Earth Science 3.1 : Earth's Story and Those Who First Listened.
Chapter 3 : Earth Science<br />The Rock and Fossil Record<br />
Earth Science : Chapter 3.1<br />Earth’s Story and Those Who First Listened<br />
Objectives<br /> Compareuniformitarianism and catastrophism.<br />Describehow the science of geology has changed over the past 200 years.<br />Explainthe role of paleontology in the study of Earth’s history.<br />
The Principle of Uniformitarianism<br />Scientist James Hutton<br />author of Theory of the Earth<br />proposed that geologic processes such as erosion and deposition do not change over time.<br />Uniformitarianism<br />the idea that the same geologic processes shaping the Earth today have been at work throughout Earth’s history.<br />
Uniformitarianism Versus Catastrophism<br />Hutton’s theories sparked a scientific debate by suggesting<br />The Earth was much older than a few thousand years, as previously thought.<br />A few thousand years was not enough time for the gradual geologic processes that Hutton described to have shaped the planet.<br />Catastophism<br />Principle that states that geologic change occurs suddenly.<br />
Catastrophism was geology’s guiding principle until the work of geologist Charles Lyell caused people to reconsider uniformitarianism.<br />Lyell published Principles of Geology in the early 1830s. <br />Armed with Hutton’s notes and new evidence of his own, Lyell successfully challenged the principle of catastrophism.<br />A Victory for Uniformitarianism<br />
Modern Geology -- A Happy Medium<br />During the late 20th century<br />Scientists such as Stephen J. Gould challenged Lyell’s uniformitarianism.<br />They believed that catastrophes occasionally play an important role in shaping Earth’s history.<br />Today<br />Scientists realize that most geologic change is gradual and uniform, but catastrophes that cause geologic change have occurred during Earth’s long history.<br />
Paleontology -- The Study of Past Life<br />The history of the Earth would be incomplete without knowledge of the organisms that have inhabited our planet and the conditions under which they lived.<br />Paleontology<br />Science involved with the study of past life<br />Paleontologist<br />Study fossils, which are the remains of organisms preserved by geologic processes.<br />
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