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Advanced Teacher Preparation > Stratigraphy and Evolution: Using Fossils to Tell "Deep Time"
Read the Background Information for this module and review the PowerPoint presentations.
Local Natural History Museums:
Example: Texas Natural Science Center on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.
View this short video from Public Broadcasting on Charles Darwin as a review of the development of his theory of evolution:
What did Darwin call his mechanism of change?
Based on the video and text at the link below, answer the following questions:
- What kind of fossil evidence does Peter Ward (the paleontologist in the video) find in the Permian rocks?
- How much time does he estimate is represented by 50 ft?
- What is the evidence that indicates an extinction at the Permian-Triassic boundary?
- How do you explain the observation that a few Permian fossil species were found not at the very base of the Triassic, but a bit higher up in the section? What explains the gap?
- How is plate tectonics postulated to be partly responsible for the extinction? What other events are hypothesized to contribute to the Permo-Triassic boundary extinction?
Winchester, S, 2002, The Map That Changed the World - William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology, Perrenial.
Gould, S.J., 1987, Time’s Arrow, Time’s Cycle, Harvard University Press. A great treatment of geologic time by a very accessible writer.
Web Sites for Further Study:
http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/geotime/ Online publication on geologic time published by the U.S. Geological Survey.
http://www.stratigraphy.org The International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS) is the largest scientific body within the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS). It is also the only organization concerned with stratigraphy on a global scale. One of its major objectives are the establishment of a standard, globally applicable stratigraphic scale, which it seeks to achieve through the co-ordinated contributions of a network of Subcommissions and Working Groups with a specific, limited mandate. An exhaustive resource for the current geologic timescale.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/02/4/l_024_01.html Read text about Charles Lyell. What was Lyell’s "uniformitarian" proposal?
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/malthus.html Read text on Thomas Malthus and population. What "struck" Darwin in Essay on the Principle of Population (1798) by Malthus?