Biographical Information

Lorence G. Collins

Personal Photo (GIF, 102K)

I was born November 19, 1931, in Vernon, Kansas, and lived for a while in Topeka and Wathena, Kansas, where my father was a high school coach and teacher of chemistry. We later moved to the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, where my father was a research chemist for the U. S. Department of Agriculture. I did my undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Illinois in Urbana, completing my Ph.D. degree in geology in 1959. My Ph.D. thesis dealt with the metasomatic origin of magnetite (iron) ore deposits in New York, under the supervision of Arthur Hagner.

Before completing the Ph.D., I married Barbara Schenck, a student I met in one of our geology classes, and we spent two years together in Germany where I was an intelligence officer for the U. S. Air Force, before we returned to school. After graduating from the University of Illinois, I accepted a teaching position at San Fernando Valley State College, which subsequently became California State University Northridge. I taught mineralogy, petrology, and photo-geology interpretation for 33 years there before retiring from teaching in September, 1993.

In 1972, I noted that myrmekite occurred in unusual outcrops near Temecula, California, under conditions that did not fit the standard explanations for its origin, and I began investigations of this unusual two-mineral intergrowth (Fig 1). I never suspected that the study of myrmekite would lead to such opposition by the geologic community to the hypotheses that I have developed about its origin. Electron-microprobe analyses, cathodoluminescent studies, field relationships, scanning-electron images, and thin section studies convinced me that myrmekite had an origin entirely different from that generally believed by most geologists. Rejection of nearly all papers submitted to refereed journals caused me to publish in two books and to use this web site for announcing additional results.

Fig. 1 (GIF, 48K)

Fig. 1. Wartlike myrmekite (center) with tiny quartz vermicules from Temecula, California. Plagioclase in the myrmekite is optically continuous with quartz-free, albite-twinned plagioclase (tan, top). The myrmekite projects into K-feldspar (microcline, black-gray-white, grid-twinning, bottom).

Challenging dogma has always been something I have enjoyed doing, not only in geology but also in regards to religion; see my web site challenging creationism: (Creation web site).

A photo of what I looked like in my younger years, when I had bright red hair, can be seen in the January, 1966, issue of National Geographic magazine in the article: "Finding Rare Beauty In Common Rocks."

My wife, Barbara, keeps me honest and is wonderful support. I give her credit for the editing of these web-site presentations, helping to make the arguments reasonable and having greater logic than I could accomplish. She and I have a website which has more than 1,600 color photographs of trees, shrubs, and wildflowers of the deserts and chaparral of soothern California. The plants are all indexed by common, scientific, and family names. See: (wildflowers). We have five children whose accomplishments are varied and meritorious, but which are for them to brag about.

For more information contact Lorence Collins at:

Dr. Lorence G. Collins
Department of Geological Sciences
California State University Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, California 91330-8266
FAX 818-677-2820