(Editor's note: Past AAPG president Marlan Downey starts a new
feature in the EXPLORER this month, looking back to find the truth
Over the next few months I hope to guide
you in a "look-back" -- and with the benefit of hindsight, remind
you of some of the significant geologic advances (and perhaps some
of the significant misdirections) extracted from the geologic literature
of 50 years ago.
Some of the great papers of 1953 were little recognized
for their exceptional quality; conversely, many weak papers were
readily accepted and sponsored by intelligent contemporaries.
How could this happen?
If intelligence is a measure of how quickly we can
learn, wisdom is our ability to separate truth from half-truth and
nonsense. We can do little to increase our intelligence, but wisdom
comes to us continuously by our extraction of truths from history
and personal experience.
My sons are all car-crazy ... in a family discussion,
I reached for an analogy: "Intelligence is horsepower; wisdom is
I looked at the listing of new AAPG members in 1953
and was astounded at the quality of the entering class! Larry Funkhouser,
Fred L. Stricklin, G. Pat Bolden, James W. Caylor, T. Boone Pickens
and Fred F. Meissner, to name only a few.