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    Vassar College
  Nov 21, 2017
Catalogue 2017-2018
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ESCI 297 - Readings in Earth Science

0.5 unit(s)
Contemplating Time. Deep time, the concept of geologic time recognized by Persian polymath Avicenna (Ibn Sina) and Chinese naturalist Shen Kuo in the 11th century and developed further by James Hutton during the 18th century Scottish Enlightenment, has been called the single greatest contribution of geology to science. The concept provides a critical link between earth science and environmental change. Using reading and reflection, the aim of this course is to help students develop a feeling for the enormity of Earth’s duration in relation to human life spans. Students contemplate the nature of time from geoscientific, religious, and literary perspectives. Reading works by Loren C. Eiseley, Mircea Eliade, Malcolm Gladwell, Stephen Jay Gould, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Shunryu Suzuki, and Elie Wiesel, among others, we consider subjects such as the two great metaphors of time, arrows and cycles, in relation to natural and anthropogenic environmental change. The class meets weekly for contemplative practice and is suitable for students at any level. Jill Schneiderman.

Prerequisite(s): permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2017/18.

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