Monday, October 31, 2011

Stupid geologists

This comment was recently submitted anonymously to my post Pretty all right, pretty stupid  from last May.

When I googled "fuck geologists" this site came up. Not only do geologists have the most boring profession of any academic circle, they are terrible at organizing their information. They don't make any practical discoveries, they simply state the obvious and create names for things that are already named! They then proceed to categorize the information many times over just for the sake of having something to do. I think the world would be a better place if Geology was never studied or practiced ever again.

I had to laugh (and then wonder why this person hates geology so much).  I'm guessing they're a high school or college kid taking an introductory geology course and hating it (not that I can understand why anyone would hate something as interesting as geology!).

Would "the world be a better place if geology were never studied or practiced ever again" as this poster claimed?

In my introductory classes, I always have the "Why study geology?" part of the lecture.  Why is geology useful?  Here are a few simple examples.

Ever use anything with metal in it?  Copper, aluminum, steel (iron), zinc, etc?  Guess where it came from... A mineral!  Someone had to find the mineral deposit, it was mined or quarried, and turned into a hunk of metal and manufactured into some material.  Like your computer, TV, cell phone, electric lines, indoor plumbing, etc.  All made from minerals.

Nonmetallic Earth resources are important too.  Gypsum wallboard (Sheetrock) in your home?  A porcelain toilet (manufactured from clay).  Like salt on the roads in the winter?  Want to give a gold wedding band or diamond to your sweetheart (or rubies, emeralds, garnets, aquamarines, etc.)?  Drive on roads?  Sand, gravel, and petroleum are used to make asphalt.  Concrete?  Comes from limestone.  Building stone like granite or marble?  Directly from the Earth.

Ever use energy?  Electricity, heating oil, gasoline, etc?  Guess where it cam from... Coal, petroleum, natural gas that someone had to find, it was mined, quarried, or drilled, and turned into a product used for electricity generation, transport, heating, manufacturing, etc.  All Earth materials.  What to use green energy from solar cells and batteries?  They're loaded with rare-earth elements all mined from the ground (and need plenty of copper wire).

Ever use anything made of plastics or wore synthetic fibers?  Most of them are derived from petroleum.

Who studies and monitors earthquakes in California?  Who studies and monitors volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest?  Who studies coastal erosion along the east coast?  Who studies landslide hazards?  Flooding hazards?  Good deal on a home in La Conchita, California?  Google it - a geologist would never have bought a house there!

How do civil engineers know what soils and rocks are suitable or unsuitable for foundations of walls, bridges, dams, buildings, etc?  Google "Vajont Dam" sometime to see what happens if civil engineers ignore geology.

Ever buy a house?  When I was in the market for a home a number of years ago, we were shown places on the floodplain of the Esopus Creek here in Ulster County.  I told my wife "No way" since I'm a geologist and a few years later we saw this house completely flood damaged.  Knowing what kind of soil you have on your property can mean the difference between a simple or specially engineered septic system (a several thousand dollar difference).  Knowing a bit about groundwater can clue you in on how deep your well has to be (and drillers charge by the foot - it makes a difference).  Any potential that your groundwater may be contaminated?  A little knowledge of groundwater geology will help you figure that out.

Who studies and helps remediate areas of contaminated soil or groundwater?  Where is that plume in contaminated groundwater going?  Better know something about the subsurface geology.  Where do you place a landfill such that it will have the least risk of contaminating the surrounding area?  Ask a geologist.

Global climate change is a big issue.  Guess what?  Climate's been changing on Earth from the time it formed.  How do we know that?  Geologists who've learned to decipher paleoclimate data from rocks and fossils.  This knowledge allows us to separate natural rates of climate change from anthropogenic ("man made") contributions.  The rock cycle, the carbon cycle, the hydrologic cycle are all directly relevant to our lives.

The Earth is four and a half billion years old.  Many people in this country are dumb asses and don't care about things like that (or believe in the particular mythology of a particular group of bedouin Hebrews thousands of years) but I think it's a great thing to gain knowledge about the world around us.  Think dinosaurs are cool?  How the hell do you think we know about dinosaurs?  Those damn geologists sitting in the hot Montana sun digging through layers of sandstone to expose those bones to the light of day and then patiently studying them in the laboratory to reconstruct them and their place in an ancient ecosystem.

Just about everything we know about the Earth is from geologists!  If all you care about is who is fucking who on Jersey Shore, this information may not seem "relevant" to you but that's because you're a moron.

Geologists Rock!


  1. Really, the problem is the Greek prefix. The name just sounds boring. Every time I read 'geology' I hear Ben Stein saying it in my head. Clearly the solution is to rebrand yourselves as 'rockologists'.

    1. yo if u dare tlk they way u jut did there will be consiquences

  2. stoners...? too obvious?

  3. Whoa. Hell yeah.

    I imagine this moron had been upset by the content of your prior post as well. Moron. "We don't need no geolo-"you gotta be kiddin' me.

  4. It just goes to show people's ignorance...
    And their cockiness to think their "epiphany" coming from studying Geology for a few weeks is above a several-hundred year old Science...

    I'd tell this person to check the salary of a senior Geologist in some oil company. See how "useless" transnational companies consider them!

  5. Geology is chemistry's crap younger brother. I'm sorry I just had to say it!

  6. I challenge any chemist to make half as much money as I'm currently making as a production geologist in Australia. Get that up ye, chemist.

  7. That is one epic last couple of sentences.

  8. I am a retired hydrogeologist ,i am happy with the the good experience i had searching for groundwater in Saudi Arabia.Good geological background made my contribution wothwhile

  9. Geos are fucking retarded failed engineering students, as well as being the Bain of most operational workers in a mining environment bunch of hopeless fucking rock lickers

  10. It's "bane" and I never once wanted to major in engineering.
    Yes, I have licked rocks.

  11. I am a just graduated geologist and I totally agree with the writer above : GEOLOGY IS EVERYWHERE!!! there will be no of those things in our daily lives if not for a crazy geologist and his hammer! We are searching for the minerals,rocks and ore deposits you need, we know were to find those, we check if the area you live is safe from landslides, rockfalls, floods, volcanoes and earthquakes, and even if you live in such a dangerous place we study and modelize the possible hazards you are going to deal with and we inform you to take protection! I do understand that the age of the earth and fossils might not attract everyone but please...knowledge of our planet and its history should be consider at least as an interesting one if not as a breathtaking(as it is for us)! Geology is my family! And yes I love the sound of the rocks when I hit them with my hammer and yes i have licked rocks too! (we are not stupid, there is a reason we do it!!!!!!)......(and sorry for my English, I am a foreigner)

  12. the mam our girl that are saing that geology its boring dont undersant noting at all. whit out geology we dont have energy, dont have house, dont have any thing. all the ifones and tables that we have came fron the eath, that SMALL things that we, geologist, study and undersant. think on this. sorry my englis. i am portugues.

  13. well maybe if they were cooler they could be called something better...

    they sit all day watchin the rocks I mean dafuque!!!!

  14. Kinda funny how only Geologists think Geologists are cool and how Geologists only hang out with other Geologists....
    And yes, when the Geologists aren't around, the Engineers do make fun of them!

  15. I am a Geologist, have faced barbs from many people of being a girl in a man's profession! This is insane. Moreover I feel we don't need to talk back or even explain WHY Geology is what it is. SOmething along the lines of a small screw holding up the entire foundation, loosen it, it all topples!

    Cheers to us!

  16. Man yall chill out. Geologist is everyone.

  17. To the anonymous user attempting to post death threats and obscenities on this post, the comments are moderated and you're obviously wasting your time.