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112-pp14 - UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA Last time(before the...

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1 GY 112: Earth History Evolution Part 1 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA Last time (before the test) we covered… 1) The fossil record 2) Types of fossil preservation 3) Trace fossils The Fossil Record Source: Heck's Iconographic Encyclopedia (1851) Types of Fossils Body Fossils: Actually physical remains of a beastie (shell, skeleton, tests, bones, eggs, feathers, scales, wood etc.) Trace Fossils: Evidence that a beasties once lived in a particular environment. Source: www.humboldt.edu/.../MakingFossils.html 50 million year old bird footprints Modes of Fossil Preservation Molds and Casts External Mold: Impression of the outside of a shell. Internal Mold: Impression of the inside of a shell. Source: www.humboldt.edu/.../MakingFossils.html Today’s Agenda Evolution 1: the origins of life 1) The Earth 3.9 billion years ago 2) The first Organic Reactions? 3) The First Life Forms
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2 The Disclaimer There is no more single controversial topic in Alabama than evolution (that and which football team (Alabama or Auburn) is better). Everyone has their own beliefs and feelings about where we came from and how life first started on this planet. We are stronger people when we respect each others beliefs. In this class, we are interested in Science’s understanding of how things work. Scientists (and I’ve mentioned this many times already), must forever remain skeptical about everyday occurrences. They must constantly test their hypotheses and ideas about how things work. If an idea survives a test, that idea is retained. If it fails, it is abandoned or modified to better fit observations. Like life itself, scientific reasoning is a matter of survival of the fittest (ideas). Science and religion will never be totally in sync. Scientific hypotheses must be testable; religious beliefs relies on faith alone. I say - why bother relating the two together at all? I like apples and oranges, but I don’t try to equate the two of them together (flavor- wise). Sometimes my needs are met by an orange. Sometimes I need an apple.
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