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Old Jun 16, 2009, 4:20 AM   #1
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Default History - Geological & mediaeval

Jedburgh, in the Scottish Borders, contains neighbouring monuments to two prodigiously important and sometimes opposing features of human civilisation - science and religion.

In the background are the ruins of the Augustinian Priory, founded in 1138. In the foreground the sculpture commemorates 'Hutton's Unconformity'. A nearby (and currently inaccessible) geological exposure discovered by James Hutton helped him to realise the great age of the Earth, leading in 1795 to his 'Theory of the Earth'. Such ideas laid the groundwork for Darwin and 'The Origin of Species', 150 years old this year, and for modern geology.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hutton

A stone seat next to the sculpture bears words from the close of his book...

"We find no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end."

Images from my recent Easter Holiday, and a family trip in 2003.
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Old Jun 16, 2009, 7:47 AM   #2
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The first shot is especially nice, Alan. Great perspective. As always, your narrative adds so much. Thanks for sharing.
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Old Jun 16, 2009, 9:01 PM   #3
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Ironically, modern science has found both evidence of a beginning, and the evidence for an end. Both, interestingly enough, about 4.5 billion years from the present.

But is it true that Hutton's work paved the way for geologists to understand the Earth and its processes.

And deep time gave Darwin's theory a chance. Ironically, Darwin and Lord Kelvin got into quite a row over that. Kelvin's heat calculations indicated the world could be at best a few million years old. Darwin pointed out that the diversity of living things indicated a much older Earth.

But Kelvin was arguably the best physicist since Newton, and his calculations were right. Then Rutherford discovered radioactive breakdown in rocks, the source of the missing heat was realized, and Hutton and Darwin triumphed.

Old stone structures are now being used to track the movement of the magnetic poles in the Earth. The iron particles are fixed when the rock solidifies, showing the alignment of the magnetic field at that time. But when the rock is cut and used in building, it very slowly shifts polarity in the Earth's field. If you know the age of the structure, you can use that data to track the field.

So the connection is even closer.
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Old Jun 17, 2009, 10:29 AM   #4
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Thanks, 'The Barbarian' for your appeciation and expansion of the theme.

Here is another picture of an apposite bit of Scotland, from 2007, showing my boot spanning, in typical torrential summer tourist rain, the 500 million years of the 'Moine Thrust' north of Ullapool, discovered in 1907, which is a good corroboration of tectonic plate theory. One could say it's an example of Nature's (or God's) Architecture, turning things upside down and shuffling the layers occasionally.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moine_Thrust

I have been astonished, geology having been woefully absent during my scientific education, and having advanced a lot since then, to find from TV and Bill Bryson's excellent and comprehensive book on 'everything' that lots of this, including key bits of Darwin's puzzle has been discovered only in my lifetime. Makes me feel even older!
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Old Jun 17, 2009, 10:47 AM   #5
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Interesting and informative thread. Alan, I really like both of the shots in the original posting, but I find myself more interested in the priory itself and wanting to see more of it from a photographic standpoint. Good threads like this one make you feel a little smarter for having read them. Thanks.

Paul
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Old Jun 17, 2009, 9:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojansoc View Post
Good threads like this one make you feel a little smarter for having read them. Thanks.

Paul
How true and I think that's a unique element of the forums on Steve's site.

A. C.
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Old Jun 18, 2009, 8:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojansoc View Post
...interested in the priory itself and wanting to see more of it from a photographic standpoint...
Thanks for the comments, folks. You asked for it, Paul....

Last image is in the 'Visitor Centre', showing a model of how it might have looked before Henry VIII and co. 'dissolved' it. See...

http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/index/places/propertyresults/propertyabout.htm?PropID=PL_163&PropName=Jedburgh% 20Abbey ;

http://www.roadtour.co.uk/heritagesites.php/scotland/jedburgh-abbey
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Old Jun 18, 2009, 3:54 PM   #8
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Alan,

Thank you, Alan, for the additional "mosaic". Great pictures, all of them. Could not withstand an impulse. Hope you like it

Torgny
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Last edited by Torgny; Jun 18, 2009 at 4:01 PM.
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Old Jun 19, 2009, 6:55 AM   #9
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Very nice series of shots all of them
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Old Jun 23, 2009, 4:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torgny View Post
...Could not withstand an impulse. Hope you like it
Yes, thankyou very much, Torgny. I did contemplate a correction, but was in a rush, and I'm very slow at such subtleties!
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