Being a geophysicist, Eocenia is well aware of the fundamental cyclical rhythm of life – inbox time, coffee time, lunch time, nap time, scream-at-the-cluster time, tea time, pub time, late-night-coding time. But apparently stratigraphers just don’t accept this universal cycle, leaving us all with the question:
When will geologists figure out time?
Ma or Myr? Either would make a passable baby’s nickname. But your reviewers will argue about the choice even more than the baby’s grandparents. As for the stratigraphic chart! We can all agree the rocks have been down there forever (literally if you’re a creationist) so why keep changing it?! If you didn’t spend three years drawing pictures of the subtle differences in the colour of mud, you could be forgiven for thinking the geologists do it just to spite us. Possibly because they enjoy our failed attempts to pronounce the newest stage. Ypresian, anyone? Or how about the Zanclean, which would make an excellent brand of toothpaste, although it might taste a bit salty.
However, unusually, I can give you a definitive stratigraphic golden spike in answer to your question. It will occur towards the end of the Anthropocene, marked by the moment Homo geologicus disappears from the fossil record. They are easily identified by an often well-preserved hammer-shaped appendage not observed in the fossils of their sister species, Homo geodynamicus.
Until that time, I can only recommend three courses of action:
- Find a tame geologist and blame them in all subsequent publications.
- Start working with non-dimensional parameterisations. All your geological problems disappear with a simple division. What a beautiful mathematical operator!
- Move into planetary science. Homo geologicus has not yet been observed on Mars.
The Sassy Scientist.
PS: This blog post was written in the epoch bounded by the cluster job submission smugness peak and ending at the seg-fault despair discontinuity.