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Earth Science 3.1 : Earth's Story and Those Who First Listened.
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Earth Science 3.1 : Earth's Story and Those Who First Listened.

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  • 1. Chapter 3 : Earth Science
    The Rock and Fossil Record
  • 2. Earth Science : Chapter 3.1
    Earth’s Story and Those Who First Listened
  • 3. Objectives
    Compareuniformitarianism and catastrophism.
    Describehow the science of geology has changed over the past 200 years.
    Explainthe role of paleontology in the study of Earth’s history.
  • 4. The Principle of Uniformitarianism
    Scientist James Hutton
    author of Theory of the Earth
    proposed that geologic processes such as erosion and deposition do not change over time.
    Uniformitarianism
    the idea that the same geologic processes shaping the Earth today have been at work throughout Earth’s history.
  • 5.
  • 6. Uniformitarianism Versus Catastrophism
    Hutton’s theories sparked a scientific debate by suggesting
    The Earth was much older than a few thousand years, as previously thought.
    A few thousand years was not enough time for the gradual geologic processes that Hutton described to have shaped the planet.
    Catastophism
    Principle that states that geologic change occurs suddenly.
  • 7. Catastrophism was geology’s guiding principle until the work of geologist Charles Lyell caused people to reconsider uniformitarianism.
    Lyell published Principles of Geology in the early 1830s.
    Armed with Hutton’s notes and new evidence of his own, Lyell successfully challenged the principle of catastrophism.
    A Victory for Uniformitarianism
  • 8. Modern Geology -- A Happy Medium
    During the late 20th century
    Scientists such as Stephen J. Gould challenged Lyell’s uniformitarianism.
    They believed that catastrophes occasionally play an important role in shaping Earth’s history.
    Today
    Scientists realize that most geologic change is gradual and uniform, but catastrophes that cause geologic change have occurred during Earth’s long history.
  • 9. Paleontology -- The Study of Past Life
    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.
    Paleontology
    Science involved with the study of past life
    Paleontologist
    Study fossils, which are the remains of organisms preserved by geologic processes.