presentation_3 - Earth History Deciphering the History of...

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Earth History Lecture 3 Deciphering the History of Life 1. Infer characteristics of ancestors from phylogenies of living species (or higher taxa). 2. Find direct evidence of past life (fossils) and assign dates to these fossils. Understanding Chronology • How old is the earth?* • How much time has there been for life to evolve on earth? • How can we date the rocks in which fossils occur? *Bishop Ussher (1581-1656), churchman and scholar, established the ±rst day of creation as Sunday 23 October 4004 BC.
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Relative and Absolute Dates • Relative dates - concerned with whether one fossil is older than another. • Absolute dates - concerned with how many millions of years ago (Mya) a fossil (the organism it represents) occurred. Two Views of Change • Catastrophist - changes occur fast, abruptly • Uniformitarian - changes are continuous (but not necessarily slow) Geological Cycle Sedimentation Rock formation Uplift Erosion and weathering Sediment transport “no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end” James Hutton Sedimentation, rock formation & deformation
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presentation_3 - Earth History Deciphering the History of...

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