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The Resource Paleontology : a philosophical introduction, Derek Turner

Paleontology : a philosophical introduction, Derek Turner

Label
Paleontology : a philosophical introduction
Title
Paleontology
Title remainder
a philosophical introduction
Statement of responsibility
Derek Turner
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
"Imagine a planet almost exactly like ours, but with one crucial difference: it has no fossils. Call this imaginary planet Afossilia. Afossilia and Earth harbor the very same kinds of living things, from ferns to human beings to E. coli bacteria. Both planets have the same surface features and the same types of rocks. And both have experienced exactly the same evolutionary histories, with the same species evolving and going extinct at exactly the same time. We can even suppose that you and I have counterparts living on Afossilia -- that is, that there are people there who are exactly (or almost exactly) like us. Some Biblical literalists hold that God placed fossils in the rocks in order to test our faith in scripture. I invite you to join me now in thinking about a simple inversion of this familiar idea: what if God -- or if not God, then some more sinister spirit -- systematically removed all the fossils from the rocks just before (Afossilian) humans evolved and began to study the world around them. Afossilia has no fossilized footprints, leaf imprints, shells, pollen, teeth, bones, coprolites (fossilized feces), or any of the remains of ancient organisms that we on Earth can see on display in natural history museums. Suppose you had the opportunity to tour a major research university on Afossilia. There you would find physicists, cosmologists, astronomers, chemists, biochemists, and molecular biologists doing exactly the same things that scientists in those fields do here on Earth. But you would find no paleontologists on Afossilia -- no departments of paleontology or professional associations for paleontologists. A world without fossils must also be a world without paleontology ("the study of ancient beings"). "--
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Provided by publisher
Cataloging source
DLC
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
index present
LC call number
QE721
LC item number
.T88 2011
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
Series statement
Cambridge introductions to philosophy and biology
Paleontology : a philosophical introduction, Derek Turner
Label
Paleontology : a philosophical introduction, Derek Turner
Publication
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Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Contents
1. Introduction -- 2. A new way of looking at the fossil record -- 3. Punctuated equilibrium -- 4. Species and macroevolution -- 5. The case for species selection -- 6. Real trends, relative progress -- 7. Dynamics of evolutionary trends -- 8. Evolutionary contingency -- 9. Diversity, disparity, and the Burgess Shale -- 10. Molecular fossils
http://library.link/vocab/cover_art
https://contentcafe2.btol.com/ContentCafe/Jacket.aspx?Return=1&Type=S&Value=9780521133326&userID=ebsco-test&password=ebsco-test
Dimensions
25 cm.
http://library.link/vocab/discovery_link
{'f': 'http://opac.lib.rpi.edu/record=b3174806'}
Extent
xi, 227 p.
Isbn
9780521133326
Isbn Type
(paperback)
Lccn
2010048061
Other physical details
ill.
System control number
(OCoLC)671709862

Library Locations

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      42.729766 -73.682577
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