29 January 2012

Would Darwin Rock with Us Today?

"I look at the natural geological record, as a history of the world imperfectly kept, and written in a changing dialect; of this history we possess the last volume alone, relating only to two or three countries. Of this volume, only here and there a short chapter has been preserved; and of each page, only here and there a few lines. Each word of the slowly-changing language, in which the history is supposed to be written, being more or less different in the interrupted succession of chapters, may represent the abruptly changed forms of life, entombed in our consecutive, but widely separate, formations."

-Charles Darwin On the Origin of Species

This was 1859, that gives us 153 years of advancement in the fields of geology and paleontology to literally unearth a more up-to-date view of the natural geological record with regards to Darwin's theory of evolution and the preservation via fossilization, of organic forms. I wonder if Darwin would maintain the same feelings about the geological record were he alive today? That is to say, how much more do we know today about this history of the world and how further from "imperfectly kept" has it become?

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