Any whole rock sample actually used is already averaged in this way.In our apple, banana, and coconut parable, we will pretend that the numbers of individual fruits are average numbers.
His total harvest in his truck consisted of 90% apples and 10% bananas. They are approaching one another, but they do not know it until they round the same bend. As they bump, a portion of each man’s harvest is knocked out of his open truck and falls along the roadside.
The man on the adjoining farm raises bananas and coconuts. His truck was loaded with 50% bananas well-mixed with 50% coconuts. The spillage from each man’s truck becomes unevenly mixed with the spillage from the other man’s truck.
That is why the pile by the tree consists of 50 bananas and 50 coconuts.
The tree was so much closer to this truck than it was to the other truck at the time of the accident, that no fruit from the other truck went all the way to the tree.
They are Catastrophist Charlie and Uniformitarianist Egbert.
They wonder how piles of unevenly mixed fruit happen to be lying there on the side of the road. Each scientist examines the piles of mixed fruit to see if his theory fits the evidence.
As evidence, Charlie counts 100 individual fruits from the pile near the tree far off the road, 100 individual fruits from the pile near the bush closer to the road, and 100 individual fruits from the pile on the road. Here A stands for apples, B for bananas, and C for coconuts.
In practice when Charlie counts atoms in a sample of crushed rock, he will count millions upon millions of atoms, because atoms are so tiny.
Whether many or few, coconuts are always found mixed 1-to-1 with original bananas, he believes.
Egbert believes that there is now more than 1 banana for each coconut, because some original apples have decayed into extra bananas. An old fruit layer will have more extra bananas than a fruit layer that formed more recently.
He says apples slowly change to bananas by radioactive decay.