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Course Overview

This is the story of the history of geology: from the time of Steno (1638-1686), when the principles of stratigraphy (rock strata) were established, up to the present day. We will uncover how William Smith (1769-1837) constructed the world’s first geologic map by observing the regular sequence of fossil organisms over the entire planet. We will discuss how the Geologic Column is based on relative time, and how that time was confirmed by radioactive dating in the early 1900s. We will examine eight of the greatest controversies in Earth Science: What are fossils?; the Origin of Different Rock Types; Catastrophism vs. Univormitarianism; Correlation of Rock Strata over Planet Earth; The Ice Ages; Plate Tectonics; and Mass Extinctions.
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