Unit 11 Info - . Introduction (Modified 29 Aug 2008)...

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. Introduction (Modified 29 Aug 2008) Photo Courtesy of DougW, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Image%3A1964- mustang-rc.jpg Ah, memory lane. Dr. Alley's best friend in early elementary school had a father who sold "pop" (a.k.a. soft drinks) to dealers in Ohio and often had free samples sitting around, and a mother who drove a 1964-and-a-half white Ford Mustang with a black convertible top. Hard to beat. And what a beauty that car was. Dr. Alley's Hot Wheels mustang was a 1967, recognizably different from the '65-and-a-half. In fact, he could rather easily put the Mustangs in order for quite a while based on the differences. The early geologists of the late 1600s and 1700s had never heard of Ford Mustangs, but those geologists faced a Ford Mustang problem. Recognition of unconformities and other features in the rock record opened a world far older than written records. William Smith had shown the law of faunal succession—that putting the rocks in order put the fossils in order—so biological change had accompanied geological change. But was the biological change gradual, parent-to-child in a great, unbroken evolutionary chain of being? Or did unknown cataclysms, or a tinkering god, or an angry god, repeatedly replace one world with another as Ford would one day replace each model with a new Mustang the next year? Erasmus Darwin was among the evolutionists, and put his ideas in verse in the posthumously published The Temple of Nature (1802): Organic life beneath the shoreless waves Was born and nurs'd in ocean's pearly caves; First forms minute, unseen by spheric glass, Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass;
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These, as successive generations bloom, New powers acquire and larger limbs assume; Whence countless groups of vegetation spring, And breathing realms of fin and feet and wing. Source: University of California Paleontology Museum OK, maybe this excerpt wouldn't make a hit song if put to music. But when grandson Charles added observations and mechanism to Erasmus' speculations, the evolutionists won out over the Ford-Mustang "catastrophists." What convinced the scientific community (and a great slice of "polite society") of evolution? We'll see in this lesson. It is a century now since Darwin gave us the first glimpse of the origin of the species. We know now what was unknown to all the preceding caravan of generations: that men are only fellow-voyagers with other creatures in the odyssey of evolution. This new knowledge should have given us, by this time, a sense of kinship with fellow-creatures; a wish to live and let live; a sense of wonder over the magnitude and duration of the biotic enterprise." Leopold, Aldo :A Sand County Almanac, and Sketches Here and There, 1948, Oxford University Press, New York, 1987 "For one species to mourn the death of another is a new thing under the sun. The Cro- Magnon who slew the last mammoth thought only of steaks. The sportsman who shot the last
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This note was uploaded on 01/20/2010 for the course GEOSC 010 at Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

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Unit 11 Info - . Introduction (Modified 29 Aug 2008)...

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