the meaning of fossils episodes in the history of palaeontology

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The Meaning Of Fossils

Author : Martin J. S. Rudwick
ISBN : 9780226148984
Genre : Science
File Size : 74. 73 MB
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"It is not often that a work can literally rewrite a person's view of a subject. And this is exactly what Rudwick's book should do for many paleontologists' view of the history of their own field."—Stephen J. Gould, Paleobotany and Palynology "Rudwick has not merely written the first book-length history of palaeontology in the English language; he has written a very intelligent one. . . . His accounts of sources are rounded and organic: he treats the structure of arguments as Cuvier handled fossil bones."—Roy S. Porter, History of Science

Georges Cuvier Fossil Bones And Geological Catastrophes

Author : Martin J. S. Rudwick
ISBN : 0226731081
Genre : Science
File Size : 45. 64 MB
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French zoologist Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) helped form and bring credibility to geology and paleontology. Here Martin J. S. Rudwick provides the first modern translation of Cuvier's essential writings on fossils and catastrophes and links these translated texts together with his own insightful narrative and interpretive commentary. "Martin Rudwick has done English-speaking science a considerable service by translating and commenting on Cuvier's work. . . . He guides us through Cuvier's most important writings, especially those which demonstrate his new technique of comparative anatomy."—Douglas Palmer, New Scientist

Bursting The Limits Of Time

Author : Martin J. S. Rudwick
ISBN : 9780226731131
Genre : Science
File Size : 24. 15 MB
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During a revolution of discovery in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, geologists reconstructed the immensely long history of the earth--and the relatively recent arrival of human life. Bursting the Limits of Time is a herculean effort by one of the world's foremost experts on the history of geology and paleontology to illuminate this scientific breakthrough that radically altered existing perceptions of a human's place in the universe as much as the theories of Copernicus and Darwin did. Rudwick examines here the ideas and practices of earth scientists throughout the Western world to show how the story of what we now call "deep time" was pieced together. He explores who was responsible for the discovery of the earth's history, refutes the concept of a rift between science and religion in dating the earth, and details how the study of the history of the earth helped define a new branch of science called geology. Bursting the Limits of Time is the first detailed account of this monumental phase in the history of science. "Bursting the Limits of Time is a massive work and is quite simply a masterpiece of science history. . . . The book should be obligatory for every geology and history of science library, and is a highly recommended companion for every civilized geologist who can carry an extra 2.4 kg in his rucksack."--Stephen Moorbath, Nature

Stratigraphic Paleobiology

Author : Mark E. Patzkowsky
ISBN : 9780226649375
Genre : Science
File Size : 41. 94 MB
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Whether the fossil record should be read at face value or whether it presents a distorted view of the history of life is an argument seemingly as old as many fossils themselves. In the late 1700s, Georges Cuvier argued for a literal interpretation, but in the early 1800s, Charles Lyell’s gradualist view of the earth’s history required a more nuanced interpretation of that same record. To this day, the tension between literal and interpretive readings lies at the heart of paleontological research, influencing the way scientists view extinction patterns and their causes, ecosystem persistence and turnover, and the pattern of morphologic change and mode of speciation. With Stratigraphic Paleobiology, Mark E. Patzkowsky and Steven M. Holland present a critical framework for assessing the fossil record, one based on a modern understanding of the principles of sediment accumulation. Patzkowsky and Holland argue that the distribution of fossil taxa in time and space is controlled not only by processes of ecology, evolution, and environmental change, but also by the stratigraphic processes that govern where and when sediment that might contain fossils is deposited and preserved. The authors explore the exciting possibilities of stratigraphic paleobiology, and along the way demonstrate its great potential to answer some of the most critical questions about the history of life: How and why do environmental niches change over time? What is the tempo and mode of evolutionary change and what processes drive this change? How has the diversity of life changed through time, and what processes control this change? And, finally, what is the tempo and mode of change in ecosystems over time?

Understanding Fossils

Author : Peter Doyle
ISBN : 9781119029267
Genre : Nature
File Size : 37. 32 MB
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The first introductory palaeontology text which demonstrates the importance of selected fossil groups in geological and biological studies, particularly in understanding evolutionary patterns, palaeoenvironmental analysis, and stratigraphy. Part one explores several key concepts, such as the processes of fossil preservation, the determination of evolutionary patterns, and use of fossils and statigraphical tools. Part two introduces the main fossil groups of value in these applied fields. Part three concentrates on the examination of important case histories which demonstrate the use of fossils in diverse practical examples. Evolutionary studies, palaeoenvironmental analysis, and stratigraphical applications are documented using up-to-date examples supported by overviews of the principles.

Worlds Before Adam

Author : Martin J. S. Rudwick
ISBN : 9780226731308
Genre : Science
File Size : 76. 16 MB
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In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, scientists reconstructed the immensely long history of the earth—and the relatively recent arrival of human life. The geologists of the period, many of whom were devout believers, agreed about this vast timescale. But despite this apparent harmony between geology and Genesis, these scientists still debated a great many questions: Had the earth cooled from its origin as a fiery ball in space, or had it always been the same kind of place as it is now? Was prehuman life marked by mass extinctions, or had fauna and flora changed slowly over time? The first detailed account of the reconstruction of prehuman geohistory, Martin J. S. Rudwick’s Worlds Before Adam picks up where his celebrated Bursting the Limits of Time leaves off. Here, Rudwick takes readers from the post-Napoleonic Restoration in Europe to the early years of Britain’s Victorian age, chronicling the staggering discoveries geologists made during the period: the unearthing of the first dinosaur fossils, the glacial theory of the last ice age, and the meaning of igneous rocks, among others. Ultimately, Rudwick reveals geology to be the first of the sciences to investigate the historical dimension of nature, a model that Charles Darwin used in developing his evolutionary theory. Featuring an international cast of colorful characters, with Georges Cuvier and Charles Lyell playing major roles and Darwin appearing as a young geologist, Worlds Before Adam is a worthy successor to Rudwick’s magisterial first volume. Completing the highly readable narrative of one of the most momentous changes in human understanding of our place in the natural world, Worlds Before Adam is a capstone to the career of one of the world’s leading historians of science.

