Time Machines: Scientific Explorations in Deep Time



Time Machines: Scientific Explorations in Deep Time By Peter D. Ward
Publisher: Springer 1998 | 241 Pages | ISBN: 038798416X | File type: PDF | 4 mb


In Time Machines the acclaimed paleontologist Peter D. Ward takes us on a trip not to the future, but to the end of the dinosaur agefrom 80 million to 65 million years agoto illustrate the techniques modern scientists use to recover events of the deep past, techniques that are no less remarkable than Well's more fanciful contrivance.
From patterns in rock, scraps of fossilized bone, and traces of metal that, to the novice's eye, seem of little significance, scientists have discovered how to paint compelling pictures of our ancestral worlds. The methods geologists and paleontologists usetime machinesare as varied as the rock hammer and the thought experiment. No single time machine recreates an entire picture of the past. Yet when appropriately combined, a coherent, often beautiful, portrait of the deep past can emerge.
It is important that these scientific methods are merely tools for human analysis. The data blink uncomprehendingly from the myriad machines, sometimes ambiguous, often open to more than one interpretation. It is the data's interpretation that is the final step in bringing the dead back to life and, as Ward shows us in his own work, the most fascinating and enjoyable part of study of the deep past.
By using information gleaned from modern time machines, Ward is able to develop an ingenious reconstruction of an area's past, bringing to life the ancient Nautilus and long-extinct ammonites, mosasaurs, and other creatures that roamed the land and seas. We thereby gain not only a new appreciation of the stunning work of modern paleontological science, but an extraordinarily vivid, often moving portrait of a long-ago world.


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