously unheard-of creature into a landscape long established in the Picture. They look at zakelijke energie mud and see mountains, in mountains oceans, in oceans mountains to be. They go up to some rock and figure out a story, another rock, another story, and as the stories compile through time they connect-and long case histories are constructed and written from interpreted patterns of clues. This is detective work on a scale unimaginable to most detectives, with the notable exception of Sherlock Holmes, who was, with his discoveries and interpretations of little bits of grit from Blackheath or Hampstead, the first forensic geologist, acknowledged as such by geologists to this day. Holmes was a fiction, but he started a branch of a science; and the science, with careful inference, carries fact beyond the competence of invention. Geologists, in their all but closed conversation, inhabit scenes that no one ever saw, scenes of global sweep, gone and gone again, including seas, mountains, rivers, forests, and zakelijke energie vergelijken archipelagoes of aching beauty rising in volcanic violence to settle down quietly and then forever disappear-almost disappear. If some fragment has remained in the crust somewhere and something has lifted the fragment to view, the geologist in his tweed cap goes out with his hammer and his sandwich, his magnifying glass and his imagination, and rebuilds the archipelago.

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