A New History Of Life

Author : Peter Ward
ISBN : 9781608199082
Genre : Science
File Size : 55. 72 MB
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Charles Darwin's theories, first published more than 150 years ago, form the backbone of how we understand the history of the Earth. In reality, the currently accepted history of life on Earth is so flawed, so out of date, that it's past time we need a 'New History of Life.' In their latest book, Joe Kirschvink and Peter Ward will show that many of our most cherished beliefs about the evolution of life are wrong. Gathering and analyzing years of discoveries and research not yet widely known to the public, A New History of Life proposes a different origin of species than the one Darwin proposed, one which includes eight-foot-long centipedes, a frozen "snowball Earth†?, and the seeds for life originating on Mars. Drawing on their years of experience in paleontology, biology, chemistry, and astrobiology, experts Ward and Kirschvink paint a picture of the origins life on Earth that are at once too fabulous to imagine and too familiar to dismiss--and looking forward, A New History of Life brilliantly assembles insights from some of the latest scientific research to understand how life on Earth can and might evolve far into the future.

Ancient Marine Reptiles

Author : Jack M. Callaway
ISBN : 9780080527215
Genre : Science
File Size : 20. 94 MB
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Vertebrate evolution has led to the convergent appearance of many groups of originally terrestrial animals that now live in the sea. Among these groups are familiar mammals like whales, dolphins, and seals. There are also reptilian lineages (like plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs, mosasaurs, thalattosaurs, and others) that have become sea creatures. Most of these marine reptiles, often wrongly called "dinosaurs", are extinct. This edited book is devoted to these extinct groups of marine reptiles. These reptilian analogs represent useful models of the myriad adaptations that permit tetrapods to live in the ocean. Key Features * First book in more than 80 years devoted exclusively to fossil marine reptiles * Documents the most current research on extinct marine reptiles * Prepared by the world's most prominent experts in the field * Well illustrated

The Second Jurassic Dinosaur Rush

Author : Paul D. Brinkman
ISBN : 9780226074733
Genre : Science
File Size : 69. 18 MB
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The so-called “Bone Wars” of the 1880s, which pitted Edward Drinker Cope against Othniel Charles Marsh in a frenzy of fossil collection and discovery, may have marked the introduction of dinosaurs to the American public, but the second Jurassic dinosaur rush, which took place around the turn of the twentieth century, brought the prehistoric beasts back to life. These later expeditions—which involved new competitors hailing from leading natural history museums in New York, Chicago, and Pittsburgh—yielded specimens that would be reconstructed into the colossal skeletons that thrill visitors today in museum halls across the country. Reconsidering the fossil speculation, the museum displays, and the media frenzy that ushered dinosaurs into the American public consciousness, Paul Brinkman takes us back to the birth of dinomania, the modern obsession with all things Jurassic. Featuring engaging and colorful personalities and motivations both altruistic and ignoble, The Second Jurassic Dinosaur Rush shows that these later expeditions were just as foundational—if not more so—to the establishment of paleontology and the budding collections of museums than the more famous Cope and Marsh treks. With adventure, intrigue, and rivalry, this is science at its most swashbuckling.

Earth S Deep History

Author : Martin J. S. Rudwick
ISBN : 9780226204093
Genre : Science
File Size : 79. 79 MB
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Earth has been witness to mammoths and dinosaurs, global ice ages, continents colliding or splitting apart, and comets and asteroids crashing catastrophically to the surface, as well as the birth of humans who are curious to understand it. But how was all this discovered? How was the evidence for it collected and interpreted? And what kinds of people have sought to reconstruct this past that no human witnessed or recorded? In this sweeping and accessible book, Martin J. S. Rudwick, the premier historian of the Earth sciences, tells the gripping human story of the gradual realization that the Earth’s history has not only been unimaginably long but also astonishingly eventful. Rudwick begins in the seventeenth century with Archbishop James Ussher, who famously dated the creation of the cosmos to 4004 BC. His narrative later turns to the crucial period of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when inquisitive intellectuals, who came to call themselves “geologists,” began to interpret rocks and fossils, mountains and volcanoes, as natural archives of Earth’s history. He then shows how this geological evidence was used—and is still being used—to reconstruct a history of the Earth that is as varied and unpredictable as human history itself. Along the way, Rudwick rejects the popular view of this story as a conflict between science and religion and shows how the modern scientific account of the Earth’s deep history retains strong roots in Judaeo-Christian ideas. Extensively illustrated, Earth’s Deep History is an engaging and impressive capstone to Rudwick’s distinguished career. Though the story of the Earth is inconceivable in length, Rudwick moves with grace from the earliest imaginings of our planet’s deep past to today’s scientific discoveries, proving that this is a tale at once timeless and timely.

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