Testing Claims: Geology and the Earth's Formation

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How do you decide what to believe? Put these geography claims to the test and decide for yourself!

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Testing Claims: Geology and the Earth's Formation

  1. 1. TEACHER MATERIALS TESTING CLAIMS - GEOLOGY AND THE EARTH’S FORMATION Directions: The formation of our Solar System generated the Goldilocks Conditions for new complexity by providing a suitable place for life to eventually develop — the chemically-rich rocky planet of Earth. Our understanding of the origins of the Solar System and Earth has changed dramatically in recent, particularly with the development of new technologies for studying these processes. Use this “ballot card” to vote on the truth of each statement and to make notes as to why you believe something is true, false, or needs more information to fairly decide. About 99% of the matter in any star-forming gas cloud ends up in a star, and only about 1% is left over for planet formation. TRUE Why do you think that and which claim testers did you use in making your decision? FALSE NEED MORE INFO Differentiation is the process by which gravity clumps matter together into planets, asteroids,and other objects in the disk spinning around a developing star. TRUE Why do you think that and which claim testers did you use in making your decision? FALSE NEED MORE INFO Geologists and historians measure time in very different ways. TRUE Why do you think that and which claim testers did you use in making your decision? FALSE NEED MORE INFO American and English scientists rejected Alfred Wegener’s views on continental drift because he had fought for Germany in WW I. TRUE Why do you think that and which claim testers did you use in making your decision? FALSE NEED MORE INFO Each continent has its own tectonic plate. TRUE Why do you think that and which claim testers did you use in making your decision? FALSE NEED MORE INFO BIG HISTORY PROJECT / LESSON 4.2 ACTIVITY When a star forms it exerts a huge gravitational attraction on surrounding matter and draws most of that matter to itself, leaving little behind for other nearby bodies like planets. This description actually describes accretion not differentiation. Differentiation is the process by which the materials below the Earth’s crust formed into the inner and outer cores, the mantle, and the crust. Geologists use the rock record and specific distinguishing events in Earth history to divide geologic time into a number of different units, some of them lasting million, or even billions, of years. Eons, periods, and epochs are all examples of units of geologic time. Historians typically work with a much smaller time scale that is often measured in hundreds or thousands of years. Big historians use a much wider range of time scales. Many scientists found Wegener’s claims interesting but felt that he either did not have enough hard scientific evidence to back them up or didn’t provide an explanation for how the Earth’s plates could be moved, or both. Many of the Earth’s continents are built from multiple plates. Asia, for example, is made up of parts of at least four different plates. At the “boundaries” where different plates meet there is often a lot of volcanic and earthquake activity.
  2. 2. Name: Date: STUDENT MATERIALS TESTING CLAIMS - GEOLOGY AND THE EARTH’S FORMATION Directions: The formation of our Solar System generated the Goldilocks Conditions for new complexity by providing a suitable place for life to eventually develop — the chemically-rich rocky planet of Earth. Our understanding of the origins of the Solar System and Earth has changed dramatically in recent, particularly with the development of new technologies for studying these processes. Use this “ballot card” to vote on the truth of each statement and to make notes as to why you believe something is true, false, or needs more information to fairly decide. About 99% of the matter in any star-forming gas cloud ends up in a star, and only about 1% is left over for planet formation. TRUE Why do you think that and which claim testers did you use in making your decision? FALSE NEED MORE INFO Differentiation is the process by which gravity clumps matter together into planets, asteroids,and other objects in the disk spinning around a developing star. TRUE Why do you think that and which claim testers did you use in making your decision? FALSE NEED MORE INFO Geologists and historians measure time in very different ways. TRUE Why do you think that and which claim testers did you use in making your decision? FALSE NEED MORE INFO American and English scientists rejected Alfred Wegener’s views on continental drift because he had fought for Germany in WWI. TRUE Why do you think that and which claim testers did you use in making your decision? FALSE NEED MORE INFO Each continent has its own tectonic plate. TRUE Why do you think that and which claim testers did you use in making your decision? FALSE NEED MORE INFO BIG HISTORY PROJECT / LESSON 4.2 ACTIVITY

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