For the next few weeks I’m going to shift gears and focus on a subject that has long exerted a peculiar attraction for me. That subject is geology, an endlessly fascinating and notoriously complicated field of study to which I lay claim to no formal credentials beyond my having taken the introductory undergrad class decades ago. But as most of us understand, formal credentials aren’t everything: we’ve all known autodidacts who have become deeply conversant with their late-found passions. (With absolutely no arrogant comparison of stature intended, I point out that Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was not only the most eminent German-language playwright of his time: he was also a dedicated amateur botanist whose researches earned him the honorific “father of plant morphology.”)
As you might anticipate, my thinking about geology is deeply intertwined with my experience of childhood religious indoctrination, adolescent dysfunction, and the hard work of fighting my way out of that swamp of delusion and lies in which I was planted at birth. If you have read any of my previous posts, you already understand what I’m talking about. In addition to being an endlessly fascinating subject, geology is a corrective to many of the misconceptions I held earlier in my life.
Continue reading “On Growing Up Ignorant in a Geologically-Rich Environment”