Geologists, like astronomers, wring grand deductions out of the very limited types of evidence available to them here on the surface of the Earth: their deepest borehole has penetrated less than 8 miles into the crust. They have nevertheless made great strides. But the Earth itself is not impressed.
Oh, you think you’re very clever
With your surveys and your mapping,
Your stratigraphic columns
And your geo-seismic zapping.
You can work out strike directions
And calculate the dip,
But you can’t predict eruptions
Or when my plates will slip.
Your boreholes barely touch me,
Even though my crust is thin.
You’re just an irritation
That’s tickling my skin.
Your tiny toy submersibles
Just potter round my oceans,
And you’ve only just discovered
My plate-tectonic motions!
At least you know my age now,
And how I came to be;
But I doubt you’ll ever get to grips
With the very core of me –
My life is still in turmoil,
I feel my insides churning.
Just bear in mind how little
And how shallow is your learning . . .