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Fossils: A Very Short Introduction

by

Fossils: A Very Short Introduction Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Fossils have been vital to our understanding of the formation of the earth and the origins of life. However, their impact has not been limited to debates about geology and evolution: attempts to explain their existence has shaken religion at its very roots, and they have remained a subject of ceaseless fascination for people of all ages and backgrounds. In this readable and wide-ranging book, Keith Thomson provides a remarkably all-encompassing explanation of fossils as a phenomenon. How did Darwin use fossils to support his theory of evolution? What are "living fossils"? What fossils will we leave behind for future generations to examine? Beyond the scientific aspects, Thomson highlights the impact of fossils on philosophy and mythology, our concept of time, and today's popular culture. From the black market to the Piltdown Man, and from mythological dragons to living dinosaurs, fossils hold a permanent place in the popular imagination.

Synopsis:

A distinguished scholar urges scientists and religious thinkers to become colleagues rather than adversaries in areas where their fields overlap

Synopsis:

Each age has its own crisis—our modern experience of science-religion conflict is not so very different from that experienced by our forebears, Keith Thomson proposes in this thoughtful book. He considers the ideas and writings of Thomas Jefferson and Charles Darwin, two men who struggled mightily to reconcile their religion and their science, then looks to more recent times when scientific challenges to religion (evolutionary theory, for example) have given rise to powerful political responses from religious believers.

 

Today as in the eighteenth century, there are pressing reasons for members on each side of the religion-science debates to find common ground, Thomson contends. No precedent exists for shaping a response to issues like cloning or stem cell research, unheard of fifty years ago, and thus the opportunity arises for all sides to cooperate in creating a new ethics for the common good.

About the Author

Keith Thomas is Emeritus Professor of Natural History at the University of Oxford.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. A cultural phenomenon

3. In the popular imagination

4. Some things we know, some things we don't

5. Against the odds

6. Bringing fossils to life

7. Evolving

8. Of molecules and man

9. Fakes and fortunes

10. Back to the future

Further reading

Product Details

ISBN:
9780192805041
Author:
Thomson, Keith
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
Thomson, Keith Stewart
Subject:
Fossils
Subject:
Fossilization.
Subject:
Life Sciences | Ecology | Natural History
Subject:
Geology-Fossils
Subject:
History
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Cloth
Series:
The Terry Lectures Series
Series Volume:
7
Publication Date:
20051231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
19 halftones, 5 line illus.
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » Oxford Very Short Introductions
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Evolution
Science and Mathematics » Geology » Fossils
Science and Mathematics » Geology » Paleontology
Science and Mathematics » Physics » General

Fossils: A Very Short Introduction Sale Trade Paper
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Product details 224 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780192805041 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A distinguished scholar urges scientists and religious thinkers to become colleagues rather than adversaries in areas where their fields overlap
"Synopsis" by ,
Each age has its own crisis—our modern experience of science-religion conflict is not so very different from that experienced by our forebears, Keith Thomson proposes in this thoughtful book. He considers the ideas and writings of Thomas Jefferson and Charles Darwin, two men who struggled mightily to reconcile their religion and their science, then looks to more recent times when scientific challenges to religion (evolutionary theory, for example) have given rise to powerful political responses from religious believers.

 

Today as in the eighteenth century, there are pressing reasons for members on each side of the religion-science debates to find common ground, Thomson contends. No precedent exists for shaping a response to issues like cloning or stem cell research, unheard of fifty years ago, and thus the opportunity arises for all sides to cooperate in creating a new ethics for the common good.

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