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Time Machines: Scientific Explorations in Deep Time
     

Time Machines: Scientific Explorations in Deep Time

by Peter D. Ward
 
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 age—from 80 million to 65 million years ago—to 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.
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Overview

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 age—from 80 million to 65 million years ago—to 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 use—"time machines"—are 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.

Peter D. Ward is Professor of Geological Sciences and Professor of Zoology at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Editorial Reviews

Fouad Michael
This fascinating, unique book examines aspects of geology in a different way than most of the standard scientific books in geology, or paleontology in particular. It is a suspenseful, story-telling book, but still clearly conveys the scientific facts. It examines many new aspects of geology in a simple, clear, appealing, and amusing way. Any graduate or undergraduate student in geology would enjoy reading this book because it evolves through the many explanations of a segment of the life history of our planet. The author has written his book in an interesting, entertaining, and educational way that provides the reader with accurate scientific conclusions while re-engineering the standard presentation of standard geology or paleontology books. Teachers and professors who teach an introductory geology course will greatly enjoy and benefit from this well-written book.
AAPG Bulletin, V.83, No. 11

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781461272397
Publisher:
Springer New York
Publication date:
12/31/2012
Edition description:
Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1998
Pages:
241
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.02(d)

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