Why Do We Study Geology?

The primary reason for studying geology is not so much to identify rocks or minerals, but rather to see, feel, and decipher how a geologically formed landscape evolved over time. It’s the personal satisfaction of knowing that we have made a significant contribution to our environment through our activity. This satisfaction is shared by all who study geology, from the beginner hobbyist to the graduate student. Through this educational process, we come to appreciate that we are deeply connected to this beautiful world, which is in fact a part of the great unfolding mystery of life on earth. Here Michael Osland explained why you should study Geology.

The first reason that we should be interested in studying geology is to learn about the Earth’s history. This is not just to understand the Earth’s present condition, but rather to comprehend how the Earth’s past might have affected its present state. Through fossils and other indicators of Earth’s past, we can learn what happened before our time, and how did those events affect the Earth’s present condition.

Secondly, we can also study geology to learn about the universe itself. The study of this universe is the foundation for many sciences, including physics and chemistry. We know very little about these vast amounts of elementary particles, and it is only through geology that we have an opportunity to get a peek at these microscopic rocks and minerals. It is through this study that we come to realize that our planet is an incredibly complex place, with large-scale structures hidden within its crust and mantle, and enormous interconnectedness to the universe in general.

The third reason why we should study geology is because it is relevant to our daily lives. Geology is intimately connected to the study of all of the Earth’s strata, which reveal many interesting clues about our planet’s past. This is not to say that the study of the earth is uninteresting or that we should not pay attention to it. On the contrary, there are many reasons why we should take interest in these studies. For example, if we want to protect valuable resources from pollution, we can learn all about the environmental effects of various tectonic shifts, and plan future geologically-based construction projects that do not run into unexpected obstacles.

Finally, studying geology may be an entry into one’s personal search for spirituality. There are a number of spiritual traditions that emphasize the importance of studying the Earth’s surface. The New Age school of thought, which is popular among young people today, emphasizes a focus on spirituality through its natural aesthetic sense and through an overall focus on the physical world around us. Some spiritual teachers believe that looking at and appreciating the various aspects of the planet can lead to a greater understanding of who we are and how to make a difference in our community. This is not to say that religious teachers are attempting to convert their students to theism. Rather, a closer study of the world’s geology can give students a deeper appreciation for the role that the Earth plays in our lives.

Why do we study geology? Science has many answers for this question. While we cannot answer it with scientific precision, we can demonstrate a variety of scientific facts through the study of our planet. Through this exploration, people come to a better appreciation of the history and heritage of this precious planet. Indeed, by studying geology, we come to a better appreciation of ourselves as well.