Talk:Geologic system

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Article name

Any opinions on which is the correct (or better) name?

  • Google has 53,900 hits on English pages for "Geologic Column".
  • Google has 24,600 hits on English pages for "Geological Column" (the present title).

Philip J. Rayment 05:44, 21 April 2007 (EDT)

Scratch that; I've decided on a different name altogether. Philip J. Rayment 05:48, 21 April 2007 (EDT)
Me too, but due to the Kommandments, I can't print it here. This article is just garbage. Although the hilarious, obligatory YEC (why isn't this called YECapedia?) "perspective" is, I guess, par for the course, where is the article? What do we learn when we read this? Almost nothing. Human 21:21, 28 April 2007 (EDT)
That's a very helpful comment, Human. Not. Rather than just mock and criticise, how about suggesting how it could be improved (with specifics), or point out precisely what is wrong with it. To just dismiss it as having a YEC perspective indicates that rather than there being anything factually wrong with it, you simply have an ideological issue with it. If so, that's your problem, not the article's. Philip J. Rayment 02:05, 29 April 2007 (EDT)
It's not the presentation of the YEC perspective that bothers me, I expect that, but I would expect to see more thorough detail about what the scientific consensus is about the column/system itself. Perhaps a listing of the major periods and which rocks represent them, and why this is claimed? I might have a book around here somewher that lists them, I'll see if I can cobble together a decent paragraph or two. Human 14:24, 29 April 2007 (EDT)
As I said, your comment was not very helpful. So unhelpful that it failed to convey to me what your actual issue with the article was. However, now that's been clarified, I agree that it could/should be expanded to actually document the periods, etc. Philip J. Rayment 23:10, 29 April 2007 (EDT)
Shouldn't the article name be geological system
  • Google has 19,800,000 hits for geological system
  • Google has 1,120,000 hits for geologic system
--AdrianP 02:21, 29 April 2007 (EDT)
Perhaps. I chose the name to be neutral, as some creationists question the reality of the geological column, and "geological timescale", another common one, presumes the reality of the uniformitarian dating system. I came across this name ("geologic system") as an alternative term, so went with it. Most of the early Google hits for both terms seem to be referring to something else, so whether geological system is used more than geologic system for this concept is still an unknown. I'm open to suggestions, though. Philip J. Rayment 11:01, 29 April 2007 (EDT)
"some creationists question the reality of the geological column"
I do hope not, as that would be on a par with believing the Earth is flat, i.e. in direct contradiction of obvious reality; It's real enough and directly observable in many places (the Grand Canyon for example). What creationists have is a different explanation for how it came about. --Jeremiah4-22 05:42, 3 May 2007 (EDT)
I'm not sure what the best wording would be, and they don't question that the rocks exist, but they are questioning more than just how it formed. I think they question that there really are common strata that can be identified world-wide, or something along those lines. Philip J. Rayment 06:55, 3 May 2007 (EDT)


Nice job, I like it. Can there be consensus on whether a fourth column can be added labelled "uniformitarian system dates" or something like that? Human 13:39, 3 May 2007 (EDT)

I have no objection to such a column; I've always had in mind that it would probably be there eventually. Just so long as it is clear that the dates are according to uniformitarian dating (as you indicated). For the sake of space, that qualification would probably not be in the column heading, though. What I was wondering was whether the systems should be broken down even more, but my thinking is to keep it simple by just showing the eras, periods, and epochs. Philip J. Rayment 22:44, 3 May 2007 (EDT)


Cainozoic was ok by me in the quote, to keep it accurate. But the modern name for the period is Cenozoic, and the table should reflect this.

Just as, in the table, it should say Paleozoic, dropping the "a". Human 20:10, 3 May 2007 (EDT)

I was being a bit cheeky with reverting that change. :-) But is "Cenozoic" really the "modern" name, or just an alternative that some use? Is it (I'm just speculating here) actually a term that Americans use whilst others use the "older" term. Frankly, I don't know enough about the difference, but quick Googling on it the other day suggested to me that Cenozoic was merely an alternative rather than "the modern name", and I gathered that Cainozoic was truer to the roots of the word. Please enlighten me as to the real situation (with specifics if possible, not just opinion). Philip J. Rayment 22:50, 3 May 2007 (EDT)
Out of curiosity I looked at a couple fo the places I go when "trying to find something out quickly". First, I regret not having a geology textbook handy. I googles cainozoic, on the first page was a link where someone was asking what cainozoic meant, on some astronomy board. They were told it meant "Cenozoic". Then I went to the arch-enemy, the liberal's Christ-killing handbook, WP. Cainozoic simply redirects to Cenozoic. I have a moderate background in being taught science-y stuff (both in the old country and here), and never say the cain spelling until the quote on this page. But I have seen the cen spelling endlessly. It is what the era is called. I wonder if there is a subtle YEC thing going on, since it is the "age of the mammals" (among other things)? You know, "Cain"? Anyway, thanks for replying and explaining. Now can we fix the table? Human 23:08, 3 May 2007 (EDT)
You consider that's a sufficient rebuttal??? I'll take that bit about Cain as a joke, because I think that's the way you meant it.
Okay, I've looked a bit further, and it seems that I was correct.
  • this site mentions that Cainozoic is "called Cenozoic in the USA". Score one for me—even my speculation is accurate!
  • this site, which is for the "Cainozoic Research" journal (non-American, by the way), says that for the name of the journal (started in 2001), "the spelling Cainozoic, as opposed to Cenozoic and Caenozoic, was chosen as it more accurately reflects the original Greek root kainos - recent".
  • Many other Google hits for "cainozoic cenozoic" (without the quote marks) show results where one term is given as an alternative or alternative spelling for the other, not one being the modern version of the other.
It seems that I was correct; not just about the American bit, but that they are simply alternatives, and it is not true to claim that Cenozoic is the "modern" term.
Given that, I see no reason to change it.
Philip J. Rayment 23:53, 3 May 2007 (EDT)

Not sure I was trying to put together a "rebuttal", I thought I was replying to "cheek". Anyway, interestingly enough, in your proofs you determined what this site should call it: "called Cenozoic in the USA". Non American spelling have been approved for articles that are commonwealth-centric. Either way, as long as the table develops, adds the time periods involved, I don't really care either way. By the way, googling "cenozoic" gets hit #2 at berkeley; #3, followed by a whole string of .edu's. Cainozoic gets an au site, followed by two 100 year old refs, and yet another cite to "see cenozoic". Whatever... Human 00:32, 4 May 2007 (EDT)

The spelling requirements have been eased, and there is no requirement to use American spellings simply because the article is not Commonwealth-centric. Philip J. Rayment 08:30, 4 May 2007 (EDT)

Crazy Superscripts

"Conservative," why do you think it's so important to litter the text with long strings of superscript numbers? Are you trying to adhere to hard science style? That's commendable, but not really appropriate for a general subject encyclopedia. Or a wiki. The brackets attached to the numbers make them more visually intrusive than they would be in print, and having multiple consecutive hyperlinks is bad form from a usability standpoint, especially if they have little or no semantic meaning. A sentence like, "These scientists believe that the earth is young and has multiple lines of evidence from the field of geology showing that the earth is young. [10][11][12][13][14]," would be very difficult to parse with a screen reader, for instance. It also looks very ugly in non-graphical browsers.

In any case, you didn't describe your decision to revert in the "Summary" line. I await your comments now.--All Fish Welcome 21:41, 3 May 2007 (EDT)