Petrology is a field of geology that focuses on the study of rocks to describe their texture and composition and to explore the conditions under which they may have been formed. There are three branches of petrology, corresponding to the three main types of rocks: igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary.
The study of rocks provides us with important information about the nature of the Earth's crust and mantle. In addition, it enables us to gain a sense of the Earth's history, including tectonic processes, that occurred over the long course of geological time. On a practical level, the field of petrology helps us gain an understanding of many of the raw materials we rely on for our sustenance and technological development.
From a Unification perspective, several points can be made:
- Rocks provide the foundation on which many creatures, including humans, dwell. They thus enable our survival and growth on this planet.
- The scientific study of rocks provides us with a means of understanding the geological history of the Earth. This type of work requires superior mental faculties, which are connected to our spiritual dimension and reflect the higher intelligence of our Creator. In addition, the results of these studies provide glimpses of some of the processes by which God invested His heart, intelligence, and energies in creating this world.
- Our efforts to study rocks springs from our inner desire to understand the natural world, regardless of whether the knowledge gained helps us for our practical, survival needs. These efforts distinguish the human species from all others on our planet.
- By investigating rocks, we work toward establishing harmony with the rest of the created world and stewardship (dominion) of true love over it. In Unification terminology, we work toward fulfilling God's "Third Great Blessing" to humanity.
- By serving humanity, rocks provide us with an internal guiding principle—to live for the sake of others. By so doing, we demonstrate God's own nature in action, and we can create a world of harmony and peace, which is the desire of all people.