Chapter

Rocks and Bones

Jill S. Schneiderman

in For the Rock Record

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780520257580
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943711 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520257580.003.0002
Rocks and Bones

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The Earth's fossil record registers the changes in life on this planet over time. Similarly, the Earth's rock record preserves complex structures that record the changes in rocks and minerals over time. Consequently, all the aspects of living things that trouble intelligent design (ID) creationists — their complexity and what seem to be the abundant traces of long and contingent evolutionary change — also apply to all the Earth's materials, whether once living or not. Although the bulk of ID creationists are old-Earth creationists, who allow ample time in Earth's history for geological processes to operate, their insistence that aspects of the natural world are too complex to have developed on their own constitutes an indictment of geology. This essay uses both large-scale and small-scale geologic features to demonstrate the strength of historical explanations to understand extraordinarily complex geologic structures. In particular, it presents examples from Hudson River sediments and Alpine metamorphic rocks to articulate the basis for interpreting real geologic cross-sections.

Keywords: Hudson River; sediments; metamorphic rocks; geologic cross-sections; geology; intelligent design; geologic structures; rock record; minerals

Chapter.  3659 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